Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol

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?
*Warning! There are some minor spoilers ahead!* mind is still reeling from this book. The subject of death and weather or not to tell someone it's their last day on earth is not taken lightly between the covers of Jen Nadol's debut The Mark. Nadol deals with this topic very well, leaving the reader to decide how they actually feel and determine which choice they would make for themselves. I liked the voice of the main character Cass. She is smart, sassy and independent, all good qualities. :) There was one notable snag that kept me from rating The Mark 5/5. The book started out with a YA voice, but towards the middle the story it lost its YA feel. It felt like someone who was commissioned to write a YA book (which seems to be the hot thing right now) and attempting to fit an adult story into the YA genre. I could be wrong, but that was my gut feeling. 16 year-olds being served wine, sleeping over at their boyfriends apartment (on the first date, might I add), having major theological discussions in college at the age of just seemed a bit of a stretch for me. Nadol does make a good attempt to explain most of this, and those explanations might satisfy some...but it just seemed a bit over the top for me. Why not just make it an adult book and target the paranormal romance genre if that is the case? Overall, I enjoyed the story and will read the sequel Vision when it is released in 2011. You can visit Jen Nadol at her website here, which also links to her blog.

Cover Art Commentary:
This cover is just gorgeous. I love the color (of course)! It makes me think of Cass laying back in the park, mulling things over. :)

Overall Rating:


  1. Good call. I love this review. Thanks for the observations and warnings. Much much much appreciated :)

  2. Yeah that seems a little weird for a sixteen year old! :)
    Cant wait to read this book for myself, love the cover, absolutley adore!

  3. Great review! I have a copy and I can't wait to read it and I agree, the plot sounds very intriguing!

  4. @Juju
    You're welcome! :) I really did enjoy the overall book, just a few gripes! :P

    I'm not saying those things don't happen in real life...but the context in which they were written, it seemed more adult than YA, to me at least. :P Can't wait to compare notes! :)

    Yay! We'll definitely have to compare notes when you're done! :)

  5. I agree about her being in college discussions. I did enjoy the book though

  6. You know, the cover of this book really reminds me of your blog! :P

  7. Great review!
    I really wanna read this!

    Anyway, I have an award for you here.
    Love your blog!

  8. @Liz
    Agreed. Just a few minor drawbacks really. The overall book was great! :)

    Hahahaha! I do love the purple! :)

    @Mizz Yasmin
    Thanks for the award! :)

  9. Thanks for the great review. I've been wanting to read this one for a while, but it hasn't so far reached the top of my wishlist. I found what you said about it seeming less YA after a point really interesting. It's often hard to pinpoint why a book is or isn't YA but you've done a brilliant job here.

  10. @Lauren
    Thanks! I know some people can be really touchy about criticisms regarding the genres of books, but this just really struck me as odd and out of place. Thank you so much for your positive feedback! I really did enjoy the overall story and hope you do too! :)

  11. Where the heck is your email address on here you silly girl! :)

    I just got your note about Original Sin, course it's ok! :)

    As for this review - awesome I really enjoyed The Mark as well!

  12. What a cute blog you have here. :) Nice review.

  13. @Jenn
    Yay! I will be posting my review of Original Sin soon! :)

    @Fiction Vixen
    Aw, thanks hon! :)