Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: The Mark, Jen Nadol

Sixteen year old Cassandra Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back. 

The one time she mentioned it to someone else, the mark was dismissed as a trick of the light. So Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her? 

Most importantly: if you know today is someone's last, should you tell them? (Goodreads)

This book left me torn. I loved the concept of being able to see death, and Cassie's struggles to decide what she should do felt very real. The Greek mythology ties were a bonus in my book. (Who doesn't like a good classic?) And I think the philosophy debates were some of my favorite parts of the book.

But, I felt like I was reading a rough draft. Not that there were grammar errors or anything. It just seemed like The Mark was just an outline of a great story. The plot was there, but very little description, and hardly any back story. For example, Cassie's boss at her summer job is interested in being more than just friends, but we don't find this out until weeks after he's asked her on a date. And then it is only mentioned in passing. The book is filled with places where the story could be expounded on, and allow the reader to feel closer to the MC.

The one place I am grateful for the lack of detail is in Cassie's love life. It is obvious that she is in a sexual relationship, (which I don't really agree with, but anyway...) but Nadol basically skips over it, allowing readers like me, who'd rather not know, to go on with the story.

I am curious enough about the plot to pick up the next book in the series, but it isn't something demanding my immediate attention.

Rating:3/5 stars

YA Notes: Suggestive content, language, underage drinking.


  1. the premise sounds super interesting! and the cover is enchanting. :)