Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review: The Marked Girl

The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 7th, 2016
Source: ALA Midwinter
Date Read: 6/5/16 to 6/6/16
400 pages
Rating: 1/2

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…

When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Apparently, at least 25 books are being published today, and The Marked Girl is one of them. I'll be posting my review of another June 7th release tomorrow, most likely. But that makes two that you'll have my opinion of, good luck with the rest!

For some odd reason, I have been reading a lot of contemporary. In order to even it out a bit, I decided to read The Marked Girl. And although I enjoyed it, I'm not sure if this is something I would read again.

Liv very badly wants to be a filmmaker, but the only chance she really has is through school. As a foster child, she's been thrown around, family to family, never knowing whether she'll stay settled or not. Enter in Cedric, Merek, and Kat, whose home has been recently taken over by wraths. By entering a portal that leads to Earth, they're stuck there until they find the "scrolls" that will take them back to Caelum. Rather than the main character stuck in an unknown world, it's flipped. Chaos ensues as we see Prince Cedric (oh right, I forgot to mention he's a prince) struggles with technology and terminology.

13-year-old Val would have loved this story. Main character stumbles upon the existence of another world (or in this case, the inhabitants of that world stumble unto her). Main character is linked somehow to these strangers. PORTALS. And yes, that means other worlds. Unfortunately, 22-year-old Val has read enough of these tropes at this point. Don't get me wrong, I still liked this, but I felt that it was incredibly generic, or I guess a better way to say it is that it was filled with cliches. Liv doesn't believe this fantasy world exists, but then she does after being chased down by some evil wraths, and of course Prince Cedric tries to protect her, even though he barely knows her. And of course there aren't really parents involved, because of foster care.

It's also not as if everything wasn't explained. It was. But just very, info-dumpy. Liv and Cedric actually drive out to find information at UC San Diego, and that's where half of everything is explained. Then, the rest of it comes out later, by the villain himself (so classic). I think this is why I felt like the world, or Caelum, felt generic and not well-developed. It is almost as if things were being dropped in as seen fit.

Yet with all of this, 22-year-old Val still loves stories with portals and parallel universes, or different worlds in this case. Although I am not completely attached to the characters, I am still interested in their situation. And maybe more will come up in the second book about the world of Caelum, more than just castles and wraths, hopefully. Plus, it's always fun to watch someone struggle with our language and technology. I felt like those encounters were especially well done in this novel.

Although entertaining, I definitely wanted more from The Marked Girl. So I'm really hoping that the second book covers everything that wasn't mentioned in this one.
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