Marked: House of Night, Book 1

Book review by Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Marked: House of Night, Book 1 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Vampire series start is more gossipy than gory.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 39 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 108 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Love

I read this whole series 5 times when I was 12 (back then the last book to come out was Hidden. which I rushed to barnes and noble and bought it w/ my own money) Now 21, I'm advocating that's Its not as bad as a lot of people are saying. I really don't remember it having crazy sex scenes. I was more obsessed with the characters and story line then I was about the r-rated content, maybe ? I really don't remember this book being as inappropriate as people are making it out to be. If I was able to read it at 12 unaffected or influenced, I think others can too.
age 13+

Read first and decide

Lets touch base on a little of everything that other reviews have said. There is cursing the characters in the book are teenagers so the say things like ho and slut about a character who is showing these traits (however later jn the series this character does mature a d develop into a better person). They also use the f work and b word. Now for the religion they worship a goddess who says she is called many things depending on the religion. The only religion the book actually insults is the house of night religion, when the main character's (Zoey) step father tells them that their religion is a sin and they are an abomination. The school priestess then tells him that she does not believe in their religion (people of faith, non specific) that it is a male dominated religion but she will not disrespect his beliefs and he shall show the same respect for her. Now for the drugs and alcohol. She has an almost-ex-boyfriend (as she called him) that drinks a lot according to her and towards the end says he smoke pot too. Well she tells him only losers drink and smoke and how she doesnt like it. In the second book he tells her that he has quit smoking and drinking and is now a better student and has goals for his future. They do however drink wine but explain that in Europe where the first school was founded that is tradition to drink a glass of wine with a meal. (Which is now normal in a lot of societies.) Anyway it is very clear that drinking and drugs a illegal and frowned upon. Now for sexual content. The scene everyone is talking about is where Zoey sees a girl on her knees in front of a guy with his head tilted back but he tells her get off her knees. She tried to convince him that he wants it and she "unzips his pants" and says I can tell you want me but he says no and then he sees Zoey and the girl notices this and turns to look at Zoey too. End of scene. Now through the book she refers to it has the blow-job scene or how desperate the girl sounded trying to give oral sex to a buy. She also makes it clear that she thinks it is disgusting and would never get on her knees. In the second book (im currently reading) there is another scene of her drinking a guys blood and it says he grabbed my but and my boob. I was turned on but a security gaurd came and told then they cant make out there. Then she is like daydreaming or out of body experience she is looking at the guy sleep and says "...he reached down to touch the bulge in his pants and he.... I opened my eyes." So it never describes anything. Its like a pg-13 movie where they are making out and the girl lr guy will take their shirt off and then they cut the scene. Violence well they mention fledgling dying and how 2 kids were found with blood loss due to lacerations (second book) but there isnt any violent scenes described. I wouldnt say it is educational but i would say it does send some good messages. The characters are different races and they even have a gay guy in their group. The main character takes over a school group because it was mean and more of a clique thing and she is trying to turn it into a group of outstanding students who must be honest and good and not bully anyone. She even tell her friends that if one of the old group members wants to join they can. They just can not be bullies anymore they have to uphold the new beliefs. Basically being a good person. Also another benefit of the book is one of the main characters is a vocab buff. So it may help broaden your vocabulary. Even a couple of the words I didnt know what they were, but the book (character) says why they mean so the rest of the group can understand. I say this book is like a pg-13 series.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Book Details

  • Author: P.C. Cast
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • Publication date: May 1, 2007
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 14
  • Number of pages: 306
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

Our Editors Recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate