Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE] ACE #1
After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit. 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 (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them).
PC was born in the Midwest, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school, she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. After her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today Best-Selling author and a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath. PC is an experienced teacher and talented speaker. Ms. Cast lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses. House of Night Other World, book 4, FOUND, releases July 7th, 2020. More info to come soon about the HoN TV series!
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." Confused? 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.
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 minuscule 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? Because anorexia and bulimia are not serious issues at all...
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?
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."
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.
Also, I wanted to shoot myself with the stupid parenthetical overkill they put throughout the whole damn book.
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 say 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.
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.
I know this is said very lightly sometimes, but this is actually the worst book I've ever read. It was so painful to accept that this was actually published.
I just want to say one last, important thing to the Casts:
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.
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.
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!
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)...'
'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.'
'"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.
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]
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.
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.
Hace unos días hablaba de esta saga de doce libros en mi canal de YouTube. Comentaba que no la tenía completa, y que ni siquiera la había comenzado pese a tener sus tres primeras entregas conmigo desde hacía años. Los comentarios no tardaron en aparecer recomendándomela: que si es mamarracha, que si es urban fantasy, que si enganchan mucho… Pues bueno, decidí comprobarlo por mí mismo.
Marcada no me ha durado ni un día.
La primera novela de La Casa de la Noche nos presenta un mundo como el nuestro con algunas variaciones: los vampiros existen, la gente conoce de su existencia, hay grupos de gente que los odio llamados Gente de Fe, las estrellas de cine son vampiros… Y lo más importante -porque es lo que le toca a la protagonista- los jóvenes son seleccionados de manera aparentemente aleatoria para convertirse en vampiros.
Para convertirse en ellos tienen que asistir a La Casa de la Noche, una escuela donde aprenden todo tipo de artes y asignaturas relacionadas con ser vampiro. La idea, en un principio, me pareció diferente y original. ¡Y recordemos que es una novela del 2007! El boom vampírico aún no había llegado para quedarse, por lo que en ese sentido, he apreciado mucho esa rotura del cliché de las criaturas nocturnas por antonomasia.
Hay ciertos detalles que no voy a negar que me han chirriado, como el hecho de que la protagonista utilice términos de bodyshaming o slutshaming hacia compañeras suyas. Sin embargo, y aunque no me gustaran para nada, puedo entender que esto suceda por dos motivos: 1. Eran otros tiempos. 2. Durante la novela se plantean ciertos elementos (como el matriarcado, las amazonas...) que creo que pueden hacer que la protagonista evolucione en ese sentido.
Por lo que, de momento, lo voy a dejarlo pasar. Me da la sensación de que eso se va a explorar más adelante y quiero comprobarlo. En caso de equivocarme, voy a tener que bajarle la nota a este libro y reeditar este fragmento de la reseña.
Respecto a lo que es la novela en sí me ha parecido muy ágil. Continuamente suceden cosas: desde romances, traiciones y enfrentamientos, a poderes mágicos, rituales y sangre. Hay un montón de elementos que constantemente juegan a favor de que la lectura avance sin pausa, y sí: es puro mamarracheo.
Chicas populares, novios deportistas de instituto, traiciones románticas, cotilleos… Las autoras son conscientes de ello, e incluso en ciertos momentos, la protagonista comenta cosas sobre definir a algunas de las chicas populares como clichés. Si a todo esto le sumamos vampiros, magia y demás elementos que entiendo se desarrollarán en siguientes entregas… I’M HERE FOR IT!
Analizándolo como primera parte de una saga creo que es una muy buena introducción al universo de La Casa de la Noche, aunque quizá me hubieran faltado algunos detalles más sobre el mundo. Se conocen datos importantes y básicos para comprenderlo por encima, pero falta ahondar un poco en la mitología o la relación de los vampiros con la diosa Nyx. Entiendo que al ser una primera entrega se optó por llevar la novela a atrapar al lector y llenarlo de acción en vez de profundizar en el universo, ya que teniendo once libros más por delante habría tiempo de sobra.
En definitiva: me ha sorprendido para bien. Ya tengo en mi mesita de noche el segundo esperando a ser empezado. Marcada se lee en un soplo, engancha y está lleno de todo lo que me gusta. De momento, comenzar esta saga ha sido todo un acierto.
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.
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"?
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.
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.
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..
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?
This book....is a GREAT BIG STEAMING PILE OF TURD.
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).
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!
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:
Wow I couldn't put this book down! At first I was hesitant reading it because it looked like a total cliche vampire story (which it totally was) and I'm not into vampire stories usually but it was addictingly good! I recommend this book for anyone who's into paranormal girly-ness
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.
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!
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.
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.
I've decided that it's time that this blog has a drinking game. And I decided that if we're going to do it right, we might as well use one of the worst (in my opinion) series in YA to drink, too which is The House of Night. Note, there are several ways you can play the drinking game. But I advise you not to do all steps at once. Doing so would probably cause organ failure.
About the House of Night as I said before, they drive me bananas. I only read halfway through the second book before I through the towel in on the series, but amazingly the series is doing fairly well. It's been on bestseller lists, optioned, and they even have House of Night merchandise you can buy. I'm not going to try to understand the popularitiy of this series. Instead, we're going to drink. If you're under twenty-one or worried about your liquor you can do what I did and indulge in root beer (put some ice cream on it and you have a float). It's really delicious and makes this book slightly more bearable. Oh, and if your wondering what I rate this book a big fat zero. That's right it doesn't even get a one star.
1) Take a sip every time you want to slap Zoey: When we're introduced to Zoey she's instantly unlikeable from the start. It might be because she failed her Mary Sue litmus test multiple times or the fact she's so judgmental on everyone. For example, our introduction is her bashing her ex because he drinks a lot and smokes. So, freaking what? It's his life not hers. Yes, I get that drinking and doing drugs is bad, but she's not his mother. And she's broken up with him. Here's a few more people she makes ill informed judgments on throughout the book (you can use them as guideposts to know when to drink):
*Her mother/family (save for her hippie grandma): Zoey's parents are religious and have problem, ya'll. And she makes sure that she berates them for it. Especially when it concerns her mother's relationship with her step father. I know I'm suppose to feel sorry for Zoey after reading this, but I don't. I really don't. The one sided judgements that are made just made me angry. Whenever her family's mention you can also take a sip per number three (a.k.a. stereotyping).
*Skinny Girls: Zoey frequently knocks people with skinny body types and make crude remarks about girls suffering from eating disorders. Look, eating disorders are bad, but so is making fun of someone's body shape. You really think that if you say you look like a walking stick to a girl who is suffering form self esteem issues that she's starving herself/causing to throw up is the healthiest way to get around a positive body image. No, just no. Plus, Zoey there are people who are naturally skinny. Who as much as they'd like to have curves don't. Calling them hos just because the way they look is wrong. Aphrodite and Poor Sarah Jessica Parker: Zoey hates Aphrodite right off the bat for no apparent reason (Aphrodite even attempts to be nice to her) and tells us that she looks like an annoying hag, just like Sarah Jessica Parker. A popular girl looking like SJP? Have you seen SJP as a teen. Sort of awkward looking. Plus, how can you find SJP annoying? She is Carey Bradshaw and she probably has the best wardrobe in television history.
*Stevie Rae (her new bf.f.): Stevie Rae might be Zoey's new b.f.f., but that doesn't stop her from constantly telling the audience what a provincial hick she is.
*Kayla (her old b.f.f.): Zoey goes completely psycho on her former b.f.f. making random accusations that Kayla is into her ex because she's wearing a shirt that's the color of flesh. I kid you not.
*Elliot: This poor sole never even talked to Zoey and she talks about how mean and ugly he is. And just brushes off his death because he's apparently butt ugly.
2) Take a swallow every time we're told she's special: Oh dear lord, the amount of Zoey butt kissing that goes on in this book alone can send someone into a root beer coma. It's constantly hammered into the reader's head: Zoey's an outcast, she's beautiful, she has random out of body experiences, her mark is special, she can control all the elements just like Captain Planet (though heart is replaced with spirit), and all the boys love her.
3) Take a sip anytime the Casts offend a person based on race/gender/sexuality/weight/culture/or just humanity in general. If you decided to drink to this one you'll probably be angry while you get smashed. Here's just a few groups the Casts offend:
*Women: If you wear a low skirt, like to broadcast the fact that you're a vibrant woman than Zoey is going to brand you a slut. If you look at her the wrong way you're going to be branded a slut. If she just doesn't like you...you get the picture. All I have to say is this, grow up!
*Cherokees: I'm like a sixteenth Cherokee or something obscure. While I'm proud of my heritage, I'm not really connected to it like Zoey is. However, I'd say that Zoey takes the very cliche route when it comes to being a descendent of a Native American. I think her only exposure to her culture is through a Cherokee bingo parlor or whatever.
*Oklahomans: My mother is from Oklahoma and hardly ever uses the word ya'll, does not like going to the rodeo, and does not listen to Kenny Chesney. She has relatives who live in Oklahoma and they are the same. And an Oklahoma accent isn't that different from a Texan accent. Just saying. Conservatives: I might not be a conservative, but I know lots. And their good people. Do we disagree about our values, yes, but they're usually not evil zealots.
*Religious People: People can believe in God and not be a douche. Seriously, having Zoe's family and everyone else who believes in some form of religion that is not Casts hybrid Greek mythology/Cherokee/ Wiccan religion is disgusting.
*Men: A man is essentially raped in this book and it's blown off. Men get raped too. I don't get why that's a hard concept to grasp.
*LBGTs: There's one gay character in this book and we're constantly told he's gay to where he's essentially a token character. I kid you not, there's even some line in the book where the Casts sort of break the fourth wall and admit it. It's beyond annoying.
*Vampires: And I thought Twilight bastardized vampires. This book makes me want to read Stephenie Meyer's take on vampires again. It's that bad the mythology is so confusing and does not make sense see number six and the Casts actually have the gall to mock Bram Stoker's Dracula. I kid you not.
4) Take a gulp whenever Zoey gives an ill advised moral lesson: Zoey and her authors are intent on teaching their audience some ill informed lessons here's just a few:
*Drugs are lame, but don't be a nark: Look, I get drugs are bad and all. But honestly, the way Zoey talks about it reminds me of a really bad PSA. Slut slamming is okay, if the girl's not your friend: I've already talked about this before, but really the amount of girl hate based on appearances in this book is obscene.
*Men can't get raped: Yeah, the logic here doesn't need to be discussed anymore.
*Anorexics should be bashed as well as individuals with thin body types: You could get drunk off of these offensive statements alone.
*All religious people are nuts: Maybe if they're a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, but normally not so much.
*If your name is Zoey Redbird you can do no wrong: Does anyone that's not deemed "evil" in this book question this girl?
5) Drink an entire glass whenever she talks like an eight year-old (likewise, take a sip whenever Damien demands it necessary to give us a vocabulary lesson): There is an entire chapter devoted to crap, guys. But it's not called excrement, it's called poopie. Poopie. How old is Zoey suppose to be again? I guess I shouldn't be surprise since she uses the words boobies frequently as well. If that's not bad enough Damien gives us an educational vocabulary lesson every time he appears. Although, it's not that educational to me since I knew most of these words by the time I graduated from middle school.
6) Drink every time you try to make sense of the Casts vampire mythology and wonder why they decided to use spell vampire vampyre: Was the spelling done differently because it was cute? Seriously, no explanation whatsoever. Guess that makes sense becuase the mythology in these books is really odd too. I don't understand the vampire origin other than it involves the goddess Nyx (a Greek goddess) and the Cherokee people. Oh, and somehow the Amazons are involved as well. And why do some fledglings die and do vampires (I meant vampyres live forever)? I'm sorry these vampires are not vampires, they're Captain Planet wannabes meant Charmed wannabes.
7) Swallow anytime you question the love interests: The love interests are just horrible in this book. We have many people loving Zoey-it only gets worse as the series progresses. But the first book focuses on these two idiots
*Erik Night: Think of a guy who's super hot and has the personality of a dead fish. He likes Zoey for no explained reason and they share about as much chemistry as Bethany and Xavier Woods. On the bright side, I did prefer him to Heath, but then again that's not saying much. What really amazes me though, is that the Cast women fought so much about this love triangle that they eventually resolved it by introducing a new douche in the series. Honestly, from what I've seen I don't know why anyone who'd pick Heath.
*Heath: This guy reminds me of some loser you'd see on Sixteen and Pregnant the deadbeat you know whose going to abandon his child. He pops in occasionally just to tell Zoey she's hot before staring at someone's "boobies". Though apparently Zoey might've imprinted on him.
8) Drink every time you question the logic in these books: Seriously, this series doesn't make sense. Here are some things I randomly wondered when reading it.
*How is the House of Night getting it's money. Tuition isn't paid
*Why is someone marked a vampyre? If they weren't marked wouldn't they be normal.
*Vampyres they're not vampires. Why are we even putting them in the same category was this just done for marketing purposes?
*Why does everyone love Zoey she's a bitch?
*How many out of body experiences can one have?
*Do these teachers even teach?
*And why hasn't any of these parents sued the school yet for their kids dying?
*If you chose this option to drink too you'll be drinking a long after you finished the book
9) Take a swallow every time you think about how this book got optioned and for that matter wonder who is cool enough to play Zoey Redbird: A movie of this filth is suppose to be released Let's hope it's in development hell. Because this film would be worse than Twilight and there would be at least five of them.
10) Take a chug every time you wonder if this is some published version of My Immortal: If you read the infamous Harry Potter fan fic you'll find some glaring similarities to Zoey Redbird and Ebony Darkness Dementia Raven Way (the MC Mary Sue of the fan fic). Let's look at a few
*They both are vampires
*They both go to boarding school and have a lack of respect for authority figures
*Both are in love with two boys and have awkward make out sessions
*They both like Count Chocola and think it's ironic because they're vampires (hee hee hee)
*They both are extremely judging and make assumptions about each and every character
*They are loved by everyone
*And everyone who doesn't love them is a prep
And so ends this installment of the House of Night drinking game. Next month, or in a couple of weeks depending on how glutton for punishment I am and the library's reservation list, I'll read Betrayed. The title alone is worth drinking too.
My first 1-star book of 2021; I guess it's good that it took over 30 books to get here.
I don't get the hype of this series. I loved the idea of a mother-and-daughter writing team, as it's one of my life dreams with my mother. However, I don't understand how any reputable editor would have let this book pass in this manner.
This book is full of racism, constant judgment, hypocrisy, and immaturity, with a random "adult" theme thrown into the childish language.
The most disturbing part of this book was that the MC is considered a "good" character in any way. And the fact that a forced attempt of oral rape of a male is not an issue to anyone other than referring to the girl as a "slut".
I just can't with this book. I am disappointed that this is ever held up to teens as an example, as I can't find a single redeeming characteristic of the "all-powerful" Zoey.
Obviously, the authors possess immense biases and obsession with celebrities while judging other females.
"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!”
Well, several years have passed since the first time I read this series. I remember that it was very entertaining and so unbelievably addictive. I wanted to read one book after the other nonstop. And I did.
I read the first books in greek translation and the rest in their original version because they hadn't been translated. I don't know if they are translated now in greek language. And I don't care because I have decided to do a reread and read the first books in english as well. I am happy to say that the first book is still as entertaining as I remembered it.
The series follows the adventures of Zoey Redbird, a 16 years old girl who has Cherokee heritage. One day she will be chosen to become a new vampire and she will need to attend a school for vampires. Vampires are not dark creatures of the night that humans ignore their existence. Everybody knows that they live among humans and every teenager knows that there is a possibility that he/she may be chosen to join them.
I don't remember many details from the series, hence the reread (because I want to write reviews for the books) But I remember four things very clearly:
**SPOILERS** 1. Zoey gains a new tattoo/mark at the end of almost every book. At least in the first books. 2. Vampire girls behave more like witches than vampires with their rituals and their affinity in elements. 3. Most of the evil characters, villains and monsters will become well- intentioned misunderstood characters ( with tragic personal stories) at some point and everyone will like them. 4. Zoey will be betrayed and heartbroken by her first lover.
The first book describes thd first days of Zoey at the House of Night, her new friends, her new enemies and her new wannabe boyfriend.
I recently read an article about how reading bad or below-average books can actually help improve your writing. So, for improvement's sake, I decided to reread this lovely twelve-book series I devoured (and loved!) when I was 12 years old and on the brink of further implementing my book obsession (which has been pretty wild since the very beginning, to be honest.)
I mean, wow. I'm not even certain enough of my brain cells survived reading this to actually write something after, good or bad or anything in between. I'm pretty sure they invented How Not To Write guides after this was published - and for good reason.
I just want to know the Casts' secret. Did they bribe their publisher? Read out loud from this book until he was begging them to stop? How in the world did they convince someone to publish this?
But let's start at the very beginning: Why this Book is Terrible and You Should Not Read It.
DISCLAIMER: This is about to get very, very rant-y. I passionately hate-read this book and prepared to tear it to shreds in this review. I cannot stress enough that I do not mean to insult either P.C. or Kristin Cast personally. Remember, when I was 12, I loved this series and genuinely waited for each new release.
PLOT: 0 / 5
Are the Casts in a competition with Anna Todd to see who can crank out the most illogical, cliché-filled plot? Cause it seriously looks like they're winning.
I honestly didn't think there was any other book out there that had a worse storyline than After. Boy, was I wrong.
In the first novel of the series, the protagonist, Zoey Redbird, turns into a vampyre (yes, they're cool and unique here, so you have to spell them with a y, even though it cracks me up every single time because the German pronunciation makes it sound like vampür in my head) by being Marked by a Tracker at school one day. What happens when you get Marked is basically: some dude shows up, points at you, recites the worst monologue I've ever laid my eyes upon, and finally, you faint and wake up with a brand new half-moon tattoo on your forehead. Because apparently, vampyres aren't just super strong and super fast here, they're also super good at tattooing people without any equipment or physical contact whatsoever. It's truly magical.
Lo and behold, our dear freshly tattooed Zoey makes for the vampyre boarding school, the House of Night, where she is supposed to go to class for four years and participate in random subjects before completing the Change into an adult vampyre or dying a painful, slow death. By now I'm totally hoping it's the latter, but I'm out of luck. Why changing into a vampyre would take four entire years in the first place is beyond me.
Instead of coughing up a lung or two, Zoey ends up running around like she owns the place, makes four new friends in one day, gets a hot boyfriend, and challenges the House of Night's resident Queen Bee for her position. Bitch, I don't even have four friends. What the hell?
I mean, the plot literally takes place over the span of four days, and by the end of it, Zoey is not only the most popular girl in town, but the only fledgling in all of history with a filled-in mark. And she scores the hot, popular Senior dude after talking to him approximately once. Unless jamming your tongue down somebody else's throat is a weird new vampyre greeting, I'm calling bullshit.
Don't even get me started on that part where Zoey becomes leader of the Dark Daughters, an elite school organization, even though she's, you know, only been there for one week. She knows next to knothing about the vampyre world, has no experience whatsoever, and her greatest deed so far was calling Aphrodite a "ho-bag" 611 times in a row, but sure, let's make her the leader of an important and respected student organization that upholds rituals deeply rooted in vampyre tradition and represents the school. Instead of someone who - just a wild thought here - actually knows what they're doing and didn't move in yesterday.
My head hurts.
CHARACTERS: 1 / 5
I'm giving this one star only because I'm so unashamedly amused at how bad these characters are. As a comedic ensamble, they'd be priceless.
ZOEY REDBIRD is the protagonist of the series and doesn't only have a name that already screams Mary Sue! in fifteen foot high neon letters, she also has the personality of a cockroach, except cockroaches have an actual biological purpose and don't make me roll my eyes so hard I give myself a nosebleed every five minutes.
Like your average Young Adult-Mary Sue, Zoey is sixteen, in high school, and way too cool for you - except she keeps complaining about having no friends and being so unique and different. Gee, Zo, I don't know, maybe if you developed an actual personality people would want to befriend you?
All she consists of before she's Marked is the following rather short, but colorful list: hating on her stepdad (whom she so very eloquently calls "step-loser"); complaining about teenagers who party, drink, and have sex; and feeling superior to her (alleged) best friend, Kayla, and her ex-almost-boyfriend, Heath. Calling either of them stupid is a brave call from someone who uses the word "gihugic" unironically. (No, I did not make that up. Even my creativity has its limits.)
Besides being annoying and dumber than a sack of sand, Zoey is also a plain old hypocrite: she loves complaining about Aphrodite and her friends, claiming that they run around acting like they're so much better than everyone else, but then doesn't take two seconds to turn around and talk about "some loser kid's blood" which she would very much like to consume because she's, you know, a vampyre and Elliott from Lit class is just a refrigerator because he has bad hair. If hypocrisy was an Olympic sport, Z-bird would take home all the medals.
Other than that, Zoey constantly talks about fashion - Maui Jim this, Prada that. They don't even talk fashion this much on Project Runway, and that's a show about making fashion. Or she likes to remind everyone of how different she is because she doesn't have oral sex. She's truly earned a gold star, that one.
I'm also pretty much convinced that Zoey invented the "overpowered MC" trope that has been ripe in Young Adult fiction these past few years, because get this: she's not only the first fledgling ever to have a completely filled-in Mark, no, she can also control all five elements, which has been unheard of in vampyre history, and ends up High Priestess in training with a full vampyre tattoo at the end of book one. While your average adult vampyre will have a half-moon tattoo on their forehead and then, after completing the Change, some ornamental tattoos on their cheekbones, Zoey is a fledgling with tattoos all over her body within four weeks.
Of course, lovely Zoey isn't enough to bear just yet, so the Casts have come up with an entire quirky! and fun! group of friends for her.
There's STEVIE RAE, who has the personality of a cowboy boot and is only there to talk with a Southern accent or giggle. (Stevie Rae used to be my absolute favorite character when I first read these books. What a blind fool I've been.)
There's the twins, SHAUNEE and ERIN, who aren't really twins but are called that because they seem to be taking turns using their last functioning brain cell to complete each other's sentences. Truly amazing.
There's DAMIEN, the token gay guy who doesn't fit in with the other gay guys at school because they're too girly, so he hangs out with a group of straight girls instead. I suspect he maybe does it to feel smart, because the female parts of their little gang seem to have a combined IQ of 45 on a good day. I would have rather read about Henrietta's Fighting Hens than spend one more chapter reading the cringy and embarrassing "banter" between Ms. Overpowered and her Group of Equally Annoying and Useless Friends.
And there's APHRODITE, who - guess what - named herself after the Greek goddess of love and passion and is - you guessed it - a total bitch. I mean, Zoey pretty much acts like Aphrodite crawled out of hell to torment her personally with how gorgeous and sexy she is. Yay for reinforcing the demonization of female confidence in this absolute blast of a novel.
Of course there's also some fun side characters, such as NEFERET who admittedly has a cool name but is, other than that, the worst mentor ever (seriously, Dumbledore is Teacher of the Year compared to her) and functions as a flat, two-dimensional villain later on in the story. I'm tragically bored by now.
Last but not least, we have the pleasure of meeting ERIK NIGHT who has possibly one of the worst names I've ever heard and is about as charming as a piece of gum stuck to your shoe: he's clingy, annoying, and sugary sweet.
WORLD BUILDING: 1 / 5
I mean, the Casts used a clever tactic here: they placed the House of Night in their home state, Oklahoma, so they wouldn't have to come up with any new places except for the boarding school itself. They even went so far to claim famous celebrities such as Shania Twain or Shakespeare himself are/were vampyres. Please. Shakespeare's currently laughing his gay ass off; he wouldn't be caught dead with a bunch of losers who think they have the moral high ground because they've never sucked a dick.
The House of Night itself is quite vacuous itself: I recall a vague description of a bunch of stone buildings and a temple, dedicated to the vampyre goddess Nyx. That's pretty much it.
DIVERSITY: 0 / 5
The Casts really try to be diverse: they have a main character who has Cherokee blood, a gay guy, and a Jamaican girl. However, those three turned out to be some of the most horrible, offensive, stereotype-ridden representation I've ever seen (which has to mean something, because it's not like there's an abundance of awesome rep out there.)
Damien is soft-spoken and feminine, interested in fashion and cross-stitching - which, in itself, is fine. What's not fine is the blatant homophobia seeping through these pages:
"And this is the token guy in our group, Damien Maslin. But he's gay, so I don't really think he counts as a guy."
Wooooooow. Thanks, Stevie Rae, for reinforcing the notion that gay men aren't real men. What the literal fuck?
Or, three pages later, the actual use of the f-word:
"'Think National Merit Scholar in charge of the Honor Society mixed with cheerleaders and band fags.' 'Hey, isn't it disrespectful to your gayness to call them band fags?' Stevie Rae asked. 'I'm using the word as a term of endearment,' Damien said."
Using a term that originated from gay people being rolled up in carpets and lit on fire, therefore resembling cigarettes - which are widely known as fags in the UK - as a term of endearment? I think my spirit just fucking launched itself into the sun or something. This is some Grade-A-Straightie nonsense.
Shaunee, the Resident Black Girl, is only described in terms of food: latte macchiato, mocha, you name it. Anything edible that remotely resembles the color brown immediately becomes a substitute for her name. The bar is literally on the floor and the Casts dug a hole to avoid it.
The stereotyping continues in a rampage of slut-shaming: Zoey's really thinking about Aphrodite's sex life a lot. I mean, the words "bitch" and "hag" make up 81 % of her vocabulary, and there's this lovely paragraph to further prove how saintly Zoey is:
"Yes, I was aware of the whole oral sex thing. I doubt if there's a teenager alive in America 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 thinks 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."
Right. Because giving a blow job makes you morally bankrupt and sucks out your brain cells.
WRITING STYLE: 0 / 5
I, a writer with at least seven years of experience, can think of approximately zero words to describe the style which P.C. and Kristin Cast employ in their opening novel of the House of Night-series. All I can say is that there are so many parentheses. (Seriously, so many.)
Instead of trying to describe it, though, I decided to compile a list of quotes from the book for both your and my amusement. (FYI, the little blowjob-excerpt was not from a conversation Zoey was having. It was an actual descriptive passage in the text.)
Behold the beauty of words, employed by the Casts in the House of Night-series in a manner formerly (and thankfully) unbeknownst to mankind:
"I guess it was time I took things into my own hands (after all, they were well manicured)." Okay, Zoeybird, do I look like I give a flying fuck about your fingernails?
"Then I felt it. A tingling sensation that crawled over my skin and made my new Mark burn. Power. I felt power." This chick is really trying to be some cheap version of Harry Potter with her tingling sensation nonsense. Somewhere, J. K. Rowling is pissing her pants laughing.
"'Isn't that weird? I'm a Redbird and a daughter of the sun, but I'm turning into a monster of the night.' I heard myself talking out loud and was surprised that my voice sounded so weak, especially when my words seemed to echo around me, as if I were talking into a vibrating drum." She hears herself. Talking. To herself. I'm going to have a stroke.
"Suprise made me open my eyes. I was staring up at a light, which miraculously didn't hurt my eyes. Instead of the glaring light of the sun, this was more like a soft rain of candlelight filtering down from above. I sat up, and realized I was wrong. The light wasn't coming down. I was moving up toward it! I'm going to heaven. Well, that'll shock some people. I glanced down to seemy body!" I just lose it at that overly enthusiastic and super shocking my body! at the end there every. Single. Time.
Or, my all-time favorite, unparalleled in its astonishing phrasing:
"I enjoyed the way the world looked, sparkling and new, but it was my body that kept drawing my attention. I floated closer to it. I was breathing in short, shallow pants. Well, my body was breathing like that, not the I that was me. (Talk about confusing pronoun usage.) And I/she didn't look good. I/she was all pale and her lips were blue. Hey! White face, blue lips, and red blood! Am I patriotic or what?"
I'm delighted. Thanks for the confidence boost, guys, because if a book that uses the terms "gihugic" and "birthday-cake-frosting-blue" can make it, I probably can, too.
OVERALL RATING: 0 / 5
Man, I really tried to find something good about this book, but if such a thing exists, it's hidden awfully well. I don't know which illiterate demon possessed twelve-year-old me and told me these books were good, but I'm glad he's gone now.