I first heard about The Mark by Jen Nadol at the 10_ers community and knew I had to read it. I was pleasantly surprised that my library was able to get it so quickly!
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?
I really enjoyed this book.
Cassie is a very sympathetic character who I liked and genuinely felt bad for. It was heartbreaking to watch her struggle with the knowledge that people, including loved ones, were going to die and the helplessness she felt as she wondered if she should let them know about her "gift" by informing them that they were about to die. Coupled with discussions from Cassie's philosophy class, the story was an intriguing look at destiny and free will.
In addition, the supernatural element and the exploration of Cassie's family history added a great deal of suspense that made the book impossible to put down.
You know you're reading a really well-written YA novel when it doesn't feel like a YA novel. Instead, it feels like a story that anyone of any age can relate to. And that's what Jen Nadol achieved with The Mark.
According to Jen's website, a sequel, tentatively titled Vision, will be published in 2011. I can't wait!
For more information, visit Jen Nadol at: