The Mark

The Mark

by Jen Nadol


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Cassie has always seen the mark-a soft glow like candlelight-but she only just discovered what it means. A marked person will die within twenty-four hours. At first Cassie's ability seems useless-especially when she can't save her own grandmother. But when the mark appears on her boyfriend, Cassie not only saves him but convinces him of her power. Together, they search out those marked for death, trying to change destiny. But the question remains: is it really okay to play with fate?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599906607
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Jen Nadol currently resides in a 150 year old farmhouse with her husband and three young sons. She has no paranormal abilities and is pretty happy about it. This is her first book.

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The Mark 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Cassie has seen the mark on people all her life. When a person has the mark around them, they are about to die. Cassie doesn't know how or why or where, but she knows with the mark, it will happen today. Cassie tries to escape her "gift" and avoid people. But when she takes a philosophy course and befriends her TA, Cassie has to share her secret. If you knew today was someone's last - would you tell them? I started reading THE MARK thinking it was a paranormal book, which in some ways it ways. Cassie's ability and seeing the mark has a paranormal feel to it. But THE MARK is not a paranormal book. Instead it takes a paranormal ability to explore philosophy and try to find answers to Cassie's dilemma. Should she tell someone they are about to die? Does she have a responsibility to share what she knows? Can she save someone or is it okay to keep it to herself? This is a quiet, slow book, but it's still an interesting read. I never found myself bored and I actually liked the philosophy twist on the paranormal. There's also a secondary plot about Cassie discovering information about her family, which I thought was somewhat predictable, but still interesting. There's a paranormal twist at the end that after a pretty non-paranormal book felt out of place. But if you go in expecting a more contemporary storyline that raises great questions about life and if we have a responsibility to help, I think readers will be satisfied. THE MARK could make a great book group read and could lead to a great discussion on philosophy, especially since the book never feels heavy or bogged down in semantics. I think THE MARK also has great adult appeal, so give this one to older teens and adults who enjoy YA.
klolovebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i being thinking of what to put and find 3 words tell u about this booksadsadsadand god if i where that girl i would have die of sadness my boyfriend would only use me to tell ppl this is there last day if i where her i would tell him"dude go to hell u loser i save ur life i still got brad pitt lol"
Jac8604 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While it is intriguing and Cassie is a likable heroine, the story fell short somewhere. I think it's because so much time was spent laying groundwork for things to come that not enough happened during the course of the novel. I am, however, looking forward to the continuation of Cassie's story.
ilbooklvr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this was great and had me on the edge of my seat, until the mythical things got thrown in and not fully developed.
allthesedarnbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this young adult novel. When I first started reading, I was wary. Did I really need to read about another 16-year-old girl with paranormal abilities? But I was very pleasantly surprised. Cassandra Renfield has a gift, not of seeing dead people, but of seeing the mark on those who are going to die that day. After the death of Cassie's grandmother, she moves into live with an aunt she's never met (her parents died when she was young, as well) who's latch-key guardianship leaves her with the time to explore herself and her abilities. She gets involved with a somewhat controlling older guy, but unlike in a lot of YA fiction, Cassie is not a doormat. She doesn't let "love" make the decisions for her. This is as much a coming of age story as it is a paranormal novel, and because of the nature of Cassie's strange talent, she must deal with a lot of philosophy and questions about not only her place in life but her responsibility towards those whose death she foresees. The ending leaves it open for a sequel, and I've read that Nadol is working on another related book, which I very much look forward to read. Four and a half stars. Recommended.
BettyMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The plot is easily described by one question on the cover: If you had the power to see death, would you wish it away?To rephrase the question: If you knew today was someone's last, would you tell?Cassie sees a glow around a person ... that person will die today. She has had this gift (or curse) since she was four years old; now she is sixteen and has just figured out what the glow means. How can she handle this?Something I just remembered while writing this review, Cassandra, of Greek mythology, had the gift of prophecy. What an appropriate name for our heroine! This is an intelligent read; Cassie audits a philosophy class at the local university. Because of this class, philosophical and ethical questions and discussions come up. I was absorbed in Cassie's story, thanks to the author's way with words and examination of tough issues.The book does not end as a cliffhanger, thank goodness. There is room for a sequel, Vision in 2011. I'm definitely grabbing Vision as soon as it comes out.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick & Dirty: A well-written and thought-provoking tale that will have you intrigued.Opening Sentence: There is nothing like the gut-hollowing experience of watching someone die, especially when you know it¿s coming.The Review:Cassie Renfield has the freakish ability to see The Mark, an aura surrounding someone indicating that they will soon die. To make matters worse, Cassie sees The Mark around her grandmother and is haunted by the fact that she wasn¿t able to save her. When Cassie¿s grandmother dies, she is forced to relocate and live with her estranged aunt, who only cares about her own life and career. Cassie begins to search for answers and her inner struggles drive the plot forward.Cassie is immediately likable, and her situation is compelling. It¿s interesting seeing Cassie grapple with trying to understand her ability and its ramifications. She struggles with the burden of choosing between trying to help people or letting fate run its course. There¿s also an intriguing mystery surrounding the death of her parents. Less intriguing though is Cassie¿s relationship with her romantic interest, Lucas. Although their relationship is characterized by manipulation and deception, it falls a little flat and I for one simply couldn¿t get into that part of the story.Some other parts of the otherwise compelling story fall a little flat. The ending in particular is a little anti-climatic. In fact, the story generally could use more action. If you¿re hoping for a book driven by a solid romantic plotline, this isn¿t it. While Cassie does have a relationship with Lucas, this story is more about Cassie¿s self discovery. In addition, I felt that the secondary characters were a little lacking.Overall, I did enjoy reading The Mark. While neither an action packed story nor an angst laden romantic melodrama, Ms. Nadol nonetheless pens a thought-provoking novel filled with grief, heartache, and isolation. It¿s certainly unique and does an excellent job of showcasing the ambiguity surrounding fate. The psychological and philosophical themes of the novel were compelling and will certainly keep readers guessing.Notable Scene:As I walked home I kept replaying it. Blood and broken glass on the pavement. The wide, unseeing eyes of the man who had hit him and the cell phone spinning brokenly on the shiny asphalt. I didn¿t know what was worse: what I had seen or what it meant.FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of The Mark. No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don¿t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
peaceloveandpat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I say this in every book that incorporates the Greek mythology in their story. I love it. Same goes to the Mark. Cassandra Renfield have this ability. It can either be a gift or a curse depending on how you look at it. She see this glow - a Mark on a person the day their life is supposed to end.Cassie's life is a bit on the morbid side yet her attitude is not. I really, really, like her.She lost her parents in a car accident when she was a child and the only relative she know (of) - her grand mother Nan died on this book. I really thought that she'll be granted to be an emancipated minor right away and then Nan's will was read. Apparently she have one more living relative, her father's sister whom she never met and never heard of. She has to stay with her for 90days and then she can come back to her old life with almost half a million dollars in her bank account. It turned out to be a pretty interesting summer. She had her first job in a coffee shop, took her first college subject (non-credited but still...), she met a guy named Lucas and became his girlfriend and then she found out the answers to her a secret and it has great depth and history. I was very impressed with Jen Nadol. The philosophical debate and dialogue between Lucas and Cassie was so engaging and have that right amount of intensity it made me sad when it was all over. I hope to see more on her next books.I think the biggest issue that Cassie is facing right now is where the heck will she find other information about her ability? Sure now she is more confident on where it came from but there are still a lot of missing pieces to it. The fact that she now have an annoying ex-boyfriend who keeps trying to make her feel guilty on not using her "gift" to save people is just one way of putting it as selfish, of course that is easy for him to say. For some reason I think Lucas will be a nuisance in Cassie's future. The determinist in him could turn evil. *shrug* I guess I'll just have to wait and find out.I am not a fan of the first two chapters, I was bored but I love the rest of it. This book serves more as an introduction. Who is Cassie? What can see do? What is her history? Who are the people involve? etc... Over all it is a good start for a series.
book_worm127 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Mark asks some though provoking philosophical questions. If you knew that someone was about to die, should you tell them? Or should you let them go on with their day, oblivious? What would happen if you did? Would their lives be better or worse? These are questions that we really can't know the answer to.I thought that this book was very good. It deals with answering the questions above nicely, but that's not all it's about. It's about Cassie coming into herself and accepting her gift/curse. Cassie as a character was very engaging, and I liked reading from her point of view. There were a few things that she did that I didn't agree with, but other than that it was pretty smooth sailing. The other characters were well thought out and each has their own personalities.Something that annoyed me throughout the book was that there were some really choppy jumps forward in time. Basically one minute you would be here, then the beginning of the next chapter you're two weeks later with absolutely no warning. I also thought that some things could have been better explored. The end was left a bit opened ended as well, which could suggest a sequel, but I'm not sure if there are any plans for one.I enjoyed the book, and I thought that the writing was engaging. I would definitely recommend it to paranormal fans and people who don't like paranormal, as "the mark" doesn't play quite as big a part in the book as you would think.
wsquared on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Cassie Renfield is an ordinary teenaged girl, except for one thing--she sees a glow around people who are about to die. When her grandmother and guardian passes away, she moves to Kansas to live with an aunt she doesn't know. It's here that she has to come to terms with the ramifications of her ability and get to know the secrets of her parents who died when she was just two. This debut novel explores a fascinating ability -- what would you do if you knew someone had less than a day to live? -- that could spark interesting discussions in a teen book group. As a whole, though, the book ultimately falters under the burden of trying to do too much in less than 300 pages.
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After the death of her grandmother, Cassie is shipped to an unfamiliar city with an aunt who is a stranger. She¿s not only having to deal with the fact that she has this strange ability, but she¿s also picking up the pieces of her life with no help from anyone around her. I think it¿s because of this that I didn¿t feel like her ability was up in my face the whole time I was reading. Cassie herself ¿ the way she grapples with doing the right thing, her initiative to find a job and enroll in classes at the local university instead of gloomily counting down the days before she could return from her imposed exile ¿ is the nucleus of the story rather than the fact that she¿s ¿special,¿ and for me, that is this story¿s strongest point.Oftentimes, books that deal with paranormal elements are powered by the excitement that comes with the novelty of those elements, relying on action-filled scenes for entertainment. The Mark, though, is filled with thought-provoking questions. Philosophical conversations are peppered throughout the story as Cassie tries to understand not only how it is that she has her ability, but why, and what she¿s supposed to do with it. Please don¿t read that sentence and think that the book is weighed down by philosophy and, therefore, must be boring, because I don¿t think that¿s the case at all. It brings up important questions, like how do you do the right thing when you don¿t have a clue what the right thing is?Cassie¿s philosophy class provides the perfect background in which she can struggle to figure out the best way to handle seeing the mark. After she connects with Lucas and they become deeply involved with each other, she confides her secret in him. Nadol¿s characterization of Lucas was exceptional. When I finished the book, I thought he was an enormous jerk, but after some reflection I don¿t think that¿s the case. On the surface he seemed extremely simple, drawing a line and refusing to budge, but I actually think that he¿s more complex than that. While I don¿t think he sufficiently took Cassie¿s feelings into account, I believe that he prodded her the way he did because he really felt that it was the only reasonable response to the situation and he wanted Cassie to see that. However, he was way too pushy about it, and in inappropriate ways. But the fact that I can see any positive in his behavior at all is a testament to Nadol¿s writing.When Cassie discovers that what she always held onto as her family¿s history is, in fact, a complete lie, the story gets really interesting. Nadol¿s use of foreshadowing is spectacular, so some of the things that Cassie discovers aren¿t incredibly shocking because everything seemed to be moving in that direction. Other revelations, though, left me astounded because, even though the clues were there, I didn¿t think twice about comments here and there being important. I love the fact that I didn¿t see it coming, but at the reveal I immediately remembered all the hints I¿d read.There will be a sequel to this book, and my reaction to that is a little bit mixed. On the one hand, I want to see how Cassie reacts to seeing the mark after the discoveries she made in this book. But on the other hand, I like the openness of the ending as it is written here. I guess my fear is that the next part of the story will rely more on Cassie¿s ability than Cassie herself. However I will read the next book because I have faith that, based on the way she told this part of the story, Jen Nadol will be able to keep the same balance in the next installment.
lenoreva on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
was so captivated by this premise: Cassie can see a faint glow around the heads of people who are about to die. Why does she have such a strange power and does she have the moral responsibility to tell what she knows?Cassie is rather more robust than your typical teen. Once her nana dies, she¿s entirely on her own ¿ except for an aunt who could care less about her ¿ but she takes it in stride. Her power isolates her too - she doesn¿t really engage with others much, with the exception of college student Lucas who pushes her to ¿use¿ her ¿talent¿. The ups and downs of their rocky relationship feel authentic and add to the dramatic tension (though some readers might be put off by what amounts to statutory rape, albeit unwitting).What I most enjoyed was the exploration of philosophical questions which gave the novel depth beyond that of a typical YA read. It was, however, a tad convenient to have Cassie actually audit a philosophy class in which Lucas was the TA. In fact, quite a few aspects of the plot came off as too convenient which makes the narrative feel overly ¿outlined¿ and not as fresh as it could be considering the very original revelation we get at the end of the novel. I could totally imagine (and hope for) a kick-a** sequel, Ms. Nadol.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
16-year-old Cassie Renfield has always been able to see the Mark¿a glow around a person that indicates that he or she will die that very day. Cassie doesn¿t understand what good there is in seeing the Mark when she can¿t do anything to prevent their deaths, including her grandmother¿s. When her grandmother¿s will sends her off to a summer living with a long-lost relative in Cassie¿s parents¿ hometown, Cassie learns more about herself, her family history, and the Mark when she expects.THE MARK is an unusual and interesting debut that discusses questions of loss, philosophy, and destiny. It falls short of reaching its potential, however, due mostly to plotting issues.When reading this book, it was unclear to me what the main conflict was, and when the exposition ended and the meaty middle section began. The first third or so of the novel deals with Cassie¿s life in Asheville, PA, but the story only seems to begin to fully manifest itself once Cassie goes to live with her long-lost aunt. I also thought that the book¿s overarching goal was a bit confusing and multidirectional. The synopsis and the first half of the book made it feel as if the point of the book was to unravel the potential of the Mark¿but then suddenly we begin to delve into Cassie¿s mysterious family history, and toss in a bit of seemingly random, albeit interesting, Greek mythology (and I won¿t say more than that to avoid spoilers). The result was rather disoriented reader.However, the strength of THE MARK really lies in the writing and characterization. Jen Nadol avoids melodrama in what could have easily been a very melodramatic story idea (people dying! Nothing you can do to stop it! Ahhh!). All of the characters are strong despite the inconsistency of their presence in the novel (and let me give you an example of what I mean by ¿inconsistency¿: Cassie¿s grandmother, who dies early on¿and it is no spoiler to tell you that¿is much stronger and has a far greater influence than Drea, Cassie¿s appointed guardian, whose strategic workaholism give off a distinct air of ¿plot device¿). Nadol also successfully weaves in impressive philosophical arguments that will make anyone think hard, and then nod and grin in agreement.THE MARK is certainly not without its flaws, but overall it is still an interesting read, perfect for the budding philosopher. For anyone who¿s ever wondered about fate, destiny, and determinism, THE MARK is a good book to make you think even more.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely not a light read. It touched on a tough subject: if you knew someone was going to die that day and you had the chance of telling them or warning them, would you? A veritable stranger who would most likely look at you as if you were crazy or how about a loved one... what would you do? It really had my mind turning these thoughts the whole time I was reading it.I really felt for Cass and the predicament she was in. I thought she was a great character that Ms. Nadol did an excellent job of fleshing out - suffering from not only the confusion of seeing the Mark but also the insecurities and naivete of a teenager.I will forewarn, this is not an action-filled nor fast-paced read - instead you have to appreciate it for the unique premise and thought-provoking story that it is. It is about death, first love, disappointments; about internal struggle and self-discovery.All in all, I think this is a great start for debut author, Jen Nadol, and I can't wait to see where she takes Cass (and us) next.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
And since I am currently on an ice-skating binge I thought I would add some analogies from them. I expected a quad, got a triple¿with a two-foot landing. Expected a wonderful performance, but instead received a meek substitution.The Mark for me was less about the actual mark, but rather a somewhat coming-of-age story rather than this fantasy book. Cassie is basically trying to understand who she is and what her purpose is with The Mark. Throughout the book Cassie delivers several soliloquies (sorry reading Hamlet right now) that question if she should prevent death or accept it. In the book she does both that results in more questioning if she should continue the path. Both options have good and bad consequences. With such a heavy topic it¿s no wonder that Nadol incorporates famous philosophers.Okay first off I have to mention that I took a philosophy class last semester. Why? Because I wanted Calculus, but they gave me philosophy instead for some apparent reason! Anyhow¿. A lot of the names mentioned, scenarios given, and possible answers I¿ve already dealt with in class. Aristotle, Kant, and all that good stuff. For me I ended up skimming those scenes. I already knew the point and counterpoint arguments, but I believe that this was a highlight of the novel. Readers unfamiliar with these people will find the bantering interesting. I¿m not sure if euphemism is specifically mentioned, but that¿s one topic I felt really fits into this situation. That was one positive aspect of the book; a negative would have to be the romance.The romance between Lucas and Cassie was so heavy and so fast that I felt brought the book so down. Even though it mentioned that they spent a few weeks together before ¿the thing¿ happened the readers can¿t understand what Cassie is feeling. We get a few pages of her swooning and a sentence of how long they spent together.The ending is bittersweet. While I do love the open-ended feel I also despise it. It felt incomplete.
sithereandread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
`The Mark¿ was truly an invigorating novel about making choices when faced with a seemingly impossible situation. Cassie Renfield already lost both her parents long ago and was living with her grandmother. She was born with a terrifying gift of seeing a glow (`The Mark¿) around people before they die. She was faced with the choice many times on whether to tell them or not. Would you?I was absorbed in this book from the first page. This idea of seeing The Mark was so interesting and I could not wait to see where it lead our protagonist. All she wanted to do was have a normal teenage existence that would never be a choice for her because of this curse. She was burdened by her gift and the only person who believed her was about to become exposed to her terrifying world as well. Without giving too many spoilers, Cassie spent the summer away from her home and tried to start anew when she found a young man that understood her grown-up intellect. But when he was exposed to her secret the views of both of them related to each other changed drastically.This novel took me to places I never expected and I was glad for it. Since I read so much I can usually tell the ending before halfway through but not in this case. There were many new directions the book pulled me in from chapter to chapter, I just went along for the ride and stopped trying to guess. By the end of the book I felt like Cassie aged about ten years with all the growing up she did over one summer. She was thrust into adult life by making very hard decisions and accepting those decisions that were made for her. This was a great character-development story that will stick in my mind for a long time.I really enjoyed the characters in this story and how real they were. With Luke and Cassie it was a perfect relationship until her gift was exposed and she had to deal with her philosophical-obsessed boyfriend. Although he may have treated her different, he forced her to explore her gift and it took her places she might not have had the courage to explore before.I was interested in the reaction of those that Cassie told about seeing The Mark and how they did or did not change their fate based on the knowledge. This was one of the toughest things to think about when the book was finished. There are two choices to make, to tell, or not to tell, but each yields many consequences. Then there is one theory that if you save someone¿s life, does another person take their place in death? Cassie had to battle her conscious every time she saw The Mark, but neither choice she made could ever be the right one.I higly recommend this thought-provoking novel and I guarantee that the story will linger in your mind long after the last word is read.
BookRatMisty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had been hearing a lot of good stuff about The Mark, a debut by Jen Nadol, and I was intrigued by the premise which, though gaining in popularity and starting to crop up everywhere, was a bit fresher at the time. I have to say, overall I enjoyed it, but I do have some reservations.It took me awhile to get into the story the way I wanted to. It was never that I disliked it, because I didn't, but it took me quite awhile to feel invested in Cassie and her story. It just felt a little soft to me. I don't know if that will make sense to you, but it's a book about death, essentially, and everything was just a bit too rose-colored for me. There was a disconnect, and as I was reading, I felt like, okay, that's nice...but forgettable, essentially, and it took me about 1/2 of the book to feel invested and start caring.I think what brought me around was that at one point, the book becomes very philosophical (the result of Cassie taking a summer philosophy course and beginning to question her ability and its implications). I read one review where the reader didn't like that the book sort of rotated on this, and became more a coming of age book, all about self-discovery rather than the paranormal romance she thought she was going to be reading. I get that, but for me, it was the questions that made it. Nadol was able to depict that endless cycling of ifs and buts that would come from trying to work your way through this type of ability. Cassie came alive for me in this, because I thought her reactions and thought processes felt very authentic. She was realistic and hesitant and very, very cautious, which played well off of Lucas' self-righteousness and easy morality. This finally allowed me to connect to Cassie, and changed my opinion of the book enough so that I felt it actually was a pretty successful book in the end. Except --Except for the end. Well, not the very end, but near to. Without giving anything away, up until that point, Cassie's ability and its origins was fairly ambiguous, and I enjoyed that. I'm all for willing suspension of disbelief, and I don't feel everything has to be explained or clear so long as it works. If Cassie doesn't know, we don't know, and that makes sense. But then right at the end, there was something thrown in that sort of changed the whole thing for me, and I am not sure how I feel about it. I don't know if this is going to be a stand-alone book (I would respect it more, honestly, if it was), but because of the element introduced at the end and a few loose ends, I have a feeling there is more coming. If said element was to lay groundwork for a series, it felt a little sloppy to me, and a little silly, if I'm being honest. After all of the well-thought philosophy, it really disappointed me because it felt like a ploy. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but it is what it is, and it knocked back my opinion of the book again. Not enough to outweigh that I did enjoy it. But between the beginning where I didn't care, and the end where I felt a bit cheated and irritated, I feel like I only got about 1/3 of a solid story that I care about. It was a good 1/3, and I would recommend this*, but it bears mentioning.So, all in all, a solid debut with some downsides, but still likely to win over teens and not-so-teens.*I know, I know. You're thinking, why did you have to tell me all of these negatives just to say, But you should still read it... Why do I do this? Because I can.^_^
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a little slow and boring at parts, but its good to read on a lazy day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is very good and I highly recommend you read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slow starter, but The Mark rises to meet its interesting premise as a modern retelling of the myth of Cassandra. The discussions on philosophy add a contemplative air to Cassandra's gift, giving readers room to imagine themselves in her shoes. Overall, a great beginning to this new series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When this book ended I wanted more. I find myself still thinking about the characters and wondering what they might be up to now. I am very excited that there is a sequel coming out because I really want to know what happens next!