The Mark by Jen Nadol
Publication Date: January 19th 2010
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Bronze star (2/5 stars)
Synopsis: 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?
Review: I don’t like giving negative reviews towards debut books sometimes because it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Lets start with the good things first. The first half of the book was the best. The scene where Cassie saw the man die (non-spoiler) was very well-done. Even the hospital scene with her grandmother was realistic. Nadol’s writing was great, it was easy to read and well written.
Things went spiraling downhill when Cassie became damsel-in-distress and relied so much on a certain guy who was the complete opposite of Prince Charming. To me, I felt that her character was flat most of the time and some of her decisions were childish and did not appear to show any maturity in them.
When I read books, I like the relationships to be honest. That is yet another reason why I did not enjoy The Mark. Cassie lied about her age to her boyfriend yet she claimed that she loved him. If you love someone, I’m pretty sure you would admit your real age and be frank with them. Another thing that annoyed me was the fact that Cassie constantly lied. Not just to her boyfriend. To everyone! There I was trying to symphatise with her and she blantly lies without blinking. The biggest peeve of all is that Cassie’s relationship with him seemed forced. I did not see the connection nor the chemistry between them, let’s face it, it was pretty darn unbelievable.
I was warned beforehand that The Mark was not a supernatural book and more of a thought-provoking book. Yup, indeed. There was so much pondering going on. Should I tell? Should I don’t tell? I wanted to ask Cassie why she was being so fickle and why she let a guy make decisions for her. Sigh.
The Mark is not a terrible book but it also is not something I’ll start recommending to everyone I see. Perhaps you will enjoy this book if you do not mind some far-fetched plot, an annoying protagonist and a selfish love interest. I really really wanted to like this book but it just didn’t work out.