Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Marked (Review, Tour & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Marked
Author: Laura Williams McCaffrey
Publisher: Clarion Books
Published Date: 16th February 2016
Rating: 3 stars

*Thanks to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for the review copy*


Synopsis: 
Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed. When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible. Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.

Review: When it came to this book, it did have its ups and downs for me. Let's start with what went well. 

What I liked about this novel:

- At the end of nearly every chapter, there was a graphic novel illustration. It just added a lovely dimension to the story. Although the graphic novel was to do with something over than the plot line, I could see that the feelings that Lady Captain (the main character in the graphic novel) was going through, related well to what Lyla was feeling at the time as well. 

- Finally, we had a family in the novel! In a lot of YA books the parents are either dead, absent, or just conveniently never around. I'm going to be honest and say the parents weren't around as much as I ideally would've liked, but they were included in the novel and added to the story. There was also a strong sister connection between Hope and Lyla which I really liked seeing. I think that made the story something I personally could enjoy all the more, because I have a sister too. 

- I liked the concept of the Red Fist being a rebellion group against the Barons. Although that is the typical dystopian situation, it seems like neither group were particularly good. They were basically as bad as each other and that left Lyla wondering if there was anything she really could do to make a difference, if there was even a way to do 'good' in the end. That inner debate appealed to me a lot. 

General feels. Make of this what you will. 
- I liked Lyla's character. We all make mistakes sometimes, as she did, and we all want to work to make them better. That's really what she was working after, and I could appreciate her efforts. 

- It's a tiny personal thing, but I really liked the font of the book. I liked the writing style as well. It wasn't beautiful or anything too special, but it was straightforward and that kind of voice worked well here. 

- It was a slow and steady plot. That works for some people and others not, but it did work for me. 

What I wanted a little bit more of: 

- I wanted a little bit more in terms of world building. I think we never really ventured too deep into it, or too deep into the world, and some things could've been better explained as well for my own level of understanding. 

- The secondary characters weren't too fleshed out. And some of the main ones could have been done better as well. 

- We have three different names for Gill. Three! I got so confused at some points and sort of wished there was only one for each person. 

- I wanted a little more from the ending. It was so open ended and not too conclusive and closing which bothered me a little. It wasn't particularly a bad ending... I just wanted more. 



Giveaway: Win (1) of (3) finished copies of MARKED by Laura Williams McCaffrey (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: How much do you value family? Do you like family appearing in novels?

Olivia-Savannah x

43 comments:

  1. Oh, I LOVE when family appears in novels! I have been VERY curious to read another review about this book. I don't think I know anyone who has reviewed it, so I am excited to find yours! Did you have a physical review copy? I had a very hard time with the formatting of my eARC, and I think that did not help matters. I agree that Lyla was definitely a go-getter, and it was certainly wonderful for family to be involved! I also agree with all of your negatives. The names confused me a lot too- I kept having to go back and see who was who! Great review, glad I have someone to chat about it with :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I love discussing what I have read with others. More books need families to make appearances. I have both an eARC and a physical copy in the end, although I did much prefer the physical one. I think Lyla's character was lovely! But the names were probably the most tricky thing to keep track of in the book >.>

      Delete
  2. sounds cool :) and it's nice to see more families of various sorts in YA novels, if only because it doesn't seem to happen that often

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! More families is something I demand in YA :D

      Delete
  3. I do love having family dynamics in books and it's for example really annoying when some parents in YA are mentioned but don't seem to have any interaction with their children; I found that completely surreal. I think one of the reasons why I enjoyed To All the Boys I've Loved Before, for instance, was the family dynamic. It was great. I love when that happens. Great review by the way, alhough I don't think this book is for me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Family dynamic is something that quite a few books are missing. It's why I couldn't stand Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, mostly. I think I should try that Jenny Han book ^.^

      Delete
  4. The synopsis sounds great. Wish the author could have addressed the issues you brought up before it went to print; would have made it even better. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would've! But there is a good story there already as well :)

      Delete
  5. There's just something off-putting about the cover and synopsis, that I am gonna have to pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, I do understand though. Not every book is for everyone...

      Delete
  6. I really liked how you termed that...'things I would like to see more of'. Classy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed that, too, and thought it was such a positive spin on the usually, "What I didn't like," which would have been how I (need to acquire more elegant diction) would have phrased it. =)

      Delete
    2. Aw, thank you to both of you! I chose those words because the book did have them to some degree, I just well, wanted it increased in volume up a bit!

      Delete
  7. Marked has received such a wide range of ratings! But, I'm glad that everyone is able to offer their insights. I think I would really like the graphic appeal of this book. I appreciate it when authors take time to choose the right font for their books. It's quite a nice extension to the story itself. Thank you for the informative review, Olivia. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really does seem to vary along the spectrum so I can see how this could be hard for readers to know if they want to read it or not! Looking at the reviews in more detail could help, though. The graphics in this book had me in love <3 Even the font <3

      Delete
  8. [ Smiles ] These days, there is make-up available to hide tattoos.

    By the way, I love the tattoo on the cover of the book; I think that the tattoo artiste is talented!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe yes there is. Wouldn't that be the easy solution!

      Delete
  9. Oh I do like that there is a graphic aspect to this novel! That makes me want to pick it up even more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Graphics in books make me so happy too!

      Delete
  10. Oh wow, it's one thing to have a criminal record or something like that, but being marked so that anyone knows! D: Poor girl...
    I love books that include illustrations! :D And I do like when the family is included, I think I've actually read a lot of books like that lately :)

    Lipstick and Mocha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the idea of having visual criminal records is horrible! People judge you enough already these days without needing that piled on top of it all DD: You have been and I need to as well :3

      Delete
  11. Families are quite the novelty in YA, isn't it? It's like there's a whole world of kids running around without parents. Lol. It sounds like an enjoyable enough book despite some of our misgivings. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahaha yeah it does seem like that sometimes. I do love it when families are handled properly in YA <3

      Delete
  12. I hadn't heard of this one before. Great cover! Sounds like an interesting story too. I like that the family is a part of the story. :) Thanks for sharing.
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When family is part of it, it's makes me so happy!

      Delete
  13. With those ups and downs don't know if I would grab it. Happy it was okay though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did have it's good and not so good moments, so I understand. :)

      Delete
  14. This doesn't sound like my thing really. I think I've gone off dystopian a bit lately, and with all those negatives, I don't think I'll bother adding this to the list. Great review, Olivia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had my time away from dystopian as well because I read too much! Thanks for stopping by, Rachel <3

      Delete
  15. I liked how you divided up your points. Very nice. Not my cup of tea, but I do like the font on the cover too. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not for everyone, which I can understand. It was easier to organise my thoughts that way for myself as well :)

      Delete
  16. I love the whole concept with getting in trouble or doing something wrong and then you get marked for it. What worse way to get in trouble than have everyone know about it because you have that handy little tattoo on your arm?? teehee! I would like to give this book a try but it just seems kind of...idk, for a different audience I guess? Well...not for ME, teehee! But I'm glad you liked it anyway though girl!

    Epical review, lovely! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such an interesting concept! I know right. DD:

      Delete
  17. the main character and family dynamics sounds great in this one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was definitely a highlight in this book.

      Delete
  18. Sounds like a total miss. Pass. Not gonna do it. Can't deal middle of the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand where you're coming from - especially as you've had so many of these kind of books lately.

      Delete
  19. The premise is interesting. I also think the graphic novel sections sound good. I love it when authors break the mold a bit, or mesh genres.

    I know what you mean about fonts. I always notice the fonts in books. Ha ha.

    Dena @ Batch of Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always nice to do things a little bit different! It's good to know I am not alone in my font-noticing-ness. ^.^

      Delete
  20. I like families in novels - but I guess in YA sometimes having parents around is inconvenient to the plot...
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I can understand how it would be inconvenient in a lot of cases! I just wish there was a way to make them work well together - having the plot work and the parents around!

      Delete
  21. I like families in novels. I'm excited about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an element I would love to see happening more!

      Delete