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The Marked Girl Hardcover – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Filmmaker Liv is working on a summer project when three mysterious teens dressed in nightgowns and carrying a sword suddenly appear. After her prop sword gets switched with the teens' real one, Liv tries to get rid of it by donating it to a museum, only to spot one of the teens in a museum security shirt. Her interest sparked, she follows and gets pulled into their quest to get home. Prince Cedric; his lethal fiancée, Kat; and his snarky cousin Merek fled through a portal between worlds when the Wraths took over their country, Caelum. The only way to get back is by finding lost scrolls before the Wraths, who are hunting them, do—and unbeknownst to Liv, her life history holds the key. Debut novelist Klingele balances high-stakes action, plot twists, and comedic scenes of the trio learning about modern L.A., while keeping the plot rolling at a fairly quick pace. Liv is a strong main character who uses realistic self-defense when appropriate and has 911 on speed dial when she does something potentially dangerously stupid. Her background as a foster kid influences her reactions, and Klingele shows the various sides of the foster care system. Liv's caseworker, Joe, is one of the few people whom she really trusts, but that doesn't mean she hasn't been in a variety of homes and hasn't run away before. By contrast, the romantic aspects of the book aren't as strong, and the descriptions of Caelum sound like a generic medieval fantasy setting. The ending clearly indicates a sequel, where hopefully these issues will be rectified. VERDICT A solid purchase for libraries where action-packed titles and urban fantasy series are popular.—Rebecca Quinones, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
“A magical debut with a big heart.” (Elissa Sussman, author of Stray)
“Klingele turns the typical portal fantasy inside out.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Debut novelist Klingele balances high-stakes action, plot twists, and comedic scenes...while keeping the plot rolling at a fairly quick pace. A solid purchase for libraries where action-packed titles and urban fantasy series are popular.” (School Library Journal)
“This entertaining series opener will leave teens waiting impatiently to find out what is in store for this likable cast of characters...should appeal to reluctant readers as well as fantasy fans.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
Top customer reviews
“The only way to decide, in the moment, was to determine which path was the one she could live with the least, and then take the other one.”
I feel like if I hadn’t read as many YA novels as I have, I would have enjoyed this more. A lot of elements in this story are the typical overused ones we see all too often. The love triangle is of course my usual favorite thing to make me instantly dislike a book and of course the special snowflake syndrome was quite rampant if you can’t tell by the title alone.The beginning felt quite rushed. Even the book questions on how no one notices all the “wraths” overrunning the city but doesn’t answer it’s own question. HOW COULD NO ONE POSSIBLY NOTICE in time before the city was teeming with monsters? How is a whole city’s security that bad? It felt more like a way to force the plot than a natural sequence of events. A lot of convenience at work in this novel.
The characters were pretty…standard.
The romance was barely noteworthy. I felt no spark between Liv and Cedric at all. Honestly though, I don’t really want them together. We have the lovely love triangle aspect to contend with. Kat is our lovely second lady. Well first lady. Cedric is betrothed to Kat. A political alliance sure but still something of precedence. When somebody is wearing a ring, I think they deserve the respect of one being faithful, political alliance or no. Or at least some damn honesty. Am I supposed to root for them when he has no intentions of breaking his betrothal? At least he said as much and told them to keep distance. Best thing he did in this book. He decided he should do the right thing over what he wants. *le gasp* I doubt it will last.
You know what the best friend Shannon’s advice is on the situation?
“So? So what if he’s getting married at some far-off, future date? He’s clearly into you now.“
Lovely. That is absolute crap advice. Which is sad because Shannon even having said this is probably my favorite character.
The romance wasn’t even moving. Liv is literally the first girl and pretty much ONLY girl Cedric has had contact with that wasn’t Kat or his sister Emme. There is no tension, the romantic scenes they DO have are just rather…awkward. Why do they like each other? Who knows?
Special snowflake alert! Since it is ENTIRELY IMPOSSIBLE for a YA heroine to just be a normal girl that happens to be in the right place at the right time, we better have a way to tie the two characters together. Since our lovely hero is from another world, IT JUST SO HAPPENS that the VERY FIRST GIRL and ONLY GIRL he meets in the new world JUST SO HAPPENS to have a !mysterious !unremovable tattoo THAT JUST SO HAPPENS to be EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED to return to their world. *gasp* *shock* *awe*
Now at least she is not the ONLY one with the “tattoo” (one of like…5) it felt once again like a plot device to force them to be together instead of letting Cedric be all “I won’t let you be in danger” noble-like.
This whole novel was convenient. She JUST SO HAPPENED to see Cedric at the EXACT MUSEUM she was planning to hock his sword to ON JUST THE EXACT DAY she decided to have the appointment. Her foster mom JUST SO HAPPENED to get hospitalized for drinking herself stupid on the EXACT day Cedric breaks into her house OH SO CONVENIENTLY leaving her with no parental figure wondering what she’s doing/where she is going. Oh wait, her caseworker! OH WAIT HE HAS THE TATTOO TOO! NO WAY! HER SIBLINGS DO TOO SO THEY ARE IN DANGER! NOOO! OH WAIT! Cedric’s sister is potentially evil and forces Liv’s brother through the portal to Caelum! Now Liv HAS TO GO to Caelum too because GOD FORBID they go without her! What would happen to the Romance?!? Everything they did, everything they found, everyone they ran into. So convenient. I know it’s a YA novel but I like a little more depth, more thought into how/why things happen. Each thing just felt more frustrating than the last. Maybe Kat can find someone to fall in love with and/or miraculously decide that what Liv and Cedric have is just so SPECIAL that she doesn’t want to be between them. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest.
I mean I can’t say it was bad but it was just so…bland. It had no spark for me. We get very little insight into the second world though that could potentially be changed in book two if the end of book one is anything to go on. Cedric is so cookie cutter and bland. I don’t know if I really plan to read the next one. Maybe? If it’s about Shannon and Merek? Sure. They were the two best characters in the series.
There were a lot of characters in this short book, but all of them had distinct personalities and carried their own weight. None of them felt out place or unnecessary, which is great because sometimes having a loaded cast of characters isn’t always a good thing. This book has a dual perspective and rotates between Liv (the film student) and Cedric (the prince). These two perspectives are great because it allowed me to see two sides of the coin, Liv’s an insider who grew up in modern day California while Cedric knows nothing of the land he now inhabits. The dual perspective gave you and insider and outsider look at the world.
The plot in this story was simple so I don’t want to give it away in this review. However, having a simple plot isn’t a bad thing because this novel is more focused on its characters than anything else. Yes, the plot matters but it kind of takes a back seat here. All in all, though it wasn’t so simple that it was boring, but it may remind people of other fantasy novels and movies.
I truly enjoyed this novel. It may not be the greatest fantasy I have ever read, but I couldn’t wait to see what would happen at the end, and whether or not Cedric and Liv got together. It is fun, fast paced and reminiscent of Mortal Instruments because it is a fantasy that takes place in modern day society and involves a girl being introduced to a world that she didn’t even know existed.
I would definitely check out this book if you like modern day fantasies, parallel universes and film references.
Also the sequel is coming out soon. Yay!
To my surprise, she finished it in just two days and proceeded to tell me all about it. She was so engaged, I had to write a review. This book is definitely worth your time.
Most recent customer reviews
I first heard about “The Marked Girl” from my friend’s YouTube video where she not only talked about the book, but...Read more