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I Belong

Review: The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele

Title: The Marked Girl

Author: Lindsey Klingele

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Marked Girl (Book #1)

Publication Date: June 7, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062380338 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062380333 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Tara


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…

Quick & Dirty: A relatively predictable yet fun young adult fantasy novel.

Opening Sentence: Light glinted off the side of the sword as it arced down in one perfect, sweeping motion.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I was really looking forward to reading this novel, the premise made it sound like it would be an interesting blend of urban and high fantasy. To my disappointment, The Marked Girl wasn’t anything particularly special but it was an overall fun and quick read. If you’ve read a lot of fantasy novels, there’s a good chance that you’ve read a variation on this story.

The story begins with a quick sequence in Caelum before Cedric, the crown prince, Kat, his betrothed, and their royal friends must escape through a portal to another world, which just so happens to be Earth. They land in the middle of Liv’s school photo shoot. There’s an accidental switch of swords, which leads to another encounter between Cedirc and Liv. They band together as Cedric and his friends try to find their way back home and as Liv tries to figure out the mystery behind how she’s connected to Caelum. What happens next is a blend of chase scenes, a mystery, and some romance.

I liked the main characters, I thought they were pretty adorable as a whole. Liv and her best friend were my favorite characters. Cedric’s friends, even though they didn’t appear much, were pretty funny and I thought they served as a good counterbalance to Cedric’s seriousness. Although Cedric is very much the dreamy prince, he’s a kind of one-dimensional character who isn’t developed much beyond the prince persona. Also, there was a love triangle, which is one of the top tropes that I dislike. I really didn’t see the sparks between Cedric and Liv, I think that the book would have been much better if they had only been friends.

The plot itself was pretty predictable but still fun. The author had a nice mix of action scenes and quieter ones, where the main characters came to terms with everything that was happening. I called one of the main reveals long before it happened, which greatly diminished the suspense in the mystery for me. I think if the author had delved a bit deeper into exploring the characters and their backstories, it would have improved the plot. However, if you haven’t read a lot of fantasy novels, this one will probably be a lot more interesting. As it was, it was a quick, mostly enjoyable read for me.

The Marked Girl was an intriguing portal fantasy novel that ended up being kind of bland and generic. It was a fun and quick read though so if you’re a fan of the genre, definitely consider checking it out but don’t expect anything new or even anything that you haven’t seen many times before.

Notable Scene:

The boy shook his head, as if trying to clear it. “I did not steal the sword. You did.”

Liv pulled her arm free.

“I didn’t steal it. You left it behind. And I was just delivering it to the museum, where it probably belongs.”

“It is here?” The boy asked, his eyes lighting up in the darkness. “Where?”

Liv realized she wasn’t likely to get any satisfactory answers out of this strange boy. Talking to him was like trying to have a conversation with the staticky, disembodied voice that took orders at the Fatburger drive-through. Frustrating and near impossible. Now what she wanted most was to get out of this cold, dirty tunnel that she regretted walking into in the first place. And she certainly no longer cared what became of that stupid sword. It was officially time to bail.

“Tell you what,” Liv said, summoning courage. “I’ll tell you where the sword is if you tell me the fastest way out of here.

Marked Girl Series:

1. The Marked Girl

2. The Broken World


FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of The Marked Girl. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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