Woot! I finished the first book in my 100 books by January 1, 2011 challenge.
Granted, it wasn't any of the ones I've started - and stopped. And yes, it was young adult, but I'm kind of into that whole vampyre-teenage-romance genre.
Perhaps more motivating was that my best friend Karen decided she also wanted to read 100 books by January 1, 2011 - which is kind of like throwing down the gauntlet of challenge - albeit in a friendly and loving sort of way.
You can check out Karen's progress here.
So here's my take on Marked by P.C and Kristen Cast.
We follow sixteen-year-old Zoey as she is first Marked by a Vampyre Tracker, thus ensuring she must leave teenage-hood as she'd always known it and move into the House of Night, a kind of boarding school for fledgling vamps. But Zoey is special - her Mark darker than the others, her powers more developed, her destiny already taking shape.
I loved Joey from the first page and the story immediately drew me in. The Casts do a wonderful job of touching on teenage topics - like sex, death and drugs - without coming across as preachy or condescending. The story-line might be considered cliche by now - the misfit youth trying to find his / her place, finding it in a new (supernatural) world, and realizing he/she does not only fit in - but he / she possesses special "powers" there as well. To off-set this potential cliche, the book is sprinkled with great description and wit that gives it a fresh feeling. And at the end, I found myself wishing I had the second book in the series.
Curled up with Marked isn't a bad way to spend a cold wintery night.