Book Snyopsis: 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?
THE MARK is an unusual and interesting debut that discusses questions of loss, philosophy, and destiny. Following the story completely through Cassie’s point of view I felt the writing was steady and flowed well to maintain an intriguing read. When reading The Mark, I was unsure where the story was taking me. The first half begins with Cassie’s life in Asheville, PA where we first get introduced to her ability and the plot points to an unraveling of the mark and a potential love story surrounding a school friend. Once Nan, Cassie's grandmther dies her life is tossed in the wind bringing about change she nor the reader expects. The meatier plot ensues after Cassie is living back in her home town of Kansas, (with the typical workaholic aunt whose never there so Cassie can live a life with no parental supervison) where suddenly the reader gets flung into Cassie's mysterious family history, a new love interest and a bit of random Greek mythology.
The elements I loved in the story were Cassie’s growth and her development. The idea around having this ability to see death coming isn’t a new thought but an interesting concept surrounding philosophy and fate. I liked the buildup of family history and the little supernatural twist the story entails. This by far is worth reading, the plot was gripping and besides a bit of a let down for an ending I enjoyed it.
The one aspect I didn’t like was the story line with Lucas. Number one although relationships between high school and college age students happen quit often, Cassie and Lucas’s relationship was built on lies. When people start a foundation with dishonesty you can only assume heartbreak and hard times lay ahead. The relationship tittered on predictability, I knew Lucas would ether wind up bearing the mark, or would have some supernatural ability to coincide with Cassie’s. At some point the reader knows the mark is going to alter Cassie into a new way of life, whether it be physically or mainly in the thinking department. The outcome I’m happy to say kept me guessing. In my opinion I do feel Cassie was living the life and behaving like that of a mature twenty something not a sixteen year old girl. I believe the characters should have been older, with the issues and philosophy concepts twirling around it would have been more believable and still able to pull off the YA genre. That being said, The Mark is pretty clean cut on sexual scenes, although Cassie is spending the night with Lucas, there is never a mention of sex or even physical acts between them. Profanity is low, only a couple throughout, and there is a scene with underage drinking. I’d recommend this for 15 &up.