Marked - P.C. Cast

You know the term, "Never judge a book by its cover?" Well, Marked by P.C. Cast was one of these books. I saw this book online and in the bookstore and thought it looked good because it had a nice cover and was about vampires (which for some odd reason I have come to really enjoy in the last year). I was wrong. I actually struggled to get through this book.

I have never read a book that was written in teenspeak before so I was shocked at how horrible the writing was.  The story is told from the perspective of Zoey, a teenage girl who has been marked to become a vampyre. Not only does the reader have to read all about her teen angst relating to her clothes, hair, and friends/family, we have to read it in a like totally awesome way. Yes, that's right. She writes like a valley girl from the 80s at times, has special teen names for her adversaries, and of course has the obligatory drunk football playing ex-boyfriend.

Zoey also has problems with her fundamentalist Christian step-father who is constantly starting prayer trees and controls her mother to the point where she has become a shell of a mother. Then there's the rituals at her new school, House of Night. I felt like the description of them lasted far longer than they should have. It really detracted from the story for me and ended up feeling like there wasn't a whole lot of story until the last 30 pages or so. I think for me, the religious (including the rituals worshiping the goddess Nix) portion of the book overshadowed the plot, and I got tired of reading about it.

The writing was by far the worst part of the book. Just because it is a YA book doesn't mean the author has to dumb down the language so that a teenager can understand (see J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series). I also got tired of the bad language in the book. I know teens swear, but I don't need to read it in a book. To me, it shows a lack of imagination with language. It also had numerous references to oral sex which I think is inappropriate subject matter for a young teenager (I never read about that as a teen and I had a fairly liberal upbringing with what I was allowed to listen, watch, and read). I am not a particularly conservative person, but if I had children under the age of 16, this is the first book that I think I'd have issues with them reading.

Overall, I'd give the writing 1/2 star and the story 1 1/2 stars for a total of 2 stars. The story itself ended ok, but there wasn't enough of it for me to be satisfied.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I don't read Vampire lit myself, but I know some other mom's who might need this info.

Carin said...

No problem Scrabblequeen. I think if I had a kid who was dead set on reading it, I'd read it at the same time as them so that we could discuss it. It was really just a bad book, but it is really popular with teens I think.

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