Thursday, February 11, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey (Review & Giveaway)

Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey

Publisher: Clarion Books

Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Rate: 3 Stars


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.

At first glance, this book seems like your usual run-of-the-mill dystopian. Though this book takes place in a dystopian society, it is very different from most dystopians I've read and is presented in a unique way.

Lyla is in school, trying to be successful enough to get into a university. In her society, those who do not get into the university, work in the mines, like her parents. When she makes one mistake, she's Marked as a criminal. Now, she will never make it into university and no one will hire her or be close to her, least they be associated with a criminal. When she's offered a chance to erase her mark, she jumps on it. In order for her mark to be erased, she has to spy on the Red Fist, a dangerous rebel organization. Not only is this extremely dangerous, but she also has to spy on her childhood friend.

It was hard for me to get into this book at first. Unknown words were thrown at me and I was thrust into a world without fully understanding it. Thankfully, it didn't take me very long to understand things and I began to enjoy the book. I'll admit that lately I've been getting tired of dystopians, but this book is a bit different. It doesn't have an entirely unusual concept, the world is similar to other dystopian books, but the government and rebel concept is very different. In most dystopians, the badass girl joins the rebellion and kicks the corrupt government in the butt. In this book, though, the rebellion, really is horrible. They really are full of criminals who would kill without a thought, to make a point or a profit. Other dystopians show rebellions are "the right way", but this book shows the both the rebels and the government negatively and I thought it was interesting.

I was not aware of this until I started the book,, but this book actually includes illustrations and comics. I thought it was a very interesting idea, but I had a love/meh relationship with them. Sometimes I enjoyed the illustrations, but other times they didn't seem to really correlate with the story. The art was not final in the copy I was reading, so I do wonder if the pictures will be different in the finished copy. Still, I thought it was an interesting inclusion.

As for romance, there was some, but it was very slow, but there. I wasn't shipping things, but I was thankful for the fact that the romance didn't take the wheel and the plot was the focus of the book.

I wasn't a big fan of the ending. The pacing was a bit slow and I felt like it was leading to something, but instead it lead to a quick ending that just felt too short. I didn't feel entirely satisfied. Though, there was a little comic at the end and I thought it was a nice way to close the book.

Overall, I liked this book. Despite some of my early troubles, the pacing, and the end, I thought that this was a nice standalone dystopian. It was a bit unusual than most dystopians out there!

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I read, I write, I teach. I've published short stories in Cicada, YA Review Network, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. Clarion Books will release Marked, my YA dystopian fantasy, in February 2016. My other fantasy novels are WATER SHAPER and ALIA WAKING (both published by Clarion Books). For more information, it's best to visit my website:

No comments :

Post a Comment