✶ Summary ✶
Marked starts with sixteen year old Zoey being marked by a vampyre (the book’s spelling) tracker. Now she has a crescent moon on her forehead. This means she is now a fledgling vampyre and either must attend the House of Night, a school that trains fledglings until adult vampyrehood, or die. Her friends are scared of her now, and when she goes home and tells her mom, she wasn’t happy about it either. Her mom tells her husband, Zoey’s stepdad, who is very angry about it and calls a therapist and a group to pray for her. Zoey runs away from home to her grandmother’s house where she has a vision about the Goddess Nyx. She then passes out. When Zoey wakes up, she is at the House of Night, and she meets the high priestess Neferet, who is going to be her mentor. Now Zoey’s moon is filled in which is unheard of in a fledgling that soon. Neferet takes her to the girls’ dorm where she meets mean girl Aphrodite, who shows her to her room with some attitude. Zoey’s roommate is named Stevie Rae, and they bond about how terrible Aphrodite is. Soon it’s dinnertime, and Zoey meets the rest of Stevie Rae’s friends. The next day follows her throughout each of her classes, and that night is a school-wide ritual. Zoey feels different than everyone else during this ritual. After that ritual, she’s invited to go to the Dark Daughters’ ritual. The Dark Daughters is a very special club at the school run by Aphrodite. They do a similar ritual, and each of them drink from a goblet. Afterwards, Zoey finds out that the goblet had blood in it, and she runs away from them disgusted. She climbs up on a wall, and her human best friend and ex show up. She tells them to leave. Her ex grabs her hand, and she accidentally scratches him, drawing blood. Then she drinks his blood until her best friend yells at her to stop, and they finally leave. Enter the vampyre school hottie, Erik. They’ve sorta met before this, but this is their first actual conversation. He explains to her that most fledglings at her level are not interested in blood, but the interest and taste for it grows as they move through the years at school. Zoey already liking it is another thing that makes her different. Erik also tells her that drinking human blood is not allowed as a fledgling, but they can drink each other’s with consent. He walks her to her dorm, kisses her wrist, and offers his blood to her in the future. Zoey does not tell her new friends about her bloodlust because she’s worried they’ll judge her. She does tell them about how she can sense each element during the rituals. They tell her that having an affinity for all 5 elements is rare, and she is special, once again. The next day she calls her grandmother and tells her what’s been going on, and her grandmother tells her to do a purification prayer. She does it after school, and her friends help her. The next day is another meeting with the Dark Daughters, and Zoey plans to overthrow Aphrodite because she doesn’t think Aphrodite is the right person to lead the club. The meeting is outside school grounds at a museum. They start another ritual circle, but Aphrodite does it wrong, and evil spirits show up. Aphrodite’s friends abandon her, and Zoey’s friends show up and take over their places in the circle. Zoey is able to make the spirits go away without harming anyone. Now Zoey’s mark has expanded down her face, arm, and back. Something that only happens in adult vampyres. Neferet shows up and gives Zoey the lead over the Dark Daughters from now on.
✶ Toxicity ✶
A vampyre story more elaborate than Twilight but not any less toxic. Zoey loves to call people dorks. Usually just based on their appearance but sometimes based on interests of theirs. For example, Zoey calls herself a dork because she owns glasses, and she likes Star Wars. At one point, she makes a reference to Indiana Jones and calls herself a dork for that too. If she’s not calling someone a dork, she’s slut-shaming them. There are so many instances of slut-shaming in this book. It happens every other page. Zoey literally bonds with Stevie Rae and her friends by talking about how slutty and bitchy Aphrodite is. Granted, Aphrodite is a mean girl (THE mean girl) but them talking about her like that makes them just as bad. At one point in the book, Erik kisses Zoey, and they make out a bit, and Zoey pulls away mad at Erik and tells him she’s not the kind of slut that makes out with a guy in public. They were outside the dorm, alone, but Zoey just loves throwing the word slut around. At another point, she talks about how girls who puke and starve themselves are freaks as if they do it on purpose and not out of mental illness. At another point, Zoey calls girls who wear a lot of eyeliner losers. She’s not like them because she only puts some on. I think you get the point: Zoey is “not like other girls”, and she definitely prides herself in this. This book checks all the boxes for toxic girl storylines, and they come up on about every page. And the House of Night series is 12 books long, and they’re apparently all just as bad.
✶ Quotes ✶