Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Friday, April 2, 2010

Where's Your Tattoo?

Marked: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Zoey is a normal American teenager. She lives with her family in Oklahoma, goes to school, and is the "rebel" of the family. That changes one day when she was marked with a tattoo on her for. In this world vampires exist and have openly for many years in society. Vampires mark humans who they have foreseen might be able to make the change. Zoey's mother, controlled by her new husband, does nothing to help Zoey to the vampire training school, the one place where she will be safe. Taking matters into her own hands Zoey goes to her Cherokee grandmother for help. While there Zoey had an encounter the the goddess Nyx (goddess of the vampires). Zoey goes to the House of Night school and finds that she is no ordinary fledgling. Her encounter with the goddess has giver her powers and desires that are equal to that of a full vampire. Zoey has to try and learn what the goddess gave her these powers for and how best to use them, while of course still dealing with the normal teenage problems of a new school and friends.

When I started this book I was determined not to like it. Middle America and vampires just seemed too forced to even be worth reading. By the second chapter though I was hooked. The book is very fun. At time the writing seemed a bit unrealistic, I read that the author had her daughter help her keep the teenage parts true to life and I don't think that always was the case. Other than that one point I really enjoyed the story. The book is very fast paced and all the action takes place over a week or so. Zoey is a strong character that was very self aware for a teenager. The plot seemed a bit predictable with the mean girl being evil, but as we are reminded throughout the book things are not always as they seem. I am hoping for a great twist in the books to come. I liked the world that is set up in this book with vampires being apart of society and being especially gifted in the arts. We read of a lot of famous musicians, actors, and artists that are actually vampires. Added into that world is Zoey's Cherokee heritage which provides a nice backdrop for some of the rituals that are performed. Overall it was a fun read and I am excited to pick up book two. Recommended for girls ages 12-16

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