Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
New format. See reviews below for details :)
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Their love was meant to be.When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRís.But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.
Megan and her father moved to Ireland. She likes Ireland...but she has to start over, like she has done every time she moves. She knows not to get too attached because at a moment's notice, they could end up moving again. Each time, she has to leave behind everything. In Ireland, she convinces herself that she won't get too attached. She'll go to school, have a few friends, and then leave again. She has no idea that everything will be different.She doesn't want to get too attached. So why is she feeling so at home in Ireland? She doesn't know. Until she meets Adam.Adam is that unapproachable boy, the one that nobody's ever dated, but that everybody likes to dream about. He's the boy that you stare at longingly from the other side of the room and he doesn't even notice anybody else. He hasn't noticed anybody until Megan arrives.When they meet each other, they're instantly attracted. It's not only love at first sight, but as they make the descent deeper into the mysterious paranormal connection that they have, but that they are connected to a fate sealed long ago. They can't be together without disrupting an order determined thousands of years ago, connected to the bloodlines crisscrossing across the world, and a rare gene.As they discover terrifying and beautiful truths together, they have to decide:But how do you decide between love and destiny?Leigh Fallon, I love you. It's official. First of all, Leigh Fallon is a complete inspiration. She is the first ever author to be discovered on Inkpop, a writing community online powered by HarperCollins publishers. She deserves a round of applause for her determination and inspiration alone!I loved the setting. Leigh herself is Irish, so I was interested to see how that would affect the story. It is one thing for a person to be writing about another country's legends or different traditions, but another thing entirely for somebody who has experienced them to be writing about them.Ireland sounds gorgeous. It's always been one of those countries that I simply can't get enough of, and it's definitely on my bucket list. Leigh managed to satisfy some of my curiosity.I do wish that she had focused on the directly related to Ireland part of it more, when Megan first comes into Ireland and I wish that she had shown some of her first experiences in coming to Ireland, but other than that, she managed to pull together the setting quite well. It was lush and wet and everything I could have wanted to hear and more!Megan was a solid main character. She wasn't amazing, but she wasn't awful either. She was pretty good. She had enough of a backbone where I didn't get annoyed with her, but at other times she seemed too much of a pushover. I like stronger main characters. She did interact with all of the curiosity and detachment of a new girl, while being one who's gone through the process a million times before. I could really tell that she didn't want to get attached to the new place in case she had to leave. I could see that she was kind of scared to experience Ireland.I fell in love with Kinsale, and Leigh did a lovely job spotlighting it, and using the setting to manipulate the plot and create tension! She had the talent of a seasoned writer.The whole idea of Carrier of the Mark was brilliant to me. I couldn't believe my luck in discovering a book that not only takes place in Ireland (sorry, I can't say that enough!) but is a completely new idea?! Sign me up! I was obsessed with the idea from the start.I really liked Aine. She was my favorite character. Her mysterious aura was alluring and I couldn't help but be almost hypnotized by her. When Leigh Fallon talked about her, she seemed almost reverent of her. I felt like I should be whispering when I talked about her. She was the enigma of the story. She reminded me of Alice from Twilight but not as forward.Okay, let me just get something out of the way here. You will probably see a lot of reviews comparing it to Twilight. Some people have bashed it and say it's a ripoff. From somebody who has read the book and loved it, I can honestly tell you...It is not Twilight. It may be for FANS of Twilight, there may be SIMILARITIES to Twilight, but it's an original idea pulled off very well, and it isn't a ripoff. I can almost guarantee that this book is going to be big among the same audience, but that's just because it's brilliant.I cannot emphasize enough how much I loved the setting! Not only was it the area, but it was the atmosphere. It was mysterious, with a bit of small-town, and a bit of a bigger picture. It was just great to read about. There was a lot of respect when talking about Adam's family and people knew their way around.Although on a darker subject matter, Leigh's writing is very light-hearted. The nature of her writing makes what could be a heavier paranormal romance into a lighter, quicker read. Her writing was more of a simple beauty, understated and subtle, but still getting the point across in a very appealing way to the reader.Adam was - and I don't use this word lightly because my family reads this blog - sexy. He was kind of your usual hero, but his passion drove him over the top. He was truly passionate about Megan and about his role in this prophecy. There was a lot more to him than meets the eye. If you think that he's stereotypical when you first meet him, your feelings will quickly change. He is protective, which could be endearing, but sometimes annoying, but had that sweet guy going through hard times vibe. He could be lighthearted and fun, but when times of trouble came, he was dead serious and insistent that none of his family got hurt. He could also be quirky, and I like my guys in books to be quirky.Just a little side note: I already called dibs on representing Adam in the YA Crush Tourney next year, publicly declared and witnessed by all you Tweeps who follow me. Leigh also saw me call it, but I just wanted to stake my claim. Seriously, Adam is THAT amazing.There were only a few negatives to my review, and I hope that y'all won't take these too heavily because it's an excellent book, although I just noticed a few little things.Some supporting characters could be very stereotypical. Although Adam and Megan weren't and a few of the more important supporting characters weren't, she could have a tendency to ignore the smaller characters. If you're in a fantastic play, you don't only rehearse with the main characters and leave the small parts to scramble; you pull them together as a whole. For example, Megan's father, Caitlin, some of her friends...they all seemed the same as many characters in other books. I would have liked to see a little more creativity with them, but the main characters were beautifully done.Also some points, when Fionn is first explaining the gene, I got lost and had to put the book down to think my way through the science of it all. I do wish that she had cleared some of it up or at least spread out the amount of information influx so it doesn't overwhelm the reader, I was happy that she put that much thought into it. It's just, it was maybe a little TOO much thought.But while there were similar elements in her book that are already found in the YA genre, she already has so many thought-out and implemented changes and differences and twists that it really doesn't blend in too much. It keeps with the trends, but it isn't a blind follower.I found myself biting my fingernails at the end, eagerly awaiting the next word, the next line, the next chapter. It was that book where I flew through the pages, so eager to read, but when I finished, I wish I could go back and re-experience the first read over again. I never wanted it to end, but I couldn't stop reading.Overall, Carrier of the Mark's incredible setting, different idea, and elegant simplicity in writing will land this novel on many shelves and TBR lists. This was a great addition to the YA paranormal romance genre, and I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel! This was an excellent start to Leigh's career as an author and I can't wait to see how she's grown in her next book!Recommendations to come.Book club questions to come.