Friday, May 15, 2009

Head to Head "Marked" vs. "Wicked Lovely"

I just finished Marked by Kristen Cast/PC Cast and happened to pick up Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr right after. Being able to compare them really crystallized my opinions on both young adult books.

Marked is fun for its exploration of goddess mythology/ritual and vampirism, the messages are positive and empowering, and the main character's struggles will no doubt ring true for many readers. But in the end the book was predictable. The characters had very little that was ambivalent about them and while the book was enjoyable the plot read like a Hollywood movie where you know how it will end by the end of the first trailer.

Wicked Lovely also has a strong female center, the faeries held a bit less appeal for me and their world was less drawn out for the reader (I think this was a strength, but I can see some readers being slightly put off by this), and the male characters are slightly flat. But really they appear flat because they are juxtaposed against wonderfully searching/complicated women (except for the EVIL mother figure of course.) This book was anything but predictable. The main character's almost constant state of anxiety was much more evocative for me of a young person under extreme stress. The messages inherent in the book were also positive and empowering but conveyed much more subtly through the story. This was a terrific book.

Both of these books touched on drugs, sexual desire, and had some limited sexual descriptions, so I'm not passing them on to my nine year old. :) Marked portrays tattoos positively and Wicked Lovely portrays piercing positively, if that matters to you.

Marked YA Vampire Series 2007: 3 out of 5 earthly elements.
Wicked Lovely YA Paranormal Series 2007: 5 out of 5 wood sprites.


Anonymous said...

I recently read Wicked Lovely, too, and I really liked it. Thinking I may be on to something with YA paranormal, I started Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead, but then ... stopped. I plan to get back to it one of these days.

And my nine year old is so not ready for anything like YA (and is a boy, so maybe will never be) .

Heloise said...

My nine year old thinks she's ready for anything paranormal. What she doesn't get is that it's not the magic I'm worried about. I'm having a hard time staying ahead of her and steering her away from the very books I like so much! :)

Anonymous said...

i recently read wicked lovely and thought it was really good. and thought marked was good as well. but when i continued to read the house of night series i found that it lacked the awesomness that i found in marked and so i stopped reading it.