Saturday, December 20, 2008

2. Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Cast, P.C. and Kristin. Marked. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007.
Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love

Marked documents the story of Zoey, an average teenage girl who just wants to fit in. Zoey is “marked” which means she has begun the process of changing into a vampire. Luckily, there is a vampire finishing school located right in her hometown. Convenient coincidences aside, readers must trudge along with the protagonist while she whines about wanting to fit in for the next 300 pages. Once I got past the inherent racism of the text (every non-Western or indigenous culture to have ever existed are vampire cultures) the book was a fast read.

This book is like Twilight meets Harry Potter meets Mean Girls but the plot lacks the kind of substance that I was hoping for. The incessant pop-culture references and teeny-bopper narration become irritating after a while. As a teen, I would have been annoyed at the lack of credit Cast gives to her teenage readership. Marked, which is the first book in the House of Night series, sets up the possibility for an interesting sequel and provides a fascinating new take on what it means to be a vampire. It also sends pretty decent messages to its young readers: be open and accepting of people be they gay, or straight, black or white, etc.; respect yourself; love your body, and stand up to wrongdoers.

Rating: 2 darts out of 5

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