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Marked (House of Night #1)

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The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends. Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 5/1/2007 Pages: 320 Reading Level: Age 13 and Up


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The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends. Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 5/1/2007 Pages: 320 Reading Level: Age 13 and Up

30 review for Marked (House of Night #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Haleema

    Beware of spoilers! (But then again, just don't read this book.) Warning: This review is just me being very negative. In no way will this review sound intelligent and well written. Therefore, if you wish to continue, you may. Anyway, I will start all the way from the beginning. There are so many things I'd like to point out. I pick up the book. I see the cover. It's a picture of half a girl's face. I'm guessing that's Zoey. Whatever. I look at the back. There is a comment from Gena Showalter on the Beware of spoilers! (But then again, just don't read this book.) Warning: This review is just me being very negative. In no way will this review sound intelligent and well written. Therefore, if you wish to continue, you may. Anyway, I will start all the way from the beginning. There are so many things I'd like to point out. I pick up the book. I see the cover. It's a picture of half a girl's face. I'm guessing that's Zoey. Whatever. I look at the back. There is a comment from Gena Showalter on the top that says: "From the moment I stuck my face in this book it hooked me! Totally awesome new take on vampires! Marked is hot and dark and funny. It rocks!" First of all, what kind of author talks like that? Or is she just as idiotic as the Casts? Or maybe she really did like it. Or maybe the Casts "made her write that." Dun dun dun. You'll see what I'm talking about shortly. There is also a dreadfully long summary of the whole damn book on the back. Way to give away almost everything. The Characters: Let's start with the protagonist herself, Zoey Redbird. I found someone whinier than Bella Swan. Someone more stupid than Bella Swan. Someone more clumsy than Bella Swan. Yes, that's possible. I'm not even joking, everyone. Specific evidence of Zoey's stupidity: - Page 1: "If I died, would it get me out of my geometry test tomorrow? One could only hope." Oh, that's completely understandable. I mean, I feel dumb for thinking about whether I left a lasting legacy. I should be thinking about miniscule matters such as school tests. Silly me. - Page 46: "She wasn't thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. ("That's hott." Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.") Freak girls? This is a serious matter, you fucking dumbass. Skinny shaming. I wanted to shoot myself with the stupid parenthetical overkill they put throughout the whole damn book as well. Page 100: "Cereal?" I suddenly perked up. I seriously adore cereal, and have an I heart Cereal shirt somewhere to prove it." Do I need to even explain what's wrong with that sentence? Page 188: "Can I ask you something? It's kinda personal," Erik said. "Hey you've seen me drink blood from a cup and like it, puke, kiss a guy, lick his blood like I'm a puppy, and then bawl my eyes out. And I've seen you turn down a blow job. I think I can manage to answer a kinda personal question." What the fuck? Page 277: "Aphrodite laughed a throaty, I'm-so-grown-up-and-you're-just-a-kid laugh. I really hate it when girls do that. I mean, yes, she's older, but I have boobs, too." Yes, because only breasts signify that a girl is grown up. Great message, Casts. I'm not sure if they deliberately created Zoey for the sole reason that we should all hate her. They have no idea how teenagers act and talk. Apparently all teenagers talk like rotten teenagers LIKE OMG! NO WAY! YEAH, WHATEVER! I HAVE BOOBS, TOO! ZOMG. Zoey is the special, one-of-a-kind, "chosen one." Only she can rule the world, basically. Her mentor is the best. She has all the powers. She is the one and only. Cliche much? Very. I was just sad I was stuck inside her head for the entire book. I felt suffocated. Zoey's friends are all pathetic excuses for friends. The "twins" are annoying little brats. Damon is just a moron. And oh yeah, the country girl. Stevie Rae is just fucking annoying. Aphrodite and Erik. I couldn't stop laughing every time I read about them. AND WHO THE HELL HAS ORAL SEX IN THE MIDDLE OF A SCHOOL HALLWAY?! Or am I really that naive when it comes to horny high school children? - Erik is the more stupid hotter version of Edward Cullen. He follows Zoey around. He asks her incredibly awkward/creepy questions. He's just very romantic, am I right. Erik = That's the ugliest thing I've seen in my entire life. - Aphrodite is just a poor excuse for an antagonist. *Googles Aphrodite* Oh! The Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality! Another character whose name defines her personality. *rolls eyes* The writing: I guess editing just lost its meaning in the midst of horrible books. Where is Editing?! Where are you, my love?! I'm not even going to talk about the plot because there was no plot. I only read half the book (painfully), but I'm certain there was no plot for the parts I didn't read as well. Overall, this is what I came to know: 1. I found a book worse than Twilight. 2. I found a protagonist worse than Bella Swan. 3. So far, this is the worst book I have ever read. How in the world did this get published? I'm sure the publishers were drunk. They had to be. I'm ashamed to give this even one star. It's not worthy of anything! The Casts could kill the main character and it still would never amount to anything. What a shitfest. I just want to say one last, important thing to the Casts: Just in case I am called a rotten bitch for trash talking this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Read about half of it. Hated it. I'm returning the rest to the library. The authors tried to make so many references to pop culture, they sounded ridiculous, and then were even proud of themselves for "sounding like teenagers," as they stated in the preface. Dumb. They tried to make moral lessons out of the life of this "fledgling," and had her reject things like Paris Hilton's weight, oral sex amongst teenagers, and Ashton Kutcher unfortunately liking older women. Oh, and the world was separated Read about half of it. Hated it. I'm returning the rest to the library. The authors tried to make so many references to pop culture, they sounded ridiculous, and then were even proud of themselves for "sounding like teenagers," as they stated in the preface. Dumb. They tried to make moral lessons out of the life of this "fledgling," and had her reject things like Paris Hilton's weight, oral sex amongst teenagers, and Ashton Kutcher unfortunately liking older women. Oh, and the world was separated into the "vampyres" and the religious right. Could they be more obviously parading their own moral agenda in young adult fiction? Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the values they project in this book, they make it so plain that they are trying to jam-pack the book with certain ideals that it turns out like literary crap. If you want an awesome, captivating fantasy fiction series that gets teenage girls thinking about our over-sexualized and beautified culture, try Scott Westerfield. He's a little more subtle, and thus requires some intelligent thought on what you're reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Clair

    A little while ago, I bought a battered old vampire novel for £1.50 from a charity shop. Yet the moment I started posting that I was reading it on GoodReads? 'RUN AWAY WHILE YOU CAN!' 'THIS BOOK WAS AWFUL, YOUR EYEBALLS ARE GOING TO BLEED OUT OF YOUR SKULL!' 'DROP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU'LL BE SO MUCH HAPPIER IF YOU NEVER READ THIS PIECE OF CRAP.' 'YOU POOR THING, I'LL BE PRAYING FOR YOU EVERY NIGHT!' ...Or something akin to that. And were my friends right? YES. Yes they were. This book is absolutely atrocio A little while ago, I bought a battered old vampire novel for £1.50 from a charity shop. Yet the moment I started posting that I was reading it on GoodReads? 'RUN AWAY WHILE YOU CAN!' 'THIS BOOK WAS AWFUL, YOUR EYEBALLS ARE GOING TO BLEED OUT OF YOUR SKULL!' 'DROP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU'LL BE SO MUCH HAPPIER IF YOU NEVER READ THIS PIECE OF CRAP.' 'YOU POOR THING, I'LL BE PRAYING FOR YOU EVERY NIGHT!' ...Or something akin to that. And were my friends right? YES. Yes they were. This book is absolutely atrocious. I haven't come across something this bad since I struggled through the first one hundred pages of Fallen by Lauren Kate. I may be twenty years old, and this is a teen vampire novel, but that's no excuse in my book. Teen media, just like children's media, can be enjoyed by adults so long as you mix in the right ingredients: clever humour and references, likeable characters, and maybe even a story one can really get into. That has been a rule I have known for years. Too bad P.C. and Kristin Cast never got this memo. In the first two pages, we are introduced to Zoey and Kayla, these girls who rival puddles for shallowness. So far, so teen drama. After nattering incessantly about how hot this stupid jock is, Zoey gasps in horror as a vampire comes up to her. And she can tell he's a vampire, not by his pale skin, but by the exotic-looking tattoo around his skull. (So vampires in this universe are just extras from A Midsummer Night's Dream?) Anyway, this vampire then delivers the mother of all cheesy speeches. "Zoey Montgomery! Night has chosen thee; thy death will be thy birth. Night calls to thee; hearken to Her sweet voice. Your destiny awaits you at the House of Night!" Tell me if you wouldn't burst out laughing if someone came up to you and said that. It sounds like something Harold Zidler from Moulin Rouge would say! This vampire then points a finger at her and Zoey feels an explosion of pain in her forehead. She then mentally berates a 'dork' for gawping at what just happened, and realises she has been Marked. And she will become a vampire. Or die in the process. I really, really hoped it would be the latter. But no, the gods are indeed cruel and fickle beings. Hold up here a moment. Just hold up one bloody moment. So, Zoey is just chatting outside her locker at high school, when a vampire comes up, goes: 'Mwahaha' and changes her? Um, okay. I've gleaned from the first few pages that vampires do indeed exist in this world, and like in the Sookie Stackhouse novels, they've 'come out of the coffin'. Someone please tell me why this high school doesn't just keep vampires away from the human populace, if vampires can just come in and pick somebody out like that.It's the sensible thing to do! So oh no, this completely unlikeable, whiny, judgmental little moron has been turned into a monster against her own will and is going to have to move to an exclusive academy for vampires. Remind me why I'm supposed to feel for her plight? The Casts must have realised this, and so they shoehorn in that Zoey has FAMILY PROBLEMS. When I first heard she didn't exactly enjoy her life at home, I thought: 'Okay, maybe she's a bitch because she doesn't have a good family life. That in no way justifies her actions, and of course, not everybody from that background goes on to be a horrible person like Zoey, but still. Let's see what the Casts have here.' Zoey's mother: Married a man who is extremely rich and a religious nut. Tries to reason with Zoey, but ends up getting bellowed at like she's the worst person in the world. Zoey's stepfather: A religious nut who, gasp, tries to exert some authority in his new household. Upon learning that Zoey has been marked to become a vampire, he just calls the family psychiatrist and some members of his church to pray for her. It isn't like he dragged her, kicking and screaming, to be exorcised or thrown in an institution. Zoey's sister: A PERFECT CHEERLEADER! Zoey's brother: A DORK WHO PLAYS VIDEO GAMES!1!!11!! Zoey's grandmother: A proud Cherokee woman who is the only person who understands and loves Zoey. Okay, so the two main heads of the family are into religion. That hardly destroys the stability of the family unit. Call me back if your name is Anneliese Michel, or something. But other than that, Zoey, just what the heck are your problems? You rant and bitch and moan at your mother when she tries to talk to you, and you refuse to even give your stepfather a chance. Your brother is a dork and your sister is too pretty and perfect. Oh, woe betide you! You're the middle child, caught between the perfectionism of your older sibling and the example you have to set for your younger sibling! Yeah, yeah. This isn't exactly a deep character analysis. Your main character is shallower than an empty children's paddling pool! So anyway, after arguing about the science of vampirism with her stepfather, Zoey runs away before the shrink and the 'fat women and their beady-eyed paedophile husbands' (I am not joking) can arrive to psychologically analyse/pray for her. It's around about here where I should mention that Zoey almost never shuts up about having Cherokee features. On page 10 she looks at her new ridiculous forehead tattoo and says that it blends perfectly with her Cherokee features and makes her look fierce. And on the same page, the 'blood of her grandmother's people' rejoices within her when she gives herself over to the early signs of her vampirism. Now, I've never learned very much about Native American culture. I know some tribe names, but that's about it. But let's see what we can learn about Cherokee culture through our completely vapid main character and the emotional rock that is her Cherokee grandmother! So what will we learn? The Cherokee tribe are very wise medicine-people who are mystical and magical and connected with the land. That's it. Seriously. Ah, the good old 'mystical native' trope. You will never go away, will you? Zoey then has a spiritual experience and winds up at the House of Night, a large vampire boarding school... under the tutelage of the High Priestess Neferet. Why the High Priestess? Because she senses something special in Zoey. The Goddess even says so. Oh, by the way, did I mention that the vampires in this world all follow a pseudo-Wiccan religion? Yup! They worship a goddess, use pentagrams in their worship, call upon air, water, fire, earth, and spirit to cast their circles with athames (ceremonial knives), burn sage and other herbs and oils for their spiritual properties, and the whole religion is very matrifocal. A Wiccan friend of mine said that it wasn't a bad interpretation of her religion, and certain aspects have been embellished for entertainment purposes, the way they are in Buffy or Charmed. The religion becomes quite important in the second and third acts of the book, as it's discovered that Zoey is SPECIAL and has an AFFINITY FOR ALL FIVE ELEMENTS which means she's going to be the most powerful High Priestess the vampires have ever seen, and then all of a sudden she discovers she has power over a never before seen SIXTH ELEMENT... oh goodness, I can't believe it's actually supposed to get worse over the next eight or so books. Zoey Redbird, thy middle name is Mary Sue. She failed every Mary Sue litmus test online I logged her into. She's also a really judgmental, horrible person, which becomes really hard to read after a while. She's one of those narrators who adds in very snarky asides as she's describing a situation. In fact, during a scene in which marijuana incense is being burned for ritual, Zoey cries that it's illegal (it isn't), and that she doesn't understand pot smokers – after all, why would you want to take a drug that makes you scarf down junk food and get fat? Hm... well, there are medicinal reasons for taking marijuana, as well as religious. They were talking quietly and acting like the totally illegal marijuana incense was no big deal. (Pot heads.) This made me laugh like crazy. It's incense, you stupid girl! Not the actual drug! I also wanted to snap Zoey's neck around page 51. Her body was, well, perfect. She wasn't thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. ('That's hott.' Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.) Yes, if you have any kind of eating disorder, it's because you want to look like Paris Hilton. As much as I am not a fan of Paris', I don't think she ever promoted eating disorders. Having more money than sense, and being completely vapid, perhaps. But never eating disorders. This extract was so hideously offensive I remember punching the page. Eating disorders are complex conditions that, contrary to what the media tells you, are not always controlled by girls looking at celebrities and desperately wanting to have their figure. Let's look away from eating disorders and come to another moment where I wanted to punch Zoey... The constant slut-shaming. You know that police officer in Canada who got into a lot of trouble for saying that he couldn't exactly sympathise with women who went out in very little clothing and ended up getting assaulted? Which triggered the first Slut-Walk? Yeah, Zoey is just like that officer. Actually, instead of being afraid, it was more like I was an observer, as if none of this could really touch me. (Kinda like those girls who have sex with everyone and think that they're not going to get pregnant or get a really nasty STD that eats your brains and stuff. Well, we'll see in ten years, won't we?) I doubt there's a teenager alive today who isn't aware that most of the adult public think we're giving guys blow jobs like they used to give guys gum. That's bullshit, and it's always made me mad. There are girls who think it's 'cool' to give guys head. Uh, they're wrong. Those of us with functioning brains know that it's not cool to be used like that. A woman is more than her body, family Cast. Repeat after me. A woman is more than her body. If a woman has a lot of sex, it's her own damn business. She's not being 'used'. If a woman chooses to go out with very little clothing, she shouldn't have to worry about getting raped. It's nothing shameful. What is shameful is that two women wrote this. And here's the final example of Zoey being judgmental... Zoey meets a rag tag group of fledgling vampires at the House of Night. We're going to focus on a gay guy called Damien, and a black girl called Shaunee. First things first, in almost every scene featuring Shaunee, or any other black person for that matter, they are described as 'coffee-coloured', or that they look like 'African princesses'. But let's get on to Damien, since he's featured a bit more. "And this is the token guy in our group, Damien. But he's gay, so I don't think he really counts as a guy." Instead of getting pissed, Damien looked unruffled. "Actually, since I'm gay I think I should count for two guys instead of one. I mean, with me you get the male point of view AND you don't have to worry about me wanting to touch your boobies." (So, lesbians of the world – did you know that you don't count as women, according to the little sense that this quote makes?) Actually, Damien was cute. Not in the overly girly way so many teenage guys are when they decide to come out and tell everyone what everyone already knew (well, everyone except their typically clueless and/or in-denial parents). Damien wasn't a swishy girly-guy; just a cute kid with a likeable smile. Okay, so Damien functions a bit like the Sassy Gay Friend of the group. The guy you can take clothes shopping and talk about girls with, and he'll dispense sassy advice. Hey, Casts? Did you know that if you tried that with any of my gay friends, they wouldn't exactly be very happy with you? What I also love about Zoey is that she's perfectly fine with gay people... so long as gay men stay manly, it seems. Ugh. Also, for a vampire novel, there is very little in the way of blood-drinking. I counted only two instances, and three instances of bloodlust (following which is the requisite “I'M A MONSTER!” speech). This didn't really need to be a vampire novel. That vampire who points at Zoey and 'turns' her in the first five pages of the book could have easily been, say, an acolyte of the vampire goddess. It may have taken a few more pages to convince Zoey to come to the school, but the entire turning into a vampire thing was treated awfully. So, after Zoey makes her friends, she discovers she has power over all of the elements, and stages a coup to get rid of Aphrodite, the current leader of the Dark Daughters – a clique whose current leader is the favourite of High Priestess Neferet to take over her position. Zoey also has run-ins with the mysterious Erik Night (sorry, but I can't help but imagine him as a really bad Phantom of the Opera fan-fic OC), a male vampire who's caught between her and Aphrodite. Also, Zoey's human friends show up but are quickly taken care of after Zoey refers to them as alcoholics, potheads and sluts, simply because they came to the House of Night from a party. God, can you imagine partying with the Casts? If they write Zoey like that, I imagine that pouring a mere glass of wine or lighting a cigarette at their house results in a lecture about how bad alcohol is for you. And how only losers smoke. Zoey takes classes she just so happens to be very good at and... okay, let's stop for a second. Neferet just so happens to teach Vampire Sociology. In this class, you learn about the vampires through history and their impact on the humans. That's not the sociology I swotted up on for my college exams. At all. Where's the vampire equivalent of Durkheim? Marx? What about all the different schools of thought, such as Functionalism, Feminism, Marxism, Neo-Marxism, New Right, Christian New Right, Psychological Theory, Biological Theory, Phenomenology and Symbolic Interactionism? Are the Casts confusing Sociology for Social Studies/Modern History? It's a little nitpick, I know, but all the same, it was stupid. I particularly liked all the mention of vampire celebrities throughout history. Did you know, for example, that Shakespeare was a bloodsucker? And country music stars such as Shania Twain, Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney are vampires because they're so pretty and talented? (Depending on what you think about country music, this may slide all the puzzle pieces into place... or be absolutely hilarious. I'm of the latter opinion.) So, if vampires dominate the entertainment sectors and the upper echelons of society because they're just 'better' than humans, shouldn't this society be expanded upon a bit more? Instead, all we get is that humans sit in their cosy little enclaves, mostly preaching religious diatribe against vampires. Or being bitchy, stupid high school kids. There's this great moment where Neferet tells Zoey that Bram Stoker did nothing but cause bad blood (pardon the pun) between vampires and humans when he wrote Dracula. Oh really? A Victorian horror novel which is pretty much about seduction and sexual liberation in a time of repression? What about those Eastern European folktales where vampires actually came from? This novel's world makes no sense. It's as if the Casts wanted to get into writing about the vampire world as fast as possible. Okay, so the vampires don't drink human blood, but they do feed off each other, they practice a kind of Wiccan religion, and apparently all the greatest people the world has ever known were vampires. More about the humans, please? Other than the fact that most of them are resentful, religious types? And no, I am not reading the next books in the series to find out. The novel ends with all the panache of a children's cartoon. The big bad villain is defeated, our main character is congratulated and she walks off arm in arm with her friends. There was nothing that made me want to read the second book, and I was so glad to get out of the head of someone as vapid, judgmental and stupid as Zoey. Ugh. To hell with this book, and the series. The writing is awful, I could not stand the main character in the least, the human society is not expanded upon properly, and the drama between the characters that the Casts used to create their plot was paper thin. In all, this really was one of the worst books I have read this year. 1/5. (This review is also available on my blog:http://nessasky.wordpress.com/2012/06...)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    This was how the book started. The first two pages literally went like this: Tweeny 1: "ZOMG like -insert some teeny bs gossip here-" Tweeny 2: "ZOMG like no! -more teeny gossip and more OMGs-" Tweeny 1: "ZOMG like yeah." All of a sudden some macho vamp guy stands in the hallway, points at teeny no #1 and is like "ZOEY YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN A BOOK THAT IS SO NOT TRYING TO BE LIKE TWILIGHT BUT YEAH YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN." Then they're like "ZOMG YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN." Tweeny 1 This was how the book started. The first two pages literally went like this: Tweeny 1: "ZOMG like -insert some teeny bs gossip here-" Tweeny 2: "ZOMG like no! -more teeny gossip and more OMGs-" Tweeny 1: "ZOMG like yeah." All of a sudden some macho vamp guy stands in the hallway, points at teeny no #1 and is like "ZOEY YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN A BOOK THAT IS SO NOT TRYING TO BE LIKE TWILIGHT BUT YEAH YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN." Then they're like "ZOMG YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN." Tweeny 1: "SNAP. I have been chosen." Tweeny 2: "SNAP AND ZOMG YOU'RE A FREAK NOW I'M OUT OF HERE." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the worst book I have ever read starts off. Worse than Twilight, worse than Hush, hush, and worse than Evermore (almost). This book was just one big melodramatic teen angsty bitch fit. With vampyres. And stereotypes. And a sexy hunk. And a Queen Bee arch rival. And a blowjob. And of course the main character is a complete Mary sue, once again. I first read this just as a laugh, because sometimes I want to read bad books for the lolz. But what was at first fun to make fun of then turned horrifically bad, and eventually so intolerable that I had to close it halfway. As soon as Zoey was in love with Shakespeare vampire hunk, (sorry, vampYre) I just couldn't handle further stupidity. I could not believe this was written by two adults. This was like fanfiction. I have seen fanfiction which went along pretty much the same basis as this book. Heck I have seen fanfiction which was BETTER WRITTEN and BETTER OVERALL than this book. Zoey was absolutely frustrating and so easy to hate. That's horridly inconvenient since she's the main character, and we're being told this 'story' from her perspective. She whines and complains about EVERYTHING, and is an obvious attempt at a parody of a teenager by these two idiots of women authors. A pin would fall to the ground and immediately her life is oooooverrrrrr. Also according to Zoey, if you don't nail your underwear and your bra to your body and if you don't remain virginal in any way shape or form, whether it's kissing a guy or wearing a certain amount of make up or style of clothing, you're a total slut. Woooow. Zo, just because you're a goddamn prude it doesn't mean everyone else should be, and you shouldn't try to lecture your female readers on their sexuality. Just because you're ashamed of sexuality, it doesn't mean that's a good thing because you happened to be a main character. Also it's pretty obvious you're jealous you yourself can't be that proud. Zoey's friends were all painful stereotypes. Especially her girl friend... what's her name again... I don't know. My mind shut her out because she was too damn annoying. Oh wait... Steve or something. -coughs- anyway, yeah. That chick was an obvious out there comic-relief and completely uncalled for. Every time she said anything I wanted to punch her. I didn't care much for her gay friend either. He was just a cliched gay. And no, I don't have anything against homosexuals. That would be awfully hypocritical since I'm a very out of the closet homosexual myself. But this guy was boring and cliched. Then there's the queen Bee arch rival. -yawn- Oh here's something I haven't seen before... Oh and Zoey falls in love with some vampire guy after he reads a speech from Shakespeare in his sexy vampire hunk voice. So within two seconds, Zoey is in love. True love, yada yada, he's the one, he's so hot, all her friends support her love, bla bla bla, gush gush gush. Then I closed the book. What a piece of overrated, stinky, shitty tripe. The writing was ridiculous, all the characters were boring and annoying and cliched to death, and the overall plot was pulled out of both authors nailed shut asshole. It was ridiculous. The whole book was bloody ridiculous. What on earth was I reading? -shudder- I can't believe this book was published, let alone so well received. And don't give me that 'it's an amazing booooooook and you're just jealooooousssss' crap. Please. It's an awful excuse for a book and I would rather watch 2 girls 1 cup again (from the beginning to the end this time) than have Marked by P.C Crap and Kristin Crap sitting on my shelf.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Oh, I liked this book SOOOOOOOOO much better than the Stephanie Meyer series--these kids are smarter, more diverse, less whiny and far more intersting. Add to that a new version of vampirism, and it's a completely winning combination. The story telling is top notch, the characters are interesting, and the book is compelling start to finish. I can't wait to dive into the next in this series! And I have to admit I'm intrigued by the concept of a mother/daughter writing team, especially such a succe Oh, I liked this book SOOOOOOOOO much better than the Stephanie Meyer series--these kids are smarter, more diverse, less whiny and far more intersting. Add to that a new version of vampirism, and it's a completely winning combination. The story telling is top notch, the characters are interesting, and the book is compelling start to finish. I can't wait to dive into the next in this series! And I have to admit I'm intrigued by the concept of a mother/daughter writing team, especially such a successful one. That's an interesting story in an of itself!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Saniya

    Lets get straight to the point here. This book was weird, disgusting and epic fail at the same time. Let me tell you the whole story in pictures. Enjoy :) (I don't know why, but some of the pics are not coming, sorry for that!) MARKED -THE REAL STORY. Once upon a time, there was this stupid, smart-ass girl named Zoey who was marked as a vampyre. But don't worry my fellow readers! She was special ...in failing. Then this fail-example-of-women got an annoying boyfriend, Heath who is always drunk >.&l Lets get straight to the point here. This book was weird, disgusting and epic fail at the same time. Let me tell you the whole story in pictures. Enjoy :) (I don't know why, but some of the pics are not coming, sorry for that!) MARKED -THE REAL STORY. Once upon a time, there was this stupid, smart-ass girl named Zoey who was marked as a vampyre. But don't worry my fellow readers! She was special ...in failing. Then this fail-example-of-women got an annoying boyfriend, Heath who is always drunk >.< [image error] She joined this so called vampyre school, which had, as you all know, failure students. [image error] She made really amazing friends, like, Damien the gay! And then she falls for this so-called Superman Eric. (Honestly speaking, hes a complete loser to me) ...Meanwhile in the real world: She is adjusting so damn slowly, makes everyone want to die. -_- Now back to the book: Then she got this enemy, Aphrodite. They fought and bla bla bla (boring scenes) Circle, Circle, Wooooo! And guess what? Zoey wins! Yay. How unpredictable -_- [image error] Book ends, happily ever after. This book was: And I will give this book (1.5/5 stars):

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    Hypersexed, boy-crazy, annoying teens. Plus some uninteresting supernatural stuff every once in awhile. For a series that involves so many teenagers having sex, these books sure aren't very sexy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danielle.

    Okay, I'm going to be posting gifs on this review because this book was just too much. My overall expression after reading up to 150 pages: I wish I could give this 'no star' or something of the sort. I don't even know where to begin with this 'book'. It was retched, horrible, disdainful, etc. etc. P.C. Cast as well as her daughter's writing is childish. All the girls had blonde hair (auburn-blonde, strawberry-blonde, blonde, curly blonde, etc.) it's irritating and the only girl, besides Zoey, tha Okay, I'm going to be posting gifs on this review because this book was just too much. My overall expression after reading up to 150 pages: I wish I could give this 'no star' or something of the sort. I don't even know where to begin with this 'book'. It was retched, horrible, disdainful, etc. etc. P.C. Cast as well as her daughter's writing is childish. All the girls had blonde hair (auburn-blonde, strawberry-blonde, blonde, curly blonde, etc.) it's irritating and the only girl, besides Zoey, that didn't have blonde hair was Shaunee... and she was black. I don't care if this book was completely fiction and that it didn't have to be realistic, but when you write how the reason these celebrities are amazing and known is because they're vamps, I'm going to say you're an idiot. Zoey is the biggest hypocrite and I never liked her, not even for a bit. My friend told me she dated four boys at once. Wasn't she shit talking girls in this book for doing stuff like that, though? I want to scream. This book had: Annoying teen girls. Ridiculous passages. Try-hard humour. ...Shall I continue? Offensive and ridiculous passages: '...One was black, with impossibly long hair (must be a really good weave)...' These authors see black women with short, crappy hair? And if they do have long, beautiful hair it's automatically a weave? How rude. '...the Mark had somehow made my eyes look even bigger and darker. I lined them with a smoky black shadow that had little sparkly flecks of silver in it. Not heavily like those loser girls who think that plastering on black eyeliner makes them look cool. Yeah, right. They look like scary raccoons.' Loser girls? LOL, okay. '"Is that a bathroom?" I asked as we hurried past water fountains situated between two doors. "Yep," she said. "Here's my class, and there's yours right next door. See you after class!" "Okay, thanks," I called. At least the bathroom was close. If I had a case of raging nervous-stomach diarrhoea I wouldn't have to run far.' Really? That very last sentence really was not needed. They could have at least wrote, 'At least the bathroom was close in case of an immense emergency.' or something like that. 'I've only had detention once so far, and that wasn't my fault. Really. Some turd boy told me to suck his cock. What was I supposed to do? Cry? Giggle? Pout? Umm...no... So instead I bitch-slapped him (although I prefer just using the word smacked)...' If you prefer using the word 'smacked' then maybe you should have done? 'Turd boy'? '"So, what preconceived notions do you have about Amazon warriors?" she asked the class. A blonde who sat on the other side of the room said, "The Amazons were heavily matriarchal, as are all vampyre societies." Jeesh, she sounded smart.' No, she just paid attention in class. 'I had no idea an hour had passed; the ringing bell was a total surprise. I'd just shoved my sociology book back in my cubbie (okay, I know that Damien and Neferet called them cabinets, but come on -- they totally remind me of the cubbies we used to have in kindergarten)...' Oh, God... 'The door opened an oh my sweet lord I do believe my heart totally stopped beating. I'm positive my mouth flopped open like a moron. He was the most gorgeous young lad I had ever seen.' LOL. '"yeah, like having poopies for brains," I said, staring down the hall like the slug's back.' I don't know what she's trying to prove using the word 'poopie'. Who even says that? 'Lunch was a huge build-your-own salad buffet, which included everything from tuna salad (eesh) to those weird mini-corns that are so confusing, and don't even taste like corn. (What exactly are they? Baby corn? Midget corn? Mutant corn?' 'The whole place had that sawdusty, horsey smell that mixed with leather to form something that was pleasant, even though you know that part of the "pleasant" was poopie -- horse poopie.' Nobody finds the smell of 'horse poopie' pleasant. Nobody . '"Zoey! There you are!" "Ohmygod! Stevie Rae! You scared the poo out of me!"' Lord, help these so-called 'writers'. Please. I dropped the book after that. I'm done. I refuse to finish this book. Everyone thinks Twilight is bad? Twilight doesn't have a damn thing on this crappy excuse of a book. The writing of this 'book' makes Twilight seem as though it was perfectly written (okay, I'm over-exaggerating a tad bit, but it's still better than this. At least I read through the whole book and that's saying something. Am I right, or am I right?) I mean, really, the average user rating for this is 3.83 stars? WOW. Just WOW. Let me also add that these authors think they've done an amazing job with sounding like teenagers.... riiiiight... keep telling yourselves that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Taneika

    About 5 years ago when I first read this series, I powered through them and while I recognised they were problematic, I still consider them a guilty pleasure (the books are just so BAD and fun) 1.5 stars are purely for how trashy/fun this book was. This was SUPER problematic though which made me cringe, a lot. It's homophobic (yes I know there's a gay character but the 'joke' at the beginning saying he isn't really a guy because of this is really really fucking bad), it has plenty of slut shamin About 5 years ago when I first read this series, I powered through them and while I recognised they were problematic, I still consider them a guilty pleasure (the books are just so BAD and fun) 1.5 stars are purely for how trashy/fun this book was. This was SUPER problematic though which made me cringe, a lot. It's homophobic (yes I know there's a gay character but the 'joke' at the beginning saying he isn't really a guy because of this is really really fucking bad), it has plenty of slut shaming, Zoey has issues with the word shit (she says POOPIE ffs) yet has no problem calling Aphrodite a slut every five seconds. Idk, it was fun but it's so so bad as well. I will be continuing my reread though as I can't remember much and I want to see how it all ends

  10. 5 out of 5

    Avis

    Have you or have you not always wanted to know are you a good girl or a bad girl? A blushing virgin or a streetwalker? Mother Theresa or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? You can know now! Just take the newest test: An Ultimate Slut Test by Cosmopolitan me Zoey Redbird. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and let's begin! 1) Have you ever wanted to kiss a boy after knowing him for a short while? 2) Have you ever had a crush on celebrity? 3) Have you ever kissed a boy in public? 4) Have you ever kissed a b Have you or have you not always wanted to know are you a good girl or a bad girl? A blushing virgin or a streetwalker? Mother Theresa or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? You can know now! Just take the newest test: An Ultimate Slut Test by Cosmopolitan me Zoey Redbird. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and let's begin! 1) Have you ever wanted to kiss a boy after knowing him for a short while? 2) Have you ever had a crush on celebrity? 3) Have you ever kissed a boy in public? 4) Have you ever kissed a boy, period? 4) Do you have blond hair? 5) Do you like wearing dark makeup? 6) Do you wear short skirts/pants and/or tight tops? 7) Have you ever had oral sex with a boy? 8) Are you pretty/good looking/hot/beautiful and aware of it? 9) Do you dye your hair? If you answered three or more question with 'Yes', then congratulations; you're a dirty, dirty hoe-bag! Actual review: Marked is a piece of shit, oh, sorry, a piece of poo (because, apparently, only losers and sluts use the s word) and I hate it. I wouldn't have hated it so much if it was just filled with irritating, vapid characters, if it was lacking any plot or, well, common sense and if it bored me to tears (which it did). I can take that. Annoying characters, no plot, I can take that shit. What I can't tolerate is what a Mary Sue MC is and the fact Marked is a lot like this cat: It hides behind a couch, judges you quietly and just waits for you to make a mistake so it can rip your throat out. And nobody is spared. I mean, nobody. This book takes a bite out of everyone. So called sluts, losers, smokers, people who liked to have a beer once in a while, even anorexic and bulimic people. I fuckin' lost it when Zoey, main character, said this: "She wasn't skinny like those freaks who puke and starve themselves." {It's easy calling them freaks, isn't it, Zoey? It's easy trash talking about those "freaks" when you never had to face that disease, when no one around you had that sickness. It's really fucking easy to say shit like that when you never had to take care for someone who is anorexic, you piece of fuckin' shit.} *deep breath* Talking about Zoey/Z/Zo/Zoeybird, she is such a frickin' Mary Sue. Let's see: Weird name? Check. Described/shown as exceptionally beautiful? Check. Great body/physique, despite eating tons of shit/junk food and never working out? Duh. A feature that is unusual for their species/race? Yep. (Filled out Mark). Unusual/special/nobody ever had it before kind of power? Of course. Absolutely no parents in book? You bet. Everyone complementing and admiring the heroine's looks/abilities? Yes. The heroine is an outcast? Yeah. Is the heroine some kind of a chosen one? Oh yes. A disgusting bitch? Not relevant for the Mary Sue test, but fuck yeah. Absolute. Fucking. Mary. Sue. The other characters are completely forgettable. Twins are a bit annoying, Stevie Rae is there just to trash Aphrodite, Damien is simply meh. I felt absolutely nothing towards Aphrodite besides anger after that rapey scene at the beginning of the book. (NO MEANS NO FOR FUCK'S SAKE.) Oh yeah, there were two kids who died and Zoey thought about them for, like, three sentences before moving on. I don't know about you, but if somebody I knew died, especially in front of my own fucking eyes, I would give it a little more thought than 3 frickin' sentences. Writing is so horrible. It's... It's fucking ridiculous how bad it is. You know what? Fuck this shit. Fuck this book. Fuck that judgemental bitch Zoey. And especially fuck those three sequels my friend bought me SO NOW I HAVE TO READ THEM. *curls in ball and proceeds to cry*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janvi

    If you were looking for books that embody rape culture , slut-shaming and overall being a terrible human being - this book is for you . Look no further than some of this creative narrative. Her body was, well, perfect. She wasn't thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. ('That's hott.' Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.) First of all , you should never make fun of people with eating disorders. I have an issue with making fun of serious is If you were looking for books that embody rape culture , slut-shaming and overall being a terrible human being - this book is for you . Look no further than some of this creative narrative. Her body was, well, perfect. She wasn't thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. ('That's hott.' Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.) First of all , you should never make fun of people with eating disorders. I have an issue with making fun of serious issues , but it's only because I want to shred light on an issue. To publish a book , with a person speaking like this is not only rude , and ignorant but leaves a bad impression to the young women who read this. Actually, instead of being afraid, it was more like I was an observer, as if none of this could really touch me. (Kinda like those girls who have sex with everyone and think that they're not going to get pregnant or get a really nasty STD that eats your brains and stuff. Well, we'll see in ten years, won't we?) I doubt there's a teenager alive today who isn't aware that most of the adult public think we're giving guys blow jobs like they used to give guys gum. That's bullshit, and it's always made me mad. There are girls who think it's 'cool' to give guys head. Uh, they're wrong. Those of us with functioning brains know that it's not cool to be used like that. While , I agree that teens shouldn't have sex. I am at no position to degrade another person for getting more game than me. That's what men are for . Men already give enough shame to women they sleep with. Before calling someone dirty , just look at the filth on your hands. Stop Slut Shaming. Stop it now . I am not a slut for wearing a short skirt. I believe that women are more than their bodies. And you should teach young pre-teens that what you do with your body , is your business. They were talking quietly and acting like the totally illegal marijuana incense was no big deal. (Pot heads.) No offense, but Zoey in this situation - they are using it as incense. For religious reasoning . THIS BOOK CONTAINS RAPE - AND PORTRAYS IT AS BEING OKAY TO FORCING ANOTHER PERSON INTO A POSTION THEY WOULD RATHER NOT BE IN. BUT BECAUSE IT'S FEMALE ON MALE , IT IS BEING SHOWN AS OKAY. THIS IS NOT OKAY . LET ME REPEAT . YOU SHOULD NEVER PORTRAY ANY FORM OF NON!CON OR DUB!CON SEX AS BEING OKAY

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nasom

    Full Review Wow, I really hated this book, more specifically, I hated Zoey. I can't believe there are 12 books of her as the MC. This is where I stop with this series - First of all, Zoey is such a hateful person. I don’t think I have read about an MC that radiates such negative energy in my life. This girl calls every girl she doesn’t like terrible names like bitches, hags, sluts, hos. She thinks she is somehow better than them. Her group of friends are like her and there was no one person amon Full Review Wow, I really hated this book, more specifically, I hated Zoey. I can't believe there are 12 books of her as the MC. This is where I stop with this series - First of all, Zoey is such a hateful person. I don’t think I have read about an MC that radiates such negative energy in my life. This girl calls every girl she doesn’t like terrible names like bitches, hags, sluts, hos. She thinks she is somehow better than them. Her group of friends are like her and there was no one person amongst them that I actually liked - I know having a special MC is a thing in Ya but this was just ridiculous. The special snowflake syndrome was real in this. It was so annoying how literally everyone she speaks to, reminds her of how special/different she was. - I wanted to read this book because of the vampire storyline but there was hardly any present in this. This book actually removed all the good parts of being a vampire (the transformation, having fangs, just overall, looking scary). Honestly, these people seemed more like witches (with their circles and sayings) and less like vampires - the romance was laughable. Why did erik like her?? I honestly thought he was up to something (maybe he is in later books) because I just couldn't fathom such devotion to someone he didn't really know and wasn't even likeable. Overall, this book was lame, the vampires were pathetic, the characters were hateful, the MC is unlikeable and i hope she dies at the end Pre-reading For someone who had a vampire-obsessed stage, I can't believe Twilight was the only vampire book I read. I hope to change that with this lol.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ⚔ Sh3lly - Grumpy Name-Changing Wanderer ⚔

    DNF at about 25%. Wow. This has to be the worst Young Adult I have ever read. It was written about the same time as Twilight (maybe a couple of years later), but Twilight was SO MUCH better. This book is horrible, in that it is filled with so many judgmental stereotypes. I can only imagine that this was geared to brain dead teens without a lick of intelligence because I can't find anything good about this. I have read a LOT of YA written way after this (and written recently) that is FANTASTIC. E DNF at about 25%. Wow. This has to be the worst Young Adult I have ever read. It was written about the same time as Twilight (maybe a couple of years later), but Twilight was SO MUCH better. This book is horrible, in that it is filled with so many judgmental stereotypes. I can only imagine that this was geared to brain dead teens without a lick of intelligence because I can't find anything good about this. I have read a LOT of YA written way after this (and written recently) that is FANTASTIC. Even though this was written about 9 years ago, I still don't think there is any excuse for the amount of vapid inner dialogue and superficiality that came from the main character. This was written by a teenager and her mother, who was a well-known fantasy author before this series? I am surprised she didn't curtail the judgmental and shallow one-liners and descriptions. I wasn't that bad when I was a teenager - and that was way back in... okay, you don't need to know that. Literally every description of somebody was derogatory in some way. Is this simply evidence of bad writing and not being able to come up with better descriptions? Look, obviously I don't know what I'm talking about because this series was WILDLY famous and popular. However, I expect more from my protagonists. I expect more from YA. Just because a teenager CAN act a certain way doesn't mean they should. Just because the stereotypes are accepted, doesn't mean we should keep churning them out. We can do better and expect more from young adults. We can expect them to be more intelligent and less judgy. And the villain (Aphrodite) was such a caricature. The country girl roommate, the token gay guy, the ultra-religious parents, I mean, the list never ends... Not for me. Previous post: I have had this on my TBR shelf for a very long time and my library had this on audio, so listening to it now. First thoughts: I know this was written in 2008, but wow, pretty cheesy. I am holding on for the vampires because now that she is at the House of Night, it's gotten more interesting. This is pretty much loaded with stereotypes: - Slut-shaming, fat-shaming, the ditzy best friend who can't shut up, the football player boyfriend who starts drinking and becomes a jerk, the ultra-religious step-dad and mom who doesn't understand, the main character who is a super special snowflake and makes comments on other female characters (their boobs, their bodies, etc.), the vampire queen has green eyes and red hair... LOL I'm kind of interested to see what happens, but this reads pretty dated and is full of tropey-tropes (so far at least). Hopefully, Zoe grows a lot as the series progresses???

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wildbriar

    To be quite honest, I almost don't know what to say, or how to say it. I read just under half of Marked this morning, then set it gently aside and stared at the wall in a numb silence for a while. Perhaps, in hindsight, I should have thrown it. Marked is, quite simply, the worst book I have ever read in my entire life. Forget one star, this book has achieved negative stars from me. The horror began with the Acknowledgements. P.C. Cast actually thanked her daughter for making sure they sounded li To be quite honest, I almost don't know what to say, or how to say it. I read just under half of Marked this morning, then set it gently aside and stared at the wall in a numb silence for a while. Perhaps, in hindsight, I should have thrown it. Marked is, quite simply, the worst book I have ever read in my entire life. Forget one star, this book has achieved negative stars from me. The horror began with the Acknowledgements. P.C. Cast actually thanked her daughter for making sure they sounded like teenagers. She actually thanked – for making sure – excuse me please while I go and die in a corner. I didn't exactly laugh, but the further I got into this book, the more horribly ironic that comment became. I have never heard teenagers speak this way, and with such unrelenting consistency. And all the pathetic pop culture name-dropping! Cease. And. Desist. Please! And so the hell never ended, from the Acknowledgements to page 117, where I gave up. One of the author comments on the back proclaims Marked's hot and funny darkness. Er...only in the way your house goes dark during a powercut; it's intensely irritating, you feel like you can't live like this any longer and you'd do anything to get the electricity back on. You start to go mad, losing your mind as you bump into walls trying to find where you left your last remaining torch with full batteries. It's about as funny as stubbing your toes on the corner of a shelf, several times in a row. That is what it was like reading Marked, painfully navigating my way through it trying to find a plot, character development, tension, excitement, drama, hell anything! The characters, I loathed the characters! Caricatures, the lot of them, and I hated them all, right down to the very last one. I am not going to go into all the tiny details that made me want to kill somebody, but I can at least say that I have finally found a protagonist that I hate more than Nora Grey and Bella Swan. There is nothing in Zoey's head, nothing, except for rotting goo and the odd dead centipede. I could hear my brain cells screaming in protest as they were forced, time and time again, to read each heinous sentence, each word of gut-wrenchingly awful dialogue. Never in a million years did I think I would advocate World Book Burning Day, but if we had one Marked should be the first to go up in smoke; off to Tree Heaven, free at last from being bound in this absolute travesty of a book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    I know, I can't believe I read this book either. What's worse? I've read all of them--the six that have been published. Why? Because I'm a moron, that's why. Seriously, this is the worst YA vampire--I mean vampyre--series I've read (so far). While there are elements in this series that are interesting, it's nothing special. I mean, vampyres that control the elements? Come on! Richelle Mead already did that, just much, much, much better. Much better. Why not just write a book about witches? Becaus I know, I can't believe I read this book either. What's worse? I've read all of them--the six that have been published. Why? Because I'm a moron, that's why. Seriously, this is the worst YA vampire--I mean vampyre--series I've read (so far). While there are elements in this series that are interesting, it's nothing special. I mean, vampyres that control the elements? Come on! Richelle Mead already did that, just much, much, much better. Much better. Why not just write a book about witches? Because these vampyres aren't all that vampyre-y, especially the further you get in the series. Sure they drink blood, but they do magic--drawing circles, calling the elements--more often then not. And the slang used? Makes me cringe. It's so lame and forced. And--just stupid. I haven't read any of P.C. Cast's other books--the books she wrote by herself. But I've read a short story written by Kristen Cast. It is so entirely FULL OF FAIL (see: Immortal:Love Stories with Bite), I kind of think she's the reason this series sucks so badly. I'm just sayin'.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I would like to thank the House of Night Series for showing me that, making nonsensical pop culture references and mocking my target audience will create an instant bestseller. Claiming that goths don't bathe and emos are freaks is the absolute best thing to do in a series that sports covers gothier than Marylin Manson (post-Spooky Kids). Calling any number of girls ho's, for no reason other than jealousy, and being racially insensitive is the sure way to go. Thank you Marked by P.C Cast & K I would like to thank the House of Night Series for showing me that, making nonsensical pop culture references and mocking my target audience will create an instant bestseller. Claiming that goths don't bathe and emos are freaks is the absolute best thing to do in a series that sports covers gothier than Marylin Manson (post-Spooky Kids). Calling any number of girls ho's, for no reason other than jealousy, and being racially insensitive is the sure way to go. Thank you Marked by P.C Cast & Kristin Cast. This rancid, insulting, mock of a book should be hung, drawn and quartered and then burned to somehow purify its rancid shallow soul. The NYT Bestselling status means nothing anymore. Any self-indulgent piece of "poopie" (as our protagonist says) can become a bestseller with the right cover and fan-dumb. The success of this book especially upsets me when Infinite Days remains mostly untouched by readers. Thus, proving that if the world does end in 2012 it wouldn't be that great of a loss since human creativity has reached its peak. House of Night is about an arrogant -itch named Zoey Redbird, who gets marked by a vampire tracker and becomes the chosen one. (I refuse to acknowledge her spelling of vampire as vampyre, you are not John William Polidori and any affiliation with his work I rebuke in the name of Heath Ledger.) In the world of HoN, vampirism is a type of virus that infects an individual and the only place to ease the virus is at the HoN school. However, there is a chance a fledgling's body might reject the change and start oozing blood from their pours. Think Jet Li's Kiss of the Dragon without the cool factor of an interesting protagonist. From chapter one, Zoey comes off as unlikable, shallow, egotistical and ignorant. When it is revealed that her ex-almost boyfriend is slowly developing a drinking problem she is only concerned that he is going to get fat. Then, on the same page chastises her "best-friend" for being shallow. Rather than simply tell you about it, I will instead SHOW you the atrocity that is this book. "The point is that he was wasted for like the fifth time this week. I'm sorry, but I don't want to go out with a guy whose main focus in life has changed from trying to play college football to trying to chug a six-pack without puking. Not to mention the fact that he's going to get fat from all that beer.” I had to pause to cough. I was feeling a little dizzy and forced myself to take slow, deep breaths when the coughing fit was over. Not that K-babble noticed. "Eww! Heath, fat! Not a visual I want.” I managed to ignore another urge to cough. "And kissing him is like sucking on alcohol-soaked feet.” K scrunched up her face. "Okay, sick. Too bad he's so hot.” I rolled my eyes, not bothering to try to hide my annoyance at her typical shallowness. [PDF p.4-5:] -Ah, the beginning of the end. Our totally un-shallow protagonist doesn't care that her almost boyfriend might die or get into an accident from drinking, only that he'll get fat (remember your priorities ladies hot>health) . However when K says that he's hot, that is shallow because K-babble is not as deep as our Gossip-Girl reading lead! Do vampyres play chess? Were there vampyre dorks? How about Barbie-like vampyre cheerleaders? Did any vampyres play in the band? Were there vampyre Emos with their guy-wearing-girl's-pants weirdness and those awful bangs that cover half their faces? Or were they all those freaky Goth kids who didn't like to bathe much? Was I going to turn into a Goth kid? Or worse, an Emo? I didn't particularly like wearing black, at least not exclusively, and I wasn't feeling a sudden and unfortunate aversion to soap and water, nor did I have an obsessive desire to change my hairstyle and wear too much eyeliner. [PDF p.8-9:] -Ah yes, insulting goths, emos and people who wear black in a vampire book. Genius. K's eyes teared up again, but, thankfully, her cell phone started singing Madonna's "Material Girl.” [PDF p.9:] -Yes, because the song matters and "Material Girl" was at the peak of its popularity in 2007. At least we know the Cast's favorite Madonna track. I didn't want to do either. I just wanted to attempt to be normal, despite the burden of my mega- conservative parents, my troll-like younger brother, and my oh-so-perfect older sister. I wanted to pass geometry. I wanted to keep my grades up so that I could get accepted into the veterinary college at OSU and get out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. But most of all, I wanted to fit in—at least at school. Home had become hopeless, so all I was left with were my friends and my life away from my family. Now that was being taken away from me, too. [PDF p. 10:] -Hmm, maybe I missed it in these past ten pages, but how is having friends and a jock boyfriend make you not normal? Or by not normal do you mean cool? High-pitched girl giggles flitted to me from the parking lot. Great. Kathy Richter, the biggest ho in school, was pretending to smack Heath. [PDF p. 12:] -Don't you know, girls, that if you flirt with boys Umbridge will rip your perky little boobs off. I stared at the exotic-looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness…as if I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger…more barbaric. [PDF p. 13:] -Wait? Are you implying that your Cherokke heritage is barbaric? Lemme guess, you love Dances With Wolves Right? I never liked him. Really. I'm not just saying that se I can't stand him now. From the first day I met him I saw only one thing—a fake. He fakes being a nice guy. He fakes being a good husband. He even fakes being a good father. He looks like every other dad-age guy. He has dark hair, skinny chicken legs, and is getting a gut. His eyes are like his soul, a washed-out, cold, brownish color. I walked into the family room to find him standing by the couch. My mother was crumpled near the end of it, clutching his hand. Her eyes were already red and watery. Great. She was going to play Hurt Hysterical Mother. It's an act she does well. John had begun to attempt to skewer me with his eyes, but my Mark distracted him. His face twisted in disgust. "Get thee behind me, Satan!" he quoted in what I like to think of as his sermon voice. ... "This wasn't something I caused," I finally managed to say. "This wasn't done because of me. It was done to me. Every scientist on the planet agrees with that.” "Scientists are not all-knowing. They are not men of God.” I just stared at him. He was an Elder of the People of Faith, a position he was oh, so proud of. [PDF p. 25-26:] -All protestants are ignorant assholes! Thank you Cast duo. I will right my Anglican ways. It made me glad that it was the end of October and it had finally turned cool enough for me to wear my Borg Invasion 4D hoodie (sure, it is a Star Trek: The Next Generation ride in Vegas and, sadly, I am on occasion a total Star Trek nerd) [PDF p. 34:] -Alright, you didn't need to go into detail about your Star Trek nerdiness. The real fans will know what your talking about and the other people can remain blissfully ignorant. It was incredibly weird to look down on myself. I wasn't scared. But I should be, shouldn't I? Didn't this mean I was dead? Maybe I'd be able to see the Cherokee ghosts better now. Even that thought didn't scare me. Actually, instead of being afraid it was more like I was an observer, as if none of this could really touch me. (Kinda like those girls who have sex with everyone and think that they're not going to get pregnant or a really nasty STD that eats your brains and stuff. Well, we'll see in ten years, won't we?) [PDF p. 40:] -...You're shitting me right? Her hair was deep red—not that horrid carrot- top orange-red or the washed-out blond-red, but a dark, glossy auburn that fell in heavy waves well past her shoulders. Her body was, well, perfect. She wasn't thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. ("That's Hott." Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.) This woman's body was perfect because she was strong, but curvy. And she had great boobs. (I wish I had great boobs.) "Huh?" I said. Speaking of boobs—I was totally sounding like one. (Boob…hee hee). [PDF p. 40:] -What does Paris Hilton have anything to do with these you boob? "You want me! You'll always want me!" She unzipped his pants. I shouldn't be there. I shouldn't be seeing this. I tore my eyes from his bloody thigh and took one step back. The guy's eyes lifted. He saw me. And then something truly bizarre happened. I could feel his touch through our eyes. I couldn't look away from him. The girl in front of him seemed to disappear, and all there was in the hallway was him and me and the sweet, beautiful smell of his blood. "You don't want me? That's not how it looks now," she said with a nasty purr in her voice. [PDF p. 64:] -She meets her love interest while fighting off a blowjob from another girl? Classy. Yes, I was aware of the whole oral sex thing. I doubt if there's a teenager alive in America today who isn't aware that most of the adult public think we're giving guys blow jobs like they used to give guys gum (or maybe more appropriately suckers). Okay, that's just bullshit, and it's always made me mad. Of course there are girls who think it's "cool" to give guys head. Uh, they're wrong. Those of us with functioning brains know that it is not cool to be used like that. [PDF p. 65:] -Seriously? Look I have no problem with girls who are into the whole abstinence thing and don't like oral sex. That is fine. However, please do not assume that every girl who enjoys oral sex does it because she is being "used". Believe it or not women have control over their bodies. She was a tiny blonde and darn near perfect. Actually, she reminded me of a young version of Sarah Jessica Parker (who I don't like, by the by —she's just so…so…annoying and unnaturally perky). "Hi Zoey. Welcome to your new home." The SJP look-alike's smile was warm and genuine, and she was clearly making an effort to make eye contact instead of gawk at my darkened-in Mark. Instantly I felt bad for making a negative comparison about her. "I'm Aphrodite," she said. Aphrodite? Okay, maybe I hadn't been too hasty in my comparison. How could anyone normal choose Aphrodite as her name? Please. Talk about delusions of grandeur. I plastered a smile on my face, though, and said a bright, "Hi Aphrodite!...Aphrodite's laugh, followed by her perky, "Of course I'd be happy to show her around! You know I'm always glad to help you, Neferet," was as fake and cold as Pamela Anderson's humongously huge boobs, but Neferet just nodded in response and then turned to face me. [PDF 71, 73:] -I didn't know Sarah Jessica Parker and Pamela Anderson were still relevant for sixteen year olds? And in the bookshelves behind the computer on my side of the room I saw my Gossip Girls and Bubbles series books [PDF p. 78:] -...You scorn every girl as a slut or a ho, but you read Gossip Girl? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WRITE P.C & KRISTIN? He had a smooth face that was totally zit free, and dark brown hair and eyes that reminded me of a baby deer. Actually, he was cute. Not in the overly girly way so many teenage guys are when they decide to come out and tell everyone what everyone already knew (well, everyone except their typically clueless and/or in-denial parents). [PDF p. 87:] -Oh yeah, you are so respectful to gays One was black, with impossibly long hair (must be a really good weave) [PDF p. 95:] - *gasps* Oh, no she didn't... In less than 100 pages, this heroine has become my least favorite character in the book (and life). It only gets worse from here ladies and gents, but I will not subject you to more of it. My problem with Zoey is not simply that her personality is vile, which doesn't help. I mentioned this before, but I'd rather have a protagonist with a personality I didn't like, then one with none at all. Zoey's voice seems like nothing more than just the writers' blowhole. She calls everyone a slut and even thinks of herself as one for kissing a boy she likes on the lips. I loved the way my body fitted his, hard against soft, and I pressed myself against him, forgetting about Aphrodite and the circle I'd just cast and the entire rest of the world. This time when we broke off the kiss we were both breathing hard, and we stared at each other. As my sense started to return to me I realized that I was totally smushed against him and that I'd been standing there in front of the dorm making out like a slut. I started to pull out of his arms. "What's wrong? Why do you suddenly look different?" he said, tightening his arms around me. "Erik, I'm not like Aphrodite." I pulled harder and he let me go. [PDF p. 268:] -Way to go ladies, pushing back feminism one Sue at a time. This mother-daughter team seeped this book with so much propaganda, Lenin would grimace. It's not even creatively done. As shown above all their personal opinions are just shoved in there with pop culture references that doesn't flow and dates their books. The vampires in this book are lame. Not Twilight lame, no sparkles, however there is nothing that differentiates them from humans other than body art. Blood-lust doesn't even effect vampires until they reach their late 5th-6th year of vampirism, other young vamps, except our lead Zoey, doesn't like the taste of blood. It's just a bunch of good-looking people at some preppy boarding school. In this universe vampires are "out" and apparently run the arts; Kenny G is a vampire as is Shiana Twain. There is a Christian-sect church that is against the vampires called, The People of Faith. Vamps worship the Goddess Nyx and perform gratuitous neo-pagan magic. Yawn. Nothing connects in this book. It's all bits and pieces of stupidity. Vampire Sociology 101? Pu-lease. Epic Fail, thy name is House of Night. You want to read about a vampire school: Vampire Academy Final Grade: D- You might be wondering why this book didn't get a flat out F, well that is because the main character, while a Sue in the works, was actually assertive. I was also interested in reading more about Aphrodite, since as the antagonist will most likely end up being the smartest character. Other than that, besides good ideas, this book is a collage of misses. The friendships are shallow, the relationship-in-progress is shallow and our main lead is shallow. Spoilers have even shown me that Zoey will end up juggling three boys at once? Shallow and a hypocrite. Our protagonist ladies and gents. Yeah, bestseller my ass. This is supposed to be a movie soon? God help me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mel (who is deeply in love with herself)

    The easiest rating I've ever given a book. Let us please bury the fact I gave Marked four stars upon first reading; I was only 14 or 15 at the time and in that stage of adolescence-- the fangirling, over-excitable stage which no person wants to look back on. Gah. So embarrassing. But then, a few days ago, I stumbled upon Marked again in the library. I was curious as to what I'd think of the book now I'd grown up a bit (in both senses of the word). And my brother was still trying to hunt down a bi The easiest rating I've ever given a book. Let us please bury the fact I gave Marked four stars upon first reading; I was only 14 or 15 at the time and in that stage of adolescence-- the fangirling, over-excitable stage which no person wants to look back on. Gah. So embarrassing. But then, a few days ago, I stumbled upon Marked again in the library. I was curious as to what I'd think of the book now I'd grown up a bit (in both senses of the word). And my brother was still trying to hunt down a big fat textbook for his International Relations classes, so I had plenty of time for a flick-through. I grabbed the book and curled up on the library's second-floor window ledge, which overlooks Chamberlain Square. I was even kind of excited, because I had fond memories of staying up all night to devour the pages of this series. But it only took me a few page-skims to come to the (pretty obvious) realisation. The slut-shaming; the name-dropping; the stereotypes; the pre-teen writing; the glorification of the protagonist and demonisation of her rival....what other conclusion could I come to? Only one. This book....is a GREAT BIG STEAMING PILE OF TURD. That is all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katy Johnson

    This was a really quick read, made even quicker by skipping over the pages of repetitive neo-pagan-vampyre rituals (which I could have done entirely without). The author is clearly trying to win over the wiccan-teen demographic, while appealing to those who loved the Twilight series. What bugged me most about this one was the author's attempt to address every controversial teen issue imaginable, while instilling good morals without being condescending. She managed, but honestly, the random comme This was a really quick read, made even quicker by skipping over the pages of repetitive neo-pagan-vampyre rituals (which I could have done entirely without). The author is clearly trying to win over the wiccan-teen demographic, while appealing to those who loved the Twilight series. What bugged me most about this one was the author's attempt to address every controversial teen issue imaginable, while instilling good morals without being condescending. She managed, but honestly, the random commentary on sex, drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, religious fundamentalism, paganism, etc., felt forced and way too obvious. I'm all about being honest with young adult readers, but you also have to give them some credit and trust they will be able to decipher subtlety. I plan to read the rest of the series, not because the story was terribly alluring, or the characters very interesting, but because I'd like to see if the author evolves as a writer. I'm also interested in seeing whether she decides to scratch her attempts at "relating" to young readers by dropping pop culture references awkwardly throughout the novel (Sarah Jessica Parker, Ashley Simpson, America's Next Top Model, Steve Madden flats....this book is going to be dated in less than three years).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    This probably one of the worst books I have ever read... It was horrible. The writing was stupid. If you like to read a grown woman try to talk like a teenager then this is for you.. I hated it. I mean I felt stupid after reading some of this. They compared people to Paris Hilton, and Ashton Kutcher, they brought oral sex into and they didn't just briefly talk about it they made it stretch out over a couple of chapters. This mother/daughter writing team needs to rethink working together again. M This probably one of the worst books I have ever read... It was horrible. The writing was stupid. If you like to read a grown woman try to talk like a teenager then this is for you.. I hated it. I mean I felt stupid after reading some of this. They compared people to Paris Hilton, and Ashton Kutcher, they brought oral sex into and they didn't just briefly talk about it they made it stretch out over a couple of chapters. This mother/daughter writing team needs to rethink working together again. My daughter will not read these books. Heck I don't even think adults would want to read this.. If you want a good series read Twilight or Blue Bloods series. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS SERIES. I AM RETURNING ALL 4 BOOKS BACK TO THE STORE! ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE..

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    16 year old Zoey has a crappy home life, an almost-ex-boyfriend who drinks too much, a best friend who's shallow and a geometry test tomorrow. But all this matters for naught when she is Marked by a Vampyre Tracker and must move to the House of Night school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for four years while her body undergoes the Change into a Vampyre - or rejects it and she dies. This is a new and original take on the Vampire legends, and mixes in matriarchy and goddess-worship with pleasing effect. Zoey 16 year old Zoey has a crappy home life, an almost-ex-boyfriend who drinks too much, a best friend who's shallow and a geometry test tomorrow. But all this matters for naught when she is Marked by a Vampyre Tracker and must move to the House of Night school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for four years while her body undergoes the Change into a Vampyre - or rejects it and she dies. This is a new and original take on the Vampire legends, and mixes in matriarchy and goddess-worship with pleasing effect. Zoey becomes marked in a special way - the Goddess Nyx has given her a special responsibility and added gifts; which she'll need, because something's not right at the House of Night, and her own mentor and High Priestess may not be the gentle, caring mother-figure she makes herself out to be. What I especially liked about this book was how it handles issues relevant to teenagers. Yes it discusses topics like drinking, drugs, anorexia, sex, homosexuality, bullying etc. but all in a positive light (or an "anti-" light, depending on the topic). Zoey is a wonderful role model with a sensible head on her shoulders who looks beyond the surface to what really makes people behave how they do. Also, to be perfectly clear on this point, despite what you might have read, there is no sex in this book, or the sequel (and even if there was, I think it would be handled very maturely). There is some slutty behaviour from one of the characters, but this is hardly glorified. In fact, it's only the language of the teenaged characters themselves that stops this book from being too moralising. The slang etc. has been captured perfectly, but is not overdone so that it gets really annoying. It's also dark, funny, and the inclusion of rituals invoking the five elements of air, water, fire, earth and spirit add a new, beautiful element that I really liked. I honestly think this book and the ones that follow can only have a good impression on teenagers. Don't be afraid to put it on your library's shelves. In fact, my biggest problem with this book was the rather excessive product placement going on. It's unnecessary and grotesque. Otherwise, Marked is highly enjoyable!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anushka

    {1.5 Stars} Okaaaay. So my theory is this - Overly hyped books like House of Night and Mortal Instruments were released near 2005 when there were very few YA Fantasy books and that's the reason these books are so famous. I mean, people are totally crazy about HoN & MI even though there are many books which are much better than these. So, House of Night. This book had a weak plot, weak as in pointless plot. Why did Zoey get 'Marked'? And why especially by the Goddess Nyx? The author didn't have {1.5 Stars} Okaaaay. So my theory is this - Overly hyped books like House of Night and Mortal Instruments were released near 2005 when there were very few YA Fantasy books and that's the reason these books are so famous. I mean, people are totally crazy about HoN & MI even though there are many books which are much better than these. So, House of Night. This book had a weak plot, weak as in pointless plot. Why did Zoey get 'Marked'? And why especially by the Goddess Nyx? The author didn't have any theory; she just had to make her character special so there! Nyx herself does it. Getting 'Marked' means getting a half crescent moon shaped on forehead which signifies that the human will go through some changes to become an adult Vampire. And to learn to become a Vampire, the ‘fledgling’ is sent to a school called House of Night. As told in the story several times, not all fledglings survive this some of them die at a very early stage or some die when they are almost about to. But obviously our lead survives it because she was given the mark by Nyx for not-even-author-knows-what reason. The writing - its irritating! That is the only word that comes to mind. Zoey and her friends bicker like fifth graders! P.C. Cast had done this on purpose so that it'd feel like we're reading book by a teenager (She mentioned this in acknowledgements, I'm not making it up) but I'm really sorry to say Cast-ladies that readers feel like they are reading diary entry of a bunch of bimbos instead! They are so darn corny and unfunny you'd want to drag them through their hair. With every page I read I felt a bit more dumber and dumber. Their group just keeps chittering and chattering to no extent. Anything they say has no use in the story; it is just included to increase the thickness of the book. When this was not enough, there's the gang of Dark Daughters who try to imitate Plastics from Mean Girls. Their group leader's name is Aphrodite, APHRODITE for God's sake!! Who has names like that anymore? And how can you go around flaunting and being a bitch to everyone with such a name? I would die of shame. The authors have tried to create the environment of a high school in Vampire format, tried to. You can just tell by the language that they've tried way too hard to do that. All the girls keep squeaking all the time and talk about hot guys as if they have nothing else to do. The book covers the events of 2 or 3 days but in that short span of time itself Zoey finds a soul-mate. (Boy, I wish it was that easy for me too.) Erik is supposedly a out-of-the-world hot guy who winks at Zoey in a classroom full of people the first time he sees her and the next time he meets her, they kiss. And the third time they meet he tells her "that you make me feel different". HOW STUPID IS THAT?! They don't even exchanged names properly but start sloshing their tongues down each other throats because they are apparently 'made for each other'. Everything about Marked screamed stupid, immature, senseless, waste-of-time literature to me! Ugh! To sum it up in one line - I simply hated it! But...I gave the book 1.5 stars because by excluding the useless chitter-chatter between the characters and replacing them with some sensible adult conversations this would've been more bearable (maybe). I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, but I am going to read the 2nd book sometime later only because a friend of mine (although, I have huge doubts about it now) is a huge fan of the series and she is forcing me to. Lord, save my soul! D:

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Watson

    This book was so bad, I wanted to quit reading it, but then I could not have fairly rated it. So despite my better judgment - I read on, wincing all the way! Marked tries so hard to be hip - but "like totally" fails. I know you have to be careful when choosing YA books. Some of it is great - it resonates with those of all ages. And some of it, like this book, is YA crap. The main character was also very poorly created. She enjoyed reading the horrid Gossip girl series, yet was critical of her sexu This book was so bad, I wanted to quit reading it, but then I could not have fairly rated it. So despite my better judgment - I read on, wincing all the way! Marked tries so hard to be hip - but "like totally" fails. I know you have to be careful when choosing YA books. Some of it is great - it resonates with those of all ages. And some of it, like this book, is YA crap. The main character was also very poorly created. She enjoyed reading the horrid Gossip girl series, yet was critical of her sexually-active classmates? Great example of how a mom/teacher (PC Cast) who writes a book with her college-age daughter (the book says it was Kristen Cast who tried to infuse the book with teen verbiage) does not work out well! It was a battle of agenda's and viewpoints. Please don’t waste your time on this book! Check out my read list to find better YA reads!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Savina M.

    EDIT: 28/03/14 I finally remember what Marked reminds me of. It reminds me of that horrible Harry Potter fanfiction My Immortal. They're basically the same, except Marked has much better spelling. (Thankfully). Well, hell. I finished Marked. Marked is not the worst book I have ever read. Halo still tops that list. But, damn, I haven't rolled my eyes so much since...since anything, actually. I actually took the liberty to tab every single annoying line in Marked, and here is how many post-its I was EDIT: 28/03/14 I finally remember what Marked reminds me of. It reminds me of that horrible Harry Potter fanfiction My Immortal. They're basically the same, except Marked has much better spelling. (Thankfully). Well, hell. I finished Marked. Marked is not the worst book I have ever read. Halo still tops that list. But, damn, I haven't rolled my eyes so much since...since anything, actually. I actually took the liberty to tab every single annoying line in Marked, and here is how many post-its I wasted: My post-its are separated into a few main categories: -World building -Idiot -Special snowflake/Mary Sue -Judging -Stereotyping -Name dropping I will address each of them individually, but first: The plot Join idiot Zoey Redbird, as she embarks on a boring heroic quest to kick a slutty ho out of the student council. After Zoey Redbird was mysteriously marked, she goes to a fucking boarding school for vampyres. She meets a slutty ho, Aphrodite, and decides she hates her. She, her cardboard-cutout friends, and her insta-love for Erik will work together to defeat Aphrodite by deus ex machina, and praying. This is what the whole fucking book is about. It's fine if there's not much of a plot of it's meant to be character-driven. Sadly, I can tell that Marked was supposed to be more plot-driven. World building I don't see many other reviewers addressing this problem, but the world building fucking drove me crazy. From the blurb: The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. Sure, why the fuck not? But Marked does such a fucking crappy job on executing it. Fuck, it's even labelled as a fucking fantasy! Why would people know so little about vampires if they existed for so long? Why the fuck would there be only one vampire boarding school? If vampires existed for so long, wouldn't they have gone to war with humans? They're so much more powerful than them, after all. Why the hell would people discriminate against vampires if "vampyres were attractive and the most successful actors and actresses in the world"? Zoey Redbird She's...I don't... Fuck, I don't know how to start. Zoey Redbird is a fucking idiot. She has the most idiotic thoughts ever. If I died, would it get me out of my geometry test tomorrow? One could only hope. Wow! Who knew hitting my head and passing out would be so much fun? Hee hee, Mom was mad at her, too. Speaking of boobs—I was totally sounding like one. (boob...hee hee). Hee hee...vamp vets...I could call my clinic Vamp Vets, and the ads would read:"We'll take your blood for free!" I'd just shoved my sociology book back into my cubbie (okay, I know that Damien and Neferet called them cabinets, but come on—they totally remind me of the cubbies we used to have in kindergarten) "Yeah, like having poopie for brains." Mini-corns are so confusing, and don't even taste like corn. (What exactly are that? Baby corn? Midget corn? Mutant corn?) "Ohmygod! Stevie Rae! You scared the poo out of me!" I wished it was cold and Kayla would freeze her over-developed boobies right off. Maybe she'd taken a shower this morning and melted when the water touched her—hee hee. me gusta Erik Aphrodite laughed a throaty, I'm-so-grown-up-and-you're-just-a-kid laugh. I really hate it when girls do that. I mean, yes, she's older, but I have boobs, too. She thinks about the most obvious things. Lit class was an experience. Yeah... Everything you experience is an experience. The hour definitely seemed to take an hour No shit, Sherlock. P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast congratulate each other for sounding like teenagers. I have no fucking idea why they do. Kristen Cast was in college when she co-wrote this, for fuck's sake! Did she not experience being a teenager? Because I can assure you, no teenager speaks like that. Mary Sue Zoey Redbird is definitely the most annoying protagonist ever. Apart from her stupid thoughts, she is also a Mary Sue, and a fucking Spesul Snowflake. Did you know Zoey can control all the five elements? Zoey can control the five elements. She's very special. She's got a colored-in mark. She doesn't think she's special, but oh, she is! She got touched by the goddess, Nyx! (no, Nyx didn't touch her there). Nyx likes Zoey very much. Yes, Zoey is very special. Zoey can control all the five elements. She's pretty, did you know that? She's very beautiful. She caught the eye of Erik, the hottest guy in school. Also, she has the affinity for all five elements. It has never happened before, not even in High Priestesses! She's very, very special. Animals also like her. She's very special. That is how the entire fucking 306 pages went. The idiots Casts never skip an opportunity to remind us how fucking special Zoey is. She can control the elements. Big fucking deal. Judging you Zoey judges every fucking person she meets. She calls people "ho"s, "loser"s or "slug"s. She calls her brother troll-like, and her sister a slut. She calls religious women fat, and religious men pedophiles. She calls anorexic girls freak-like. Anyone who is called "Aphrodite" is automatically slutty. Unattractive people are losers. Wanna hear my theory about how my generation could single-handedly wipe out slugs and loser kids from America? This fucking quote. I can't even. This is why so many kids commit suicide. They are judged by people like Zoey. They could be clever, they could have talent, and yet you just label them as "loser". Just fucking no. You're neither a slut nor a loser, you say? Well, pick one because in Zoey's eyes, you are either one of them. In Zoey's eyes, everyone else is an idiot, whereas she is perfect. Stereotyping Marked doesn't streotype as much as Halo, but it still had a large amount of stereotyping to it. Here's the Zoey Redbird stereotyping quiz! 1)Do you have big boobies? (Hee hee, boobies!) If yes, then you are a slut! 2)Do you have a high-pitched giggle? If yes, then you are a ho! 3)Do you like wearing black and putting on eyeliner? If yes, then you are a Goth! 4)Do you wear baggy pants? If yes, then you are a gang-wannabe! 5)Have you had sex before? If yes, then you are one of those girls who has sex with everyone and think that they're not going to get pregnant or a really nasty STD that eats your brains and stuff! (Don't believe me? We'll see in ten years!) 6)Are you thin? If yes, then you are a freak girl who pukes and starves themselves into what they think is Paris Hilton chic! 7)Have you had oral sex before? If yes, then you don't have a functioning brain! 8)Are you a rich kid? If yes, then you must be doing drugs! 9)Have you ever made out with a girl in public? (Only applicable for girls) If yes, then you are a moron! 10)Do you put on a lot of black eyeliner? (Only applicable for girls) If yes, then you are a loser girl who looks like a scary raccoon! 11)Are you blond? If yes, then you can't possibly be smart! Name Dropping What is with all the name dropping in Marked? There's Madonna, there's Paris Hilton, there's Leonardo Dicaprio, and so many other ones I am too lazy to type. I know brands are a huge part of our lives, but why do the Casts feel the need to name drop every fucking page? The romance Bullshit. Zoey and Erik's relationship was 100% insta-love. What's worse is that their eyes first locked over Aphrodite sucking Erik's cock. I'm serious. Aphrodite is forcing a blow-job on Erik, and Zoey sees them. Their fucking eyes lock together. They fucking fall in love. Excuse me, but what? And suddenly Erik is falling head over heels for Zoey. Sorry, but their romance is too unbelievable. More like Erik was there so Zoey would seem more desirable. Zoey's cardboard cut-out friends Zoey's friends serve no other purpose than to make Zoey seem more lovable and special. Really, they can't stop gushing over how pretty/great Zoey is. Daimen is the typical best gay, Shaunee and Erin, I don't even know what purpose they serve, and Stevie Rae is the typical best friend. The conclusion is, unless you want a headache, stay away from Marked. Seriously, if you are reading it out of curiosity, I can tell you that it is as bad as you think. Walk away, and be happy that you never had to read this.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This is – literally – the worst (published) book I have ever read in my life. Every time I so much as think about this book, or this series in general, I suddenly have the urge to take a nine iron to an old lady, or set a kitten on fire or something else just as random and pointless that won’t actually solve my hatred towards this piece of crap but will help release some of my anger because Zoey is only a fictional character and I can’t actually kill her will a dull axe. *deep breath* It’s times This is – literally – the worst (published) book I have ever read in my life. Every time I so much as think about this book, or this series in general, I suddenly have the urge to take a nine iron to an old lady, or set a kitten on fire or something else just as random and pointless that won’t actually solve my hatred towards this piece of crap but will help release some of my anger because Zoey is only a fictional character and I can’t actually kill her will a dull axe. *deep breath* It’s times like these where unpublished authors know they stand a chance: if shit like this cannot only be published but actually become incredibly popular, you know you could write a bestseller in a COMA. There’s no need to mention the writing is atrocious; anybody who picks it up will tell you that. Every single character has a voice that’s like nails on a chalkboard. You know Janice, from “Friends”? Yeah, that’s the voice I give to Zoey. Totally fits, doesn’t it? Everything about this book screams juvenile, and I’m not talking about that preteen way which is fine, if this book is written for that age group, it’s just plain stupid. Sixteen year olds should be insulted by how they’re portrayed in this, and if they aren’t, and actually relate to these “characters”, they need to be terminated immediately. Everything about this is one big stereotype, from the gay people to the black people to the Southern girl, and funnily enough, Zoey thinks she’s better than all of them, and she’s too stupid to live. She thinks a normally constructed sentence is “amazing vocab”. Every chapter, every paragraph, every sentence annoyed me. The showing, not telling. The unrealistic dialogue. Zoey. The fucking Twins. The shallow relationships (Zoey has best friends and a guy saying how he cares about her “from his heart” in ONE NIGHT?). Zoey. The religion. The vampires that are not vampires, but witches. Zoey. The “messages”. Everything. Zoey. Honestly, you’d think with two people writing this, there’s two brains involved, which should mean that at some point, there should have been at least ONE good example of writing: a piece of dialogue, some description, some semi-decent prose that didn’t have me wanting to kill the friend who leant this to me. And can I just mention how much of a Harry Potter rip off this is? You’ve got the “protagonist” (haha) with a mark on her forehead, making her the Chosen One, and is sent off to some fancy boarding school for magical people like her. Because of this special mark, everyone knows instantly who she is, having a polarizing effect – some love her, others hate her. Then you’ve got the platinum blonde who’s rich and whines to her dad about how she’s not loved enough who becomes the “protagonist’s” archrival on the first day of school for no reason, other than jealousy of this newfound popularity someone else has. You’ve got the goofy, quirky sidekicks. You’ve got the “protagonist” suddenly being the favourite of the Headmistress and form a special relationship. There are all kinds of cool classes with the odd teachers. Please, this isn’t a Twilight rip off – just because it has vampires doesn’t make it a Twilight rip off. This is so Harry Potter I can’t believe nobody has mentioned it, except Harry Potter is – y’know – amazing. Stephenie Meyer is not as to J.K. Rowling as the Casts are not to Stephenie Meyer. Stephenie Meyer is Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Tolstoy and anyone else you can think of compared to this garbage. For a long time I judged people’s intelligence on a yard stick, the yard stick being whether or not you liked this book. Then I embarrassingly found out two of my very nice, smart friends actually like this, so huh, who knew. I’m still unwavering though – this is the worst, stupidest book ever written. I’m actually kind of embarrassed to have it on my bookshelf, because people will actually know I’ve read it. Just for the record, it was given to me, and I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings. Not my fault I stumbled on this. In fact, she gave several more to me, and I actually stopped mid-book. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Stupid book. Stupid.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aura

    **For more reviews, contests, interviews, book news and more go to my blog: http://theheelshaveeyes.wordpress.com/ Shambles, an absolute bloody shambles is how I can best describe this book.I don’t know what was worse, the tacky and unsympathetic attitude towards eating disorder victims, the blasé attitude towards male rape (the hallway scene, imagine the gender roles reversed and you’ll see how sexist it is) , or the constant usage of the words slut and hoe, oh yeah what a great example we’re set **For more reviews, contests, interviews, book news and more go to my blog: http://theheelshaveeyes.wordpress.com/ Shambles, an absolute bloody shambles is how I can best describe this book.I don’t know what was worse, the tacky and unsympathetic attitude towards eating disorder victims, the blasé attitude towards male rape (the hallway scene, imagine the gender roles reversed and you’ll see how sexist it is) , or the constant usage of the words slut and hoe, oh yeah what a great example we’re setting for young girls. Call each other degrading terms because women are apparently so empowered now it doesn't matter. This book is just vile, and worse still it's aimed at teens.These so called writers should be ashamed of themselves, even worse it’s going to be turned into a movie and possibly shoved in our faces for a decade. This is of course, the first book in a series of about 10 or 11, I’m not even sure it’s even finished. I can see why people are going to get sucked into this, as I almost was, but do yourself a favour, fully analyse the sick values in this book and you will begin to see where I am coming from….as well as hate yourself for at some point having liked it. I think the success of this series comes down to crafty marketing, nice covers and the brain-dead masses. This book is a weapon of mass destruction to anyone who dare reads it, if you hated Bella Swan, you’re going to want to throw the main protagonist Zoey Redbird on a train track. The clichés in this book made me roll my eyes every two seconds;the dumb blonde and her two ugly sisters, the quiet geeky girl who puts up with the crap from the dumb blonde. I could go on, but I can’t be bothered. Do not read this book, unless you genuinely want to waste 306 pages of reading time.I was going to stop giving bad reviews to books I don’t like because I hate the idea of putting books down, but future victims of bad reviews, can have this book to thank. Oh and one more thing, there is one line that truly, truly PISSED ME OFF!! 'Two girls were standing behind her, dressed in much the same way. One was black, with impossibly long hair (must be a really good weave).' WTF, how terribly offensive, plenty of black women grow their hair out naturally and very long. Not all of them wear weaves or even want to, so to suggest that long straight hair is somehow more superior and beautiful than curly afro hair is just rude. Best selling authors, HA! This whole series is a joke, whoever thought it was a good idea to turn it into a movie should have the blood sucked out of them.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikoleta

    Ευχάριστο, ευκολοδιάβαστο, απλό και διασκεδαστικό βιβλίο. Δεν ξετρελάθηκα βέβαια καθώς δεν γίνονται πολλά. Τρώει πολλές πολλές σελίδες, περιγράφοντας και αναλύοντας μαθήματα, ρούχα, κτίρια, ιεροτελεστίες, σχεδόν τα πάντα από όσα είναι δυνατόν να αναλυθούν και να περιγραφούν. Αφού να φανταστείτε το πρώτο γεύμα γνωριμίας με τους νέους της φίλους κράτησε 20 ολόκληρες σελίδες… Τέλος πάντων ελπίζω να μην συνεχιστεί αυτό και στα άλλα βιβλία και να ισχύει μόνο για το πρώτο, επειδή είναι μια γνωριμία, μ Ευχάριστο, ευκολοδιάβαστο, απλό και διασκεδαστικό βιβλίο. Δεν ξετρελάθηκα βέβαια καθώς δεν γίνονται πολλά. Τρώει πολλές πολλές σελίδες, περιγράφοντας και αναλύοντας μαθήματα, ρούχα, κτίρια, ιεροτελεστίες, σχεδόν τα πάντα από όσα είναι δυνατόν να αναλυθούν και να περιγραφούν. Αφού να φανταστείτε το πρώτο γεύμα γνωριμίας με τους νέους της φίλους κράτησε 20 ολόκληρες σελίδες… Τέλος πάντων ελπίζω να μην συνεχιστεί αυτό και στα άλλα βιβλία και να ισχύει μόνο για το πρώτο, επειδή είναι μια γνωριμία, μια εισαγωγή στον κόσμο του Οίκου της Νύχτας. Κάτι άλλο που μου έκανε (αστεία αυτή την φορά) εντύπωση είναι το οτι οι συγγραφείς του βιβλίου, οι Καστ, προσπάθησαν να κάνουν το βιβλίο κουλ για τους εφήβους, αλλά είναι φανερό ότι το έγραψε μάνα και κόρη… εκεί τα θέματα ηθικής περιπλέκονται λίγο και το αποτέλεσμα τελικά είναι λιγάκι… ανώριμο; μη αληθινό ίσως; … όπως το (συγχωρέστε με…) να βάλουμε στο βιβλίο τον στοματικό έρωτα, αλλά σε όλο το βιβλίο οι έφηβοι μεταξύ τους, αγόρια κορίτσια να το αναφέρουν ως στοματικό έρωτα (δεν μπορώ να φανταστώ ενα έφηβο αγόρι να μιλάει με τον κολλητό του και να χρησιμοποιεί αυτη την έκφραση... ποιον κοροιδευουνε;;). Και την ηρωίδα να σχολιάζει για αυτό με ηθικό διδακτισμό «εγώ δεν θα άφηνα ποτέ να με χρησιμοποιήσουν έτσι». (Ναι μαμά Καστ θα είμαι καλό κορίτσι). Ή να βάλουμε στο βιβλίο την μαριχουάνα, αλλά η ηρωίδα να βγάζει ένα λογύδριο για το ποοοοσο βλάκες και χαμένα κορμιά είναι όσα αγόρια την καπνίζουν και πόσο τσούλες τα κορίτσια (ναι μαμά η ηρωίδα μου είναι κουλ βαμπίρ, αλλά μακριά μου όλα αυτά τα κακά του διαβόλου πράγματα). Ήταν ανοησία τους να βάλουν αυτά τα δήθεν προχώ στοιχεία (ακόμα γελώ), ήταν περιττά και στημένα. Τόσα και τόσα φαντασίας βιβλία δεν τα είχαν ανάγκη και έγιναν πετυχημένα, γιατί να μπουν σε αυτό το τρυπάκι λοιπόν; Κατά τα άλλα αρκετά ευχάριστο βιβλίο. 3/5 αστεράκια.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    Typical teen story in which there is a black and white delineation between the heroes and the villains, and you will never mistake one for the other. Our heroine comes from a troubled family, longs for a place to belong, is marked as incredibly and shockingly extraordinary amongst her new peers, butts heads with the queen of the school who is also the flatly drawn villainess, immediately catches the eye of the hottest guy at school who is also the ex of our villainess, shows remarkable powers an Typical teen story in which there is a black and white delineation between the heroes and the villains, and you will never mistake one for the other. Our heroine comes from a troubled family, longs for a place to belong, is marked as incredibly and shockingly extraordinary amongst her new peers, butts heads with the queen of the school who is also the flatly drawn villainess, immediately catches the eye of the hottest guy at school who is also the ex of our villainess, shows remarkable powers and wields them with a confidence and skill even the most advanced prodigy would not have after one day in a new world with new rules (after suffering from slight self-esteem issues easily erased by her upbeat and encouraging friends), and is wise beyond her years leading her to take on the benevolent savior leader role amongst her friends and eventually the entire school. The author captures the teenage voice well enough (though it did seem she was trying a bit hard at times), but all the pop culture references got annoying. Also, while she did sound like a teenager, the narrator’s voice irritated me. She spent a good deal of time passing harsh judgments against particular types of people and behavior. Girls who wear lots of makeup are losers (as are a great many other people throughout the book). Teenagers drinking and smoking is horrifying and disgusting. Wanting to kiss someone you are attracted to apparently makes you a slut. She dislikes one of her classmates because he is not only annoying but also unattractive. While I am not saying that teenagers having sex and drinking and smoking is a good thing, I felt this moralizing had more to do with the author wanting the kiddies to know how dirty these things are than with the character really holding these opinions. It felt that her reaction to them was more immature than the character the author wanted us to see. Also, not a fan of all the hatred for religion. More of the author pushing her point of view than creating anything compelling within the story. What does this really add? Nothing that couldn’t have been done some other way. The author does more telling than she should, which always annoys me. You don’t need to tell me that you hate homophobes; I can tell that by the way you’re speaking about their intolerance. You don’t need to tell me you’re a dork; I can tell that by the Star Trek sweatshirt you wear. You definitely don’t need to tell me that you have no choice in being the villainess because that is the role you are meant to play, I can tell that by reading the rest of the book. Also not cool? Defining words within the text. Not necessary! Are we writing an SAT prep novel? No! I am getting a bit tired of the vampires who are so much more powerful, beautiful, intelligent, wonderful than humans and have all these amazing abilities and gifts. This just makes it too easy to use these abilities to get out of whatever trouble pops up in the story. Neferet showing up at the Samhain ritual? Why would she? Because she’s intuitive? I’m not buying it. It’s just too convenient. Ok, so, those are some pretty negative bits that I did not like about the book, but I did enjoy it overall. I do like the vampires the author created. I like that becoming a vampire is a biological change that your body could reject, thus killing you. I like that they are mortal and just have a longer life span than humans. I like that they can go out during the day, it’s just really uncomfortable. I like that they have a vampire school. I like that they are part of society, excelling in the arts. I like that vampires have a matriarchal society. I think the mixture of the goddess and vampirism is interesting. I like the main character’s new friends. The concept is interesting and fun, and I will probably pick up the sequels at work tomorrow.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Marked is one of the worst written books I've read in a long, long time. It is incomprehensible how an intelligent and/or civilized person could enjoy a book like this. Although it's understandable how someone could get swept up in the average, mundanely composed storyline, the writing - oh man, I think I might have lost a few brain cells. Hopefully reading this book hasn't permanently damaged my own writing. One of the most annoying things was Zoey, the main character, had a tendency to think in Marked is one of the worst written books I've read in a long, long time. It is incomprehensible how an intelligent and/or civilized person could enjoy a book like this. Although it's understandable how someone could get swept up in the average, mundanely composed storyline, the writing - oh man, I think I might have lost a few brain cells. Hopefully reading this book hasn't permanently damaged my own writing. One of the most annoying things was Zoey, the main character, had a tendency to think in random tangents (hee hee, see that alliteration! They all start with t!) She also had a massive, gargantuan amount of immature catchphrases. By the end of the book I felt like ripping my hair out every time I read one of the following: "Oh, hell!" "Oh, crap!" "Ah, crap." "*insert unnecessary cuss word!* Seriously, Cast pretty much included a cuss word or reference to sex or drugs in every other sentence. It's realistic when an author includes the occasional cuss word or discreetly mentioned sexual innuendo. But when the main character starts spewing stupid things like how large her teacher's chest is, it's just plain irritating. Oh, and Zoey has officially earned her rank in the top five most annoying protagonists of all time. I refuse to believe that ANY teenage girl could empathize with her - when people say things like "oh, this book would be perfect for teenage girls!", or "I didn't like this, but a girl might!" I almost cringe in disgust. Zoey is mindless, exasperating, and completely one dimensional. She is pretty much the anti-role model. One moment she's discussing the utter normality of sex, the next moment she's talking about how wrong it is to want to kiss a boy. Hypocrite, anyone? 1.5 stars, rounded up to two. The first reason is because after reading this novel I'm more aware of what not to do if I decide to write a book. The second reason is because sometimes the plot was so pointless it was actually funny.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melodie

    This book was recommended to me by my niece. I got her started with vampire books sometime back with Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books. And I was the one who introduced her to Twilight. She gave me one of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books & I liked it, so figured this series might be okay, too. WRONG!! Others have mentioned the preponderance of pop culture references, which was annoying. However, my main quibbles are with Zoey's "perfectness" and what seemed to me to be a major " This book was recommended to me by my niece. I got her started with vampire books sometime back with Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books. And I was the one who introduced her to Twilight. She gave me one of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books & I liked it, so figured this series might be okay, too. WRONG!! Others have mentioned the preponderance of pop culture references, which was annoying. However, my main quibbles are with Zoey's "perfectness" and what seemed to me to be a major "Christian bashing". I am not a religious person, but I do believe in God and this book seemed to paint all "People of Faith", as they were referred to in the book, with the "evil-stupid-intolerant" brush. While basically preaching a tolerance of everything else, the "People of Faith" were excluded. Add to this the fact that all the characters seemed terribly one dimensional and the "twins" were a couple of the most annoying characters I've come across in some time, you can be sure I won't bother with any of the others in this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)

    Having a lot of different feelings...

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