The Mark by Jen Nadol
author’s website: Jen Nadol
release date: January 19, 2010
appeals to: Young Adult
length: 240 pages
overall rating: 4 Stars
*the inside flap*
Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?
The Mark had many components: romance, paranormal, Greek mythology, philosophy, and a character with a rough family history. Cassie’s ability to see “the mark” creates a struggle/dilemma for her that is the base line of the plot throughout this book. Do you tell the person or not? As I read, I kept thinking, “would I want to know that today was my last day?” and I couldn’t really decide. So it was easy to relate to Cassie as she struggled with the decision of telling people or not.
I enjoyed the story in this book and appreciated the twists and turns in the plot. I felt like Cassie was a contradiction in terms of her maturity. At some points in the story, she seems wise beyond her years, but then there are times where it is easy to see that she is obviously 16, with limited experiences. Overall, this was a fun book and there is definite potential for a sequel. (However, the ending is closure enough if there isn’t a second book.)
*short and snappy*
writing: clean and easy to read
plot: surprisingly twisty – as soon as you think the plot has become predictable, there is a twist
characters: solidly developed and very believable (I especially loved Nan)
judging by the cover: great cover! The image is wonderful, and I love the tagline - “If you had the power to see death, would you wish it away?” – it really gets you thinking about the story
miscellaneous: this is a 2010 Debut Author