Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review: The Mark by Jen Nadol

I was so captivated by this premise: Cassie can see a faint glow around the heads of people who are about to die. Why does she have such a strange power and does she have the moral responsibility to tell what she knows?

Cassie is rather more robust than your typical teen. Once her nana dies, she’s entirely on her own – except for an aunt who could care less about her – but she takes it in stride. Her power isolates her too - she doesn’t really engage with others much, with the exception of college student Lucas who pushes her to “use” her “talent”. The ups and downs of their rocky relationship feel authentic and add to the dramatic tension (though some readers might be put off by what amounts to statutory rape, albeit unwitting).

What I most enjoyed was the exploration of philosophical questions which gave the novel depth beyond that of a typical YA read. It was, however, a tad convenient to have Cassie actually audit a philosophy class in which Lucas was the TA. In fact, quite a few aspects of the plot came off as too convenient which makes the narrative feel overly “outlined” and not as fresh as it could be considering the very original revelation we get at the end of the novel. I could totally imagine (and hope for) a kick-a** sequel, Ms. Nadol.

THE MARK comes out in hardcover on January 19, 2010. Find out more about it (and read an excerpt) on the author’s website.

16 comments:

LovesSam said...

I am really looking forward to this book, it sounds amazing and of course Jen is lovely, which is always an added bonus :-)

Rebecca Herman said...

Great review, I have been wanting to read this book.

Becky said...

This one is a must read for me. Your point about the plot is very interesting so I want to read it even more now to see if I agree.

Errant said...

seems like a must read

Jenn said...

I would love to read a book with an "original" ending. I will definitely add this to my TBR list. Thanks for the review.

bermudaonion said...

This does sound interesting, even if the plot is a little "convenient."

Thao said...

I love stories like this, so great. And it's nice to know that there will be a sequel. I'm jealous you got to read The Mark this soon.

Lenore said...

Well Thao, I don't know if there will be a sequel, but I sure want one!

brizmus said...

This sounds incredibly interesting. Hopefully I'll be able to get over the convenience of the plot and enjoy the philosophical questions that are brought up.

Jazz said...

When it comes to the sex, for me it'll depend on how close to 18 she is, how far away from 18 he is, and how mature she is. I've been looking forward to this and now I'm very interested it the plot even if it feels outlined.

Bookalicious said...

Thanks for the review - you're so lucky to be able to read it in advance! I've already preordered my copy and I can't wait to read it!

Maria said...

Great Review! I can't wait until it comes out!:)

http://fantasysink.blogspot.com/

Nikki (A Haunt of Ancient Peace) said...

Great review. I've been looking forward to this book for a while now and even though there are a few to many convenient situations, I'll still pick it up when it comes out.

The premise is too unique and interesting to not read.

:D Nikki

Sadako said...

I think it looks really awesome, and I can't wait to read it. I love these kinds of supernatural type books.

Letter Garden said...

I'm glad you liked it much better than me! :D

Zibilee said...

I have been wanting to read a review of this book since I first heard of it. Glad that you liked it and that it was so good. I am putting this one in my basket right away. Thanks for the great review!