Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Mark Book Review

The Mark is a novel by debut-author Jen Nadol. It was published in February of 2010 by Bloomsbury Press. Both the U.S. hardback and paperback have 228 pages spanning 30 chapters. The sequel is set to be published in September 2011.
Synopsis: Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark- a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it to someone else, the mark was dismissed as a trick of the light. Cassie starts to consider its rare occurrences insignificant-until the day she watches a man 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 porbing the line between decision and destiny. Through 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?
This book received a 3-4/5 stars. Certain parts, like the middle part of the book, received a 4/5. I wanted to like this novel but the combination of almost no driving-force behind the plot and the writing style made it impossible. While the idea of the book was behind fascinating, the first part of the book had nothing pushing it. I couldn't figure out what the rising action was. The second part of the book was really good and finally had a purpose. However, it was too little too late. As a result, the overall work suffered. I liked the characters, although Cassie was the only one who was developed. Also, the ending felt like a cop-out. If the author wanted to follow that plot line, she should have introduced it earlier in the story. I would recommend this book because it wasn't all that bad but don't expect too much.

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