Friday, January 29, 2010
Author: Jen Nadol
Hardcover, 228 pages
Date Published: January 19, 2010
Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?
Cassie Renfield has lived her entire life seeing this glow around some people. The glow could be explained away as a trick of the light, but the day that Cassie follows a man with the glow and watches him die her suspicions about the mark are confirmed. After the death of her Nan, Cassie leaves for an unfamiliar town with an unfamiliar relative and is confronted with the possibility that maybe seeing the mark is a curse, but it may also be her duty to do something about it.
I’ve been longing to read The Mark since I heard what it was about and Jen Nadol does not disappoint at all. She has created such a vivid world that is so much deeper than I imagined it would be. Cassie is instantly likable and I felt an incredibly strong connection with her from the moment she watches a man die. The plot is intense in that it poses the question “if you knew today was someone’s last, would you do something about it?” Cassie is in the difficult position of whether or not she should attempt to change what she views as fate.
After she moves to Bering, Kansas and enrolls in a philosophy course, her moral dilemma is compounded by her new philosophy major, TA boyfriend. What unfolds is a thought-provoking, ethically complex, and morally challenging story about a girl’s struggle to be normal while deciding if she should involve herself in someone’s last day. The Mark isn’t a fast-paced thriller, but it is quite the page turner. I loved every page and only wish there was even more to enjoy. Don’t go into this one expecting a light read. It will make you think. I’m still thinking about it and probably will for a while to come.
Opening line: There is nothing like the gut-hollowing experience of watching someone die, especially when you know it’s coming.
Favorite line: It always came back to that – my gut instinct that fate wasn’t meant to be tampered with.