29 April 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?

The Low Down
"The Mark" begins with Cass following a man with a strange halo around him.  It is something she's witnessed before.  What she sees is her curse.  Or is it a blessing in disguise?  She has the power of witnessing something that marks when someone is about to die.  This strange ability lands her in middle-of-nowhere town where she lives with her aunt.  There, she starts a new life.  Far away from her old friends and hopefully, her old fears.  But even with a new boyfriend, new friends, and a new routine, the mark returns to haunt her.  Questions now surround her mother's life and what she never knew about her.  Even as she delves deeper into the past, the question remains: if she knew someone was to die, should she tell?
The Best Part
The writing is superb.  The story flows well and there are a few plot twists.  It's a good supernatural story with a horrific undertone.  The topic isn't original but Jen Nadol puts a good spin on it.
The Romance Deal
Cass's relationship with Lucas is fine, even if he's not what you'd call a common type.  Being unique is good, but I had a hard time reading about him due to the fact that he's not MY type.  He's extremely opinionated and tries to force this onto other people.  I don't see any real connection between Cass and Lucas that keeps them together.  It's an interesting relationship, however.
The Down Side
This is not exactly my favorite book.  It's not something that really lasted in my mind after I read it.  Cass isn't my ideal heroine.  She seemed so fragile and weak.  She seemed so much like a child that it scraped on my nerves a time or two.  Some call her likable immediately but I'm not one of them.  I was just hoping that she could just make a decision and stick with it.

Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 288
  • published - January 2010
  • publisher - Bloomsbury USA
  • genre - fantasy
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 3/5
  • series - The Mark
    • The Mark
    • The Vision