The Mark by Rosemary Hayes

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The Mark by Rosemary Hayes

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Alex Mitchell
Reviewed by Alex Mitchell
Summary: A dark and intriguing thriller, full of excitement and insight.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Troika books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1909991187

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Rachel is on the run. Being needy, homeless and emotional makes her an easy target, so who should she trust? Should she trust her ex-boyfriend Adam and his gang? Or Jack, whom she's only just met? But Jack seems to have his own agenda. Rachel has to work out who to trust, and fast. With a gang of human traffickers closing in on them, the two teenagers have to make it to London, where safety hopefully awaits them...

The story is split into three narratives. The main narrative is a third-person narrative detailing Jack and Rachel's journey, from their initial meeting up until the end of the book. There are also two different first-person narratives by Jack and Rachel, both describing how they came to be in their current positions. It's a very effective and personal way to develop the two characters.

The two main characters, Jack and Rachel are well written. Jack is portrayed as intelligent, resourceful and artistic, while also being able to go completely unnoticed in a crowd. Rachel on the other hand, is portrayed as being illiterate, rebellious, materialistic, and very, VERY needy. She also suffers from some kind of mental illness, as she constantly hears voices in her head, which tell her to do bad things (hence all the trouble she is in). The two of them share troubled pasts which they desperately wish to forget and move on from. The two of them on the run from Adam, Rachel's ex, who got her addicted to drugs and intends to sell her for underage sex, but also has something else in mind as well...

The atmosphere in the book is one of extreme tension that Hayes expertly creates. Jack and Rachel frequently avoid trouble, both with the law and with Rachel's ex-boyfriend Adam. The author manages to create a feeling of intensity through both Rachel's and Jack's thoughts, which are effectively written to enhance this and add a great deal to the pacing of the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely recommend it to others.

Further reading:

Poison Heart by S B Hayes and Choker by Elizabeth Woods, two similarly styled teen thrillers.

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