Thursday, July 16, 2009


By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

So I had a few problems with the book Marked.

The premise: In Marked, our hero heroine Zoey is a seemingly normal teenager in a dysfunctional family. She is surprised to find that she is not only a wizard vampyre, but also has an important destiny as indicated by an unusual scar tattoo on her forehead. As a result, she is whisked away to a boarding school called Hogwart’s The House of Night, where she trains to become a wizard vampyre.

I’m a little uncomfortable with its “young adult” rating: This book is full of cussing. It is also obsessed with sex. Yeah, I know that’s what’s on teens’ minds, but do you really want your kids reading so much about it? (And how weird is it that a mother-daughter team wrote this book? I have a close relationship with my mom, but we can barely even say the word “sex” around each other, let alone write a sex scene.)

The preachiness: Good girls don’t swear, sleep around or lust after hot boys. They are never ever prejudiced, they are not shallow and they always get good grades. And just in case you didn’t know all that, this book will repeat those messages over and over again until they are driven into your brain with all the subtlety of an ice pick.

Too much wish fulfillment: Zoey is super hot, all the hot boys are in love with her, she has super-duper vampire –- oops, sorry…vampyre –- powers, and she can drink all the non-diet brown pop she wants without getting fat. And yes, vampyres can get fat. All the perfection started to get on my nerves.

The writing: The teen talk and cultural references get old pretty quickly, but worse than that, our heroine and narrator Zoey is so repetitive. Can we use the word “hot” more often? Yes, I get that (fill in the name of any male character here, because they’re pretty much all hot) is hot. You don’t need to say it every stinking time he makes an appearance. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

All of this kept me so busy rolling my eyes that I could never really get into the book. I am forced to confess that it actually has a fairly interesting story, interesting enough that I skimmed the other four books in the series that have come out so far. It’s probably even safe to say that I would have loved this book when I was fourteen. Of course, my mom would have forbidden me to read it then, so I guess Marked and I were doomed from the start. 2 stars.


Bryce and Mandy said...

Ha!! Great review. I actually laughed out loud during your first paragraph.

Lula O said...

I loved the last line. Hence the problem: These type of books now days aren't appropriate for any age group. Too old for teens, too young for adults. Wouldn't it be nice if they just shot for one age group? What a concept!

The Bradfords said...

I totally agree with you, Lula. I am so tired of books that are classified YA that really just aren't appropriate for said age group. It's not just sex, but other subject matters as well that are more appropriate for adults than teens or even children. The whole YA classification bugs anyway because it stands for Young Adult and wouldn't that be someone who is at least 18? In my opinion a young adult is someone age 18-23 or so.
Stephanie, your review is very well written, almost entices me to read the book, and yet I think I'll resist.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, all. It was a fun review to write!