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The Mark Hardcover – January 19, 2010

44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

“Am I Cassie Renfield, descendant of the gods, or just a girl at the end of a long line of crazy people?” Sixteen-year-old Cassie sometimes sees a full-body glow around individuals, but rather than being good news, this glow indicates they will die within 24 hours. Cassie has always had this “gift,” but its significance only fully dawns on her after she witnesses the glow on her beloved grandmother, who has been her guardian since Cassie lost both her parents at an early age. Shaken by her grandmother’s death, and finally realizing the full impact of her “gift,” Cassie must decide if she is meant to intervene in the fate of those who wear the mark. First-time author Nadol has interwoven an absorbing and thoughtful philosophical dilemma with a YA romance. There are moments of predictability, and the potential familial connection to the Three Fates is a little off-putting, but characters grapple convincingly with the moral question and nothing is oversentimentalized. A great book for discussion groups, this will engender plenty of conversation. Grades 9-12. --Cindy Welch

About the Author

Jen Nadol grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, the hometown of John Updike, Taylor Swift, and the now-defunct Monopoly railroad. She has a BA in literature from American University and has lived in Washington DC, Boston, and New York City. She currently resides in a 150-year-old farmhouse in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and three young sons and is at work on her next two related novels. She has no paranormal abilities and is pretty happy about that.

www.jennadolbooks.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599904314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599904313
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,442,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jen Nadol grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, the hometown of John Updike, Taylor Swift, and the now-defunct Monopoly railroad. She has a BA in literature from American University and has lived in Washington DC, Boston, and New York City. She currently resides in a 150-year-old farmhouse in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and three young sons. Visit her on the web at www.jennadolbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dark Faerie Tales on February 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Quick & Dirty: A well-written and thought-provoking tale that will have you intrigued.

Opening Sentence: There is nothing like the gut-hollowing experience of watching someone die, especially when you know it's coming.

The Review:

Cassie Renfield has the freakish ability to see The Mark, an aura surrounding someone indicating that they will soon die. To make matters worse, Cassie sees The Mark around her grandmother and is haunted by the fact that she wasn't able to save her. When Cassie's grandmother dies, she is forced to relocate and live with her estranged aunt, who only cares about her own life and career. Cassie begins to search for answers and her inner struggles drive the plot forward.

Cassie is immediately likable, and her situation is compelling. It's interesting seeing Cassie grapple with trying to understand her ability and its ramifications. She struggles with the burden of choosing between trying to help people or letting fate run its course. There's also an intriguing mystery surrounding the death of her parents. Less intriguing though is Cassie's relationship with her romantic interest, Lucas. Although their relationship is characterized by manipulation and deception, it falls a little flat and I for one simply couldn't get into that part of the story.

Some other parts of the otherwise compelling story fall a little flat. The ending in particular is a little anti-climatic. In fact, the story generally could use more action. If you're hoping for a book driven by a solid romantic plotline, this isn't it. While Cassie does have a relationship with Lucas, this story is more about Cassie's self discovery. In addition, I felt that the secondary characters were a little lacking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By princess bookie on January 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My Thoughts: We are first introduced to Cassie. She's just a normal girl who longs for a family. Yeah, sure she has Nan but she still wonders about her parents often. They were killed in a car crash when she was young. She has always seen the light on people who are going to die but she never knew what it meant, until recently. We are introduced to all the side characters. Nan is her grandmother who took her in when her parents passed away, schoolmates, and than the 2 guys who I adored at first glance. We meet Lucas who she meets when she goes to live with her aunt. He is a college TA and Cassie gets close to him and they form a relationship. We also meet Jack who is her friend from home. We don't get much interaction between Jack and Cassie but I tended to like him more than Lucas. We learn more about Cassie and how she can see a person's death. She doesn't know much about her gift, only that she sees the light and they die within 24 hours. I loved this book. There were times I wanted to yell, cry, and laugh! If you knew someone was going to die in 24 hours would you tell them? Would they want to know? If it was your last day on earth what would you want to do? Read this book to find out what happens to Cassie and which guy does she end up with? Who understands her? What happens? Does Cassie learn to deal with her "unusual" gift??

Overall: Really enjoyed this one! Read it in one sitting! I really liked Cassie and I liked the guys and how each one understood her and how they made her "feel."

Cover: I think the cover fits the book! And its soooo perty!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By April on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When you read the summary for The Mark you may think that there could be some action, at least if you think like me. I thought there could be some somehow with her ability. Maybe when she helped people with it or learned about it herself. But, I was wrong. So if go into reading this thinking like I did then you will be disappointed.

This was more of a book where Cassie deals with learning different truths, both about her family and about herself personally. She has to step into the "real world" before she is actually ready but in the end it does help her to accept her ability. She meets a family member she didn't know she had and she has her first "adult" relationship. This guy is someone that she confides in about her ability one day (for a reason) and he is the first person other than her Nan that she has told.

I finished this story with mixed feelings. It was a nice story of Cassie coming to accept her ability, to learn things about her family. Somehow though I was left feeling a little like, huh. It wasn't until like the last chapter or so that the answer to her ability came out to her. I kind of feel like it should have come out sooner. I don't want to spoil anything but what she learned at the end I wish that the author would have gone into more depth, maybe that will be done in the sequel.

The Mark was an easy read. Jen Nadol's writing was easy too follow. I wish I had liked this book more, really I do but I just felt like there could have been more. For a debut book though I think that Jen did a pretty good job. It is a book that can make you think like Cassie. If you knew someone was going to die would you tell them? If you did or didn't how would it affect you, them or even the universe? Does every decision you make really affect everyone else?
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