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That’s The Recipe For Makin’

Forever Young Adult presents a book review of Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

That’s The Recipe For Makin’

BOOK REPORT for Carrier of the Mark (Carrier Book 1) by Leigh Fallon

Cover Story: It Floats...
BFF Charm: Maybe?
Swoonworthy Scale: From 7 to 2
Talky Talk: Freshman Endeavor
Bonus Factors: The Elements, Ireland
Relationship Status: I'll Check Back In A Couple Of Years

Cover Story: It Floats...

Hey, it's another floating girl! Where have I seen that before... Overall, though, I kind of like this cover, and I like how her dress is dripping ink.

The Deal:

Megan is starting in a new school. Again. But hey, this one's in Ireland, so there's that! She doesn't really mind -- she and her dad have been moving around a lot since her mom passed away. Then, on the first day of school, she meets a nice group of kids, and one very mysterious boy... who, besides being ridiculously good-looking, incites a strange reaction in Megan...

BFF Charm: Maybe?

I started out really liking Megan. I identified with her moving to a new place, although if I had moved to Ireland when I was a teen, I would have been over the moon! Seriously, teenagers don't appreciate opportunities to meet cute Irish (or British? if they live in the North?) boys NEARLY as much as they should. Anyway, Megan really TRIES to be a good friend, and so I def. have to give her credit for that, but she's so wrapped up in all the crazy supernatural shizz that's happening to her that she really isn't ABLE to be a very good friend. So while I understand that, if I'm going to put myself out there and be a girl's BFF, she needs to be able to be MY BFF back, you know?

Swoonworthy Scale: From 7 to 4

Girl starts at a new school. Hottest boy in school likes her, chemistry is buzzing, boy maybe saves girl's life, there are some really funny bits, intensity builds... and then they are perfectly matched and supremely in love, and while there is some conflict... they just felt like sweet old marrieds to me, and if I want sweet old marrieds, I'll hang out with myself and my husband.

Also? I'm not really a fan of the whole "the first person you date is your soul mate" thing. I mean, if that happens for a person, then good on you, but how do you KNOW he/she's 'the one' unless you've dated other people to compare him/her to? My advice to teenagers: date ALL the boys/girls. Just be careful.

Talky Talk: Freshman Endeavor

Okay, here's the deal: a lot of people on the internets have pointed out the plethora of similarities between this book and Twilight. I see those similarities. It is a topic that has been detailed and explained and laid out in point-by-point bulletins. But if I'm honest, when I picked this book up, I hadn't heard anything about it, so while I was reading it -- though I did see some similarities -- it didn't seem AS CLOSE to Meyer's work as some have since pointed out. A large part of that reason is because I don't think Ms. Meyer came up with the formula. She just sold a lot of copies.

My real issue with the book is its uneven tone. This is Fallon's debut novel, and she was selected by Harper Collins after this story was posted on Inkpop, where people could read it and make editorial suggestions -- which is where at least some of the Twilight similarities might have come from? I think Fallon's mythology is interesting, I like her characters enough to want to read more, but the book got slogged down in exposition toward the middle -- and then she blew her backstory load in one big section. I also would like to have seen her extremely action-packed ending stretched out over a few chapters instead of being jammed and rushed, leaving me feeling unfulfilled. All of this could have been avoided by the help of a good editor, so I am curious to read the future installments, to see how they fair.

Bonus Factor: The Elements

Fallon taps into ancient Celtic mythology in her world, and I really enjoyed the legends she used as well as the ones she created. And I'm a big fan of elements-as-powers!

Bonus Factor: Ireland

Ireland! I want to go there! I was excited to read a YA fantasy set in a small coastal Irish town, and hope we get a lot more of the country in the future books.

Casting Call:

Emma could handle this story as Megan, bringing the depth that would keep us interested.

Emma Roberts as Megan

For the love interest, Adam, I really wanted to cast Tom Sturridge, but I've realized that I tend to cast him in just about everything, and so while I do think he's perfect for this role, I'm concerned I might have a Tom Sturridge problem, so Posh helped me out by suggesting this guy:

Thomas McDonnell as Adam

You're welcome, Emma Roberts.

Relationship Status: I'll Check Back In A Couple Of Years

There were lots of things that I liked about this book. Namely its mythology. But I think it just has some growing up to do. Maybe it and I will never be more than casual acquaintances, but the idea of it enticed me enough that I'll check back, just in case.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my review copy from Harper Collins. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (damnit!). Carrier of the Mark is available now.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
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