Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol Review

Book: The Mark
Author: Jen Nadol
Age: Young Adult
Copy Provided By: Publisher
If you had the power to cheat death, would you?

Sixteen-year-old Cassie Renfield has always seen the mark--a light glow reminiscent of candlelight--but it's not until she follows a man to his death that she understands what it means. Cassie can see when a person is marked for death. She doesn't know how or where, only when: today.

When the mark appears on Cassie's grandmother, she tries and fails to change her fate. The mark seems utterly useless, but Cassie can't ignore it. Desperate for answers, she searches her memories, her summer philosophy course, even her new boyfriend, Lucas, for any clue that might explain her ability. When she convinces Lucas of her power, he encourages her to test fate each time the mark appears. Cassie's not entirely sure she should use the mark like this, but with each occurrence, she finds answers she needs--answers she never expected.
Review: When I finished reading this, I was indeed left asking myself, "If you had the power to cheat death, would you?"

It's an interesting premise, and Nadol took the story places I wasn't expecting. Cassie, our protagonist, is a very likable character. Even when she was doing something I didn't really like, I still liked her. I admired her, for dealing with this ability. To know when someones death is coming, it's just so sad to even think about. Cassie has her moments of pure terror and sadness for these people she sees. I could really feel Cassie's struggle with knowing what will happen, and the difficulty she faces in whether or not it's her obligation to tell them.

Highlights: I loved that in the end, everything didn't really work out cookie-cutter perfect. Mistakes were made, relationships fell apart, new one's were formed, and Cassie is left with quite a few questions of her own.

Lowlights: I felt like the first few chapters were not entirely necessary, and a little bummed that the summary gives away what's going to happen in those chapters. I found myself reading through them with caution, waiting for what would eventually happen. I also really disliked Cassie's boyfriend, and I just couldn't help but rolling my eyes whenever he'd pop onto the page...which is weird.

Also, I just felt like something was missing from the story....but I'm not quite sure what. Maybe I needed more in general, since the novel's so short? The ending seemed pretty open as well, and the story is definitely in need of a sequel. 




  1. This books sounds really interesting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Nice review!

  2. This is the best review I've read so far...great job! I definitely want to read this one :)

  3. I didn't like her boyfriend either! He was such a pain. It was a really interesting novel though... made me think.

  4. sounds like a good book...*sigh* TBR list growing ever larger...

    thanks for the comment pretty girl, its such a good feeling to have those little squares on the side of the page with 'followers' above it :)


  5. I'm going to have to check this out! Thank you :)

  6. I really want to read this and your review makes me want to read it more :)

  7. This sounds intriguing and thought-provoking. I'll give it a try!

  8. Sort of skimmed your review, since I'm reading The Mark right now. I'm getting to know Cassie, and I agree that it's definitely a hard dilemma to face. Glad you liked it! :D