Marked by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
Reasons for reading: popular with the teens at my library so wanted to see what the fuss was
about; Vampires list for Triple 8 Challenge
Book description: 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. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. 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.
First line: "Just when I thought my day couldn't get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker."
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - I'm even excited to read the sequels, which doesn't seem to happen to me much any more, especially with YA books. The take on vampyrism being a genetic condition was really interesting. In fact, basically everyone who is talented and rich is a vamp. There's quite a funny bit when Zoey's country music-lovin' roommate points out that all the big country stars - Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney, etc - are all vamps. "Heck, Garth Brooks grew up right here in Oklahoma and you know he's the biggest vamp of them all." The idea that humans still loathe vampyres while basically being surpassed by them in all aspects of life was quite the premise.
I liked Zoey. She endeared herself to me particular because she punctuates herself with "hee hee" - something that I say a lot! She was clever, brave, and powerful while at the same time really just a normal girl going through a very scary process. She just wants to fit in, but fate has marked her (literally) for a higher purpose and she embraces it because it's the right thing to do. I also thought it was interesting that she's part Cherokee - I thought the blending of Cherokee and vampyre spirituality worked well.
But...I both enjoyed and rolled my eyes a bit at the Goddess-worshipping stuff. I thought that had gone out a few years ago with the Circle of Three books and their Wiccan ilk. But the description of the Full Moon Ritual was actually quite powerful - it made me wish I could attend something so spiritual. And the Dark Daughters made me groan, thinking that it was going to be yet another book about a mean girls clique. But I guess when you have a matriarchal society at a school and you need a villain, a mean girl is the logical choice.
So, I'll be looking forward to the next crisis in the House of Night - from the blurb at the end, it sounds like a doozy!