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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Marked: A House of Night Novel, Book One* by P.C. and Kristin Cast- young adult book review

Also by P.C. and Kristin Cast:

Betrayed (A House of Night Novel, Book Two)


click here for more on Matthew Peterson's young reader fantasy *Paraworld Zero (Parallel Worlds, Book 1)*

Marked: A House of Night Novel, Book One
by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Grades 7-9 306 pages St. Martin's Griffin May 2007 Paperback    

I like vampire books, okay? Sue me! When I saw that Marked: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast was available for review, I jumped on it. This book is the first in a new young adult series about vampires.

One day, Zoey Redbird is an average, 16-year-old schoolgirl, worrying about her ex-boyfriend’s drinking and her upcoming Geometry test. Then it happens. A Vampyre Tracker “marks” her, and life as she knows it has ended. When you receive the “mark”, a crescent-shaped tattoo on your forehead, it means that you have been chosen to become a vampyre. And you will, if you can survive “the Change.”

From that moment, all things are different. Her best friend looks like she’s scared to death of Zoey. Her own family, led by the sanctimonious step-monster John, thinks she has done something evil to deserve it. And being Marked means that she will have to leave her own home and move to the House of Night, the vampyre finishing school that will train her as a fledgling to go through the Change and become an adult vamp. But Zoey is destined to more than just any fledgling. After a fall in which she hits her head, Zoey connects with the Vampyre Goddess Nix and is told she is special. She is to be the Goddess eyes and ears in the modern world, destined to have great Goddess powers. When Zoey awakens, her Mark is colored in, something that doesn’t happen to fledglings.

With Neferet, a high-priestess of Nix, as her mentor, Zoey starts her new life as a fledgling. Her roommate, Stevie Rae is great, and she is given an invitation to join the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, although the leader of the group isn’t at all what she appears to be. How bad can life be?

In the first book in a series, we are introduced to a new world - a world in which vampyres are real and are usually the most successful and famous people around. A world in which the People of Faith are taught to be frightened of them. And we are introduced to the House of Night and the ways of the vampyre population of today.

I was completely hooked by the first chapter; P.C. Cast has done a fantastic job of laying the groundwork for an exciting series and, with the help of her daughter, Kristin, has made a very believable character in Zoey Redbird. The mother-daughter writing team has done a wonderful job capturing the essence of a 16-year-old girl: scared, looking for acceptance, and trying to fit in. Isn’t that what all 16-year-olds want out of life? In my opinion, Marked is definitely above average in the emerging “teen” paranormal genre, a genre that is growing at a lightning speed. This book isn’t a bloody horror novel by any means. It is much more than that. I found it to be exotic, engaging, and just plain fun, and I highly recommend it.

Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Stephanie Toland/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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