Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lindsey Klingele
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Cedric, the privileged prince, is living happily in the magical land of Caelum when suddenly his kingdom is taken over by the evil Malquin and his band of monstrous creatures known as wraths. When Cedric, Kat--the girl he has been betrothed to his whole life--and their friend Merek escape into a mysterious portal hidden inside of the castle (with wraths following them), they end up in a world foreign to them--Los Angeles, in 2016. The first people they bump into are Liv and her friends. Liv is an orphan who has lived in different foster homes all her life and has always dreamed of finding adventure. She gets more than she bargained for as she tries to help Cedric fight the wraths and find the key back through the portal--and as she finds herself falling in love with this foreign prince in the process. Soon, they realize that she was imprinted with a magical mark at birth that opens up the portal back to Caelum, making her the literal portal key that they had been searching for. As Liv, Cedric, and Kat return through the portal to free Caelum from Malquin, the first book in the trilogy, reaches its climactic ending.
The Marked Girl is inventive, original, and enjoyable. It somewhat resembles the Twilight series in the sense that it centers around a paranormal romance between an independent yet vulnerable female protagonist and an otherworldly male protector. However, its original and fast-paced plot along with substantial character development for Liv, Cedric, and the supporting characters--both good and evil--set this book apart. Also enjoyable is the way the book transfers back and forth between Liv being the narrator to Cedric being the narrator. It contains exciting plot twists and a good overarching message of the value of friendship, family, and self-sacrifice. A great read primarily for teen audiences, but really for anyone seeking to find an enjoyable, imaginative, and easy-to-read young adult fiction literary experience.
*Contains mild language and violence.