3 5 starsThe Mark starts with a bang as Cassie trails after the man with the mark and witnesses his death It s gripping and suspenseful it draws you in and doesn t let go From the very beginning, Cassie presents herself as sympathetic character who has lost her parents and is now living with her grandmother She s strong and independent and doesn t break down when faced with hardships It s admirable.There are many interesting elements in the story, including Greek myths, concepts of fate, an 3 5 starsThe Mark starts with a bang as Cassie trails after the man with the mark and witnesses his death It s gripping and suspenseful it draws you in and doesn t let go From the very beginning, Cassie presents herself as sympathetic character who has lost her parents and is now living with her grandmother She s strong and independent and doesn t break down when faced with hardships It s admirable.There are many interesting elements in the story, including Greek myths, concepts of fate, and a shift in setting mid way through the novel The novel does a good of showing Cassie s grief, and bringing us along as Cassie explores her ability and toes the fine line between letting fate runs its course and interfering.However, a third of the way through, there is a change in setting and characters that also signals a shift in tone and pacing, which can be rather jarring The romantic relationship s in this novel leaves me wanting I wasn t much interested in Luke, the philosophical boyfriend, and the ending itself is anti climatic I do wish it were longer and had wrapped up better Still, this is a decent read, with a likeable heroine The Mark is about sixteen year old Cassandra Renfield, a girl who has always seen the mark The mark shines on certain people and is luminescent like a candle light and it also tells Cassie that the person it s shining on is going to die during that very day Cassie s unique ability is a gift as much as it is a curse There are a plethora of questions that come with her predicament How does the mark work Is she the only one who can see it Are her deceased parents involved The final questio The Mark is about sixteen year old Cassandra Renfield, a girl who has always seen the mark The mark shines on certain people and is luminescent like a candle light and it also tells Cassie that the person it s shining on is going to die during that very day Cassie s unique ability is a gift as much as it is a curse There are a plethora of questions that come with her predicament How does the mark work Is she the only one who can see it Are her deceased parents involved The final question, or the one that brings the novel in full circle and Cassie s conscious to a stuttering halt if you knew that today was the person s last, would you tell them What an interesting novel To be honest, when I first read the book jacket I thought that The Mark would be another cliche, over used plot line with an adolescent suffering from a unique power and not sure how to use it Admittedly, that was how the book started But by the end, Nadol took it in a completely different direction and I ended up loving it I can t wait for the sequel Cassie was also an extremely likable character Nadol writes first person prose very well ATTENTION this review contains mild spoilers, nothing that will ruin the book for you, only enough to make you understand why I didn t like it More litteral spoilers I hid This book is half a book in my opinion, or it was written doing half the effort.The characters Cassandra She s got a crappy life, I gotta give it to her, so I get the crappy attitude and the depressing personality but we never see her complain about it, about her parents and then about view spoiler her grandma dying ATTENTION this review contains mild spoilers, nothing that will ruin the book for you, only enough to make you understand why I didn t like it More litteral spoilers I hid This book is half a book in my opinion, or it was written doing half the effort.The characters Cassandra She s got a crappy life, I gotta give it to her, so I get the crappy attitude and the depressing personality but we never see her complain about it, about her parents and then about view spoiler her grandma dying hide spoiler , we only see her being a crappy and depressed person who knows when someone s going to die Nan She s a crappy grandmother, I mean, I get that not everyone s grandmother can be as awesome as mine but the fact that she hid so many things from Cassie and not because it was good for her but because life was easier for her if Cassie never knew that view spoiler Cassie s mom had lived until Cassie was 5, not 2, meaning there were 3 years Cassie could ve spent with her mother but the grandmother stole from her, yeah I know Cassie s mom was nuts but she kind of wasn t, was she She was traumatized but everything she said was true, but no one got it, EXCEPT NAN WHO SHOULD VE But NO she put her in a nut house to rot and forgot about her which is mean also, Nan gave Cassie the book about who she was and all that crap, but did she explain anything to Cassie NOOOO, she let Cassie think she was half crazy and the only one in the family with that gift and I ll talk about how Cassie handled that gift in a while That is pure evil, why would you not tell your grandaughter that you understand why would you not help her hide spoiler Jack He s our MC s supposed first crush, but apart from the fact that he s a baseball player hot has a girlfriend we get nothan that apart from 2 weak and unimportant conversations with our MC, he s a nobody, of course until view spoiler he appears in Berin, where our MC is SOOOO surprised to see him but GOSH, even I remembered he was going to visit the universities there I mean really It was obvious and dumb because it was staged so MC s current boyfriend would feel jealous hide spoiler.But still, not important, I didn t even like him he was a character I didn t pay attention no matter how much Nadol threw in our faces the fact our MC had a crush on him PATHETIC Lucas Let me just start with EEEWWWW, he s such a stalker from the begining then our MC is soooooooo dumb, she like view spoiler sleeps with him on the first date after never having a boyfriend being a virgin all this I suppose, but we re never given that info Like, really I am not slut shaming I think that s awful, she should do whatever she wants but taking into account she barely knows the guy and has never had sex before, I just don t think it s a great example of an MC to just sleep with the guy and not even think about it idk, it s my personal opinion, maybe I wanted a bigger fuss over the having sex with a stranger hide spoiler and I never liked him all through the book I liked him less when he got a fricking God complex over what Cassie should do with her gift, he pressured her and he got all offended on her when she didn t agree That was the only part of the book I liked her even though I agreed with LucasThe story I liked the idea, the complex situation of not knowing what to do, it s so philosphical and interesting but I always thought it was a no brainer THE MC DOES THE RIGHT THING or SHE THINKS SHE S DOING THE RIGHT THING Unless our MC is not a hero But in the case our MC is not a hero then she could be the Villain or if the author feels intelligent enough to write about an ambiguous character where we don t even know if he she is good or bad then OK I will be fine with it.But in The Mark, having an MC CLEARLY cathegorized as a hero who has suffered a lot and is trying to discover what s the right thing to do for that MC to finally get as a conclusion that NOT DOING ANYTHING is the best way to go it s so sad and yeah, when she did do something view spoiler telling that construction guy the guy not dying then killing his wife 3 days later hide spoiler it backfired, BUT I think it was because she tried to change it she specifically tried to change the course of things, therefore fate smacked her in the ass said STFU, dude, don t mess with things while if she had only tried INFORMING the people that well, they had 24hs to live, so they should make the best out of them maybe the backfire wouldn t have happened, because you re telling that person that he she is going to die, you re not giving another option, and yes, maybe telling them they will die will change the course of things, but there s a possibility that it won t but they ll diepeacefullyI think, of course, everyone should have their own opinions, it s, as I said previously, a philosophical matter it is hard to make a definite path to take, to be sure it is the right one But GIVING UP, like our MC did That s just SAD and in no way something I want in an MCI don t recommend this book, it feels amateurish and like the author didn t have a clear idea what she wanted to comunicate with her book also that she didn t have an idea HOW she wanted her characters to be portrayed This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I actually won an ARC of this book, which makes me extremely squee y It also makes me want to write a good review I am clearly doing very well with that objective, as evidenced by the inclusion of squee y in my first sentence Yay grammar and spelling Cassandra Renfield has been able to see the Mark on random people, usually strangers As long as she can remember, a faint glow around passer bys has been visible, but she s never thought much of it It s just something she sees, and other peop I actually won an ARC of this book, which makes me extremely squee y It also makes me want to write a good review I am clearly doing very well with that objective, as evidenced by the inclusion of squee y in my first sentence Yay grammar and spelling Cassandra Renfield has been able to see the Mark on random people, usually strangers As long as she can remember, a faint glow around passer bys has been visible, but she s never thought much of it It s just something she sees, and other people don t, but it hasn t come up enough for her to be worried about it Her Nan doesn t seem worried either, so why should she Then as the book opens, she has just realized what the Mark means It means that the people glowing like that, are going to die soon very soon This is their last day alive.And then THE question comes up If you know that today is a person s last day alive, do you tell them The pacing of this book was not what I expected I found I was able to predict what would happen next, but it didn t happen WHEN I expected A lot of the book was not what I expected I read the back and thought Oh, a romance Her new boyfriend is going to show her how to use her power to save lives, and then there ll be kissing Well yes, there was kissing, but it s not that simple Nothing is really that simple The romance kinda freaked me out, to be honest Isn t a 19 year old sleeping with a 16 year old, uh, statutory rape I thought that s what it was in the US, at least I really liked how the answers to Cassandra s dilemma had to be puzzled through, because it is a true dilemma It s not that she just has a super power to save lives, it is revealed that what she chooses to do with her gift has consequences on other people s lives, beyond the person walking around with the Mark on them Think Greek myths, and the fact that traditionally, cheating death is frowned on by The Powers That Be And right now, I have to mention a facet of the book that I loved LOVED LOVED LOVED Cassandra takes a philosophy course swoons And it isn t just a token course, Oh, Cassie s going to be late, her philosophy course is tonight Silly Cassie and her philosophy course, she s so smart She s really smart She s taking philosophy, you know No, she actually TAKES philosophy, and it s PART OF THE PLOT.There needs to beYA featuring Plato Nicomachean Ethics used in romance FTW Let s argue Hume instead of making Hummus Ahem.Right, back to the story I really, really liked how Cassandra was a smart heroine And that her intelligence was shown, not just told to me Though if I can have a moment, I was sad that she didn t read any Aquinas What, we go straight from aristotle to Descarte She even skipped the stoics SPOILERS However, I was frustrated by the rather post modernistic answer she came to by the end of the book There is no way to tell if what I do will be good, therefore do nothing There s no way to tell, because you re ONLY ONE THIRD OF A TRIO You need the other fates to know what to do SPOILERS And yes, I hope that a sequel will be written, so I can seehow she deals with this Sixteen year old Cassandra Renfield has seen the mark since forever a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back The one time she mentioned it to someone else, the mark was dismissed as a trick of the light So Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant Until the day she watches a man die Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person s imminent death Not how or where, only when todayCassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, answers, always careful to hide her secret How does the mark work Why her Most importantly if you know today is someone s last, should you tell them I d been wanting to read The Mark since the deal was first announced The premise was brilliant if you knew it was someone s last day, should you tell The concept grabbed hold of me and never let go Even after reading it, I m still thinking about it The book made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all it made me think I found myself reading muchslowly than I usually do because my mind was processing everything on a personal level How would I feel if that were me Would I tell or I d been wanting to read The Mark since the deal was first announced The premise was brilliant if you knew it was someone s last day, should you tell The concept grabbed hold of me and never let go Even after reading it, I m still thinking about it The book made me laugh, it made me cry, but most of all it made me think I found myself reading muchslowly than I usually do because my mind was processing everything on a personal level How would I feel if that were me Would I tell or wouldn t I A fantastic debut all around I actually finished this book a couple of days ago and am still thinking about it I love when a story sticks with me, and in this case, Cassie s ability as well I find myself playing the what if gameas in What if I knew someone was about to die Nadol did a great job dealing with both Cassie s discovery of, and coming to terms with, her unusual gift Believable, and at times heartbreaking, Cassie s journey is a fantastic read What a beautiful, thought provoking book Cassie is a wonderful heroine a very real girl that I would enjoy hanging out with She hasn t had an easy life, but she never comes across as a poor me type of person The Mark even made me cry at times, and I think it was because of how well drawn the characters were I can t wait forfrom Jen Nadol I really wanted to like this oneReally But though The Mark was enjoyable to some extent, it just didn t suck me in the way I was hoping it would However, The Mark does pose a very interesting question if you know someone s going to die within 24 hours, what do you do And as a side note, don t go in expecting an action filled or even a fast paced read because you won t be able to appreciate The Mark for the gradually developing and thought probing story it is.I m going to divert from t I really wanted to like this oneReally But though The Mark was enjoyable to some extent, it just didn t suck me in the way I was hoping it would However, The Mark does pose a very interesting question if you know someone s going to die within 24 hours, what do you do And as a side note, don t go in expecting an action filled or even a fast paced read because you won t be able to appreciate The Mark for the gradually developing and thought probing story it is.I m going to divert from the norm here and start off with the positive I really liked Jen Nadol s concept, though I do find it a bit ironic that a death is foreshadowed by light It s nothing extremely weird, and in fact, it sort of makes me feel happier about the idea of death it s not darkness, it s light I clearly saw Cassie s internal debate between tell and don t tell, and though I had my own opinion from the very beginning, I could understand her struggle and cheered when she reached her larger insight Lucas definitely played devil s advocate for Cassie, and I groaned every time she succumbed to what I knew, knew , wouldn t yield pleasant results That being said, Cassie isn t an extremely weak character, she s just naive which can get annoying, though not majorly so and a teenage girl with some believable flaws.I mentioned Lucas, and I never, ever liked him wants to bash him a few times with a rock pebble Okay, so maybe I had a minor crush on him the first time he was described as the intellectual coffee shop cute type, but my mind was waving player alert I swear Once I started getting around that, I found Lucas had an annoyingly strong sense of morality and mistrust and that, to put it simply, made him a jerk I think he was mainly placed as an obstacle for Cassie, though, ugh, he was just so predictable and unlikable As for the other characters, with the exclusion of Cassie, I had neutral feelings for Cassie was brought to the forefront in The Mark, and the secondary characters faded into the background There were mentions here and there, but the other characters would basically come in for some time, play their part when convenient, then leave Like Lucas, they werelike obstacles and aids rather than characters with clearly defined personalities and motivations The brief appearances were bad in that I didn t feel like there was enough support, but good because it set up for a sequel.Overall, I think what really determines how much you ll like The Mark is how much you like the focus of the book, which is ALL on Cassie On the plus side, I really got an in depth view of her, and I liked the varying philosophies Jen Nadol brought up On the other hand, there were some very predictable parts and the middle section got monotonous there was the introduction, a lull, then multiple surprising revelations at the end My final verdict interesting, but nothing in particular stood out or really captured my attention.Bottom Line The Mark was an enjoyable book, though there was never an extremely exciting or loveable part that made me feel fully invested in the story It wasn t extremely thought provoking, but it was definitely thought probing and had an interesting mix of depth and simple teenage issues In general, a good start for debut author Jen Nadol, and I ll be looking forward to where she takes this unique premise that will hopefully only improve from here on out If you re looking for something that s light yet will keep your mind on its figurative toes, look no further than The Mark Slightly under a 4.I had been hearing a lot of good stuff about The Mark, a debut by Jen Nadol, and I was intrigued by the premise which, though gaining in popularity and starting to crop up everywhere, was a bit fresher at the time I have to say, overall I enjoyed it, but I do have some reservations.It took me awhile to get into the story the way I wanted to It was never that I disliked it, because I didn t, but it took me quite awhile to feel invested in Cassie and her story It just felt a Slightly under a 4.I had been hearing a lot of good stuff about The Mark, a debut by Jen Nadol, and I was intrigued by the premise which, though gaining in popularity and starting to crop up everywhere, was a bit fresher at the time I have to say, overall I enjoyed it, but I do have some reservations.It took me awhile to get into the story the way I wanted to It was never that I disliked it, because I didn t, but it took me quite awhile to feel invested in Cassie and her story It just felt a little soft to me I don t know if that will make sense to you, but it s a book about death, essentially, and everything was just a bit too rose colored for me There was a disconnect, and as I was reading, I felt like, okay, that s nicebut forgettable, essentially, and it took me about 1 2 of the book to feel invested and start caring.I think what brought me around was that at one point, the book becomes very philosophical the result of Cassie taking a summer philosophy course and beginning to question her ability and its implications I read one review where the reader didn t like that the book sort of rotated on this, and becamea coming of age book, all about self discovery rather than the paranormal romance she thought she was going to be reading I get that, but for me, it was the questions that made it Nadol was able to depict that endless cycling of ifs and buts that would come from trying to work your way through this type of ability Cassie came alive for me in this, because I thought her reactions and thought processes felt very authentic She was realistic and hesitant and very, very cautious, which played well off of Lucas self righteousness and easy morality This finally allowed me to connect to Cassie, and changed my opinion of the book enough so that I felt it actually was a pretty successful book in the end Except Except for the end Well, not the very end, but near to Without giving anything away, up until that point, Cassie s ability and its origins was fairly ambiguous, and I enjoyed that I m all for willing suspension of disbelief, and I don t feel everything has to be explained or clear so long as it works If Cassie doesn t know, we don t know, and that makes sense But then right at the end, there was something thrown in that sort of changed the whole thing for me, and I am not sure how I feel about it I don t know if this is going to be a stand alone book I would respect it , honestly, if it was , but because of the element introduced at the end and a few loose ends, I have a feeling there iscoming If said element was to lay groundwork for a series, it felt a little sloppy to me, and a little silly, if I m being honest After all of the well thought philosophy, it really disappointed me because it felt like a ploy Maybe I m just being cynical, but it is what it is, and it knocked back my opinion of the book again Not enough to outweigh that I did enjoy it But between the beginning where I didn t care, and the end where I felt a bit cheated and irritated, I feel like I only got about 1 3 of a solid story that I care about It was a good 1 3, and I would recommend this , but it bears mentioning.So, all in all, a solid debut with some downsides, but still likely to win over teens and not so teens I know, I know You re thinking, why did you have to tell me all of these negatives just to say, But you should still read it Why do I do this Because I can