A Crooked Mark (Hardcover)

A Crooked Mark By Linda Kao Cover Image

A Crooked Mark (Hardcover)

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"A dark, twisting coming-of-age sure to leave readers glancing over their shoulder for the Devil. Kao perfectly illustrates the struggles of choosing your own path through a lens of fire and knives, and you won't want to put it down." —Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed With Us

A dark and sinister debut YA novel about a teen boy who must hunt down those marked by the devil - including the girl he has fallen for.

Perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman and Kendare Blake.


Rae Winter should be dead.

Some say that walking away from the car crash that killed her dad is a miracle, but seventeen-year-old Matthew Watts knows that the forces of Good aren’t the only ones at work. The devil, Lucifer himself, can mark a soul about to pass on, sending it back to the land of the living to carry out his evil will.

Matt has grown up skipping from town to town alongside his father hunting anyone who has this mark. They have one purpose: Find these people, and exterminate them.

After helping his father for years, Matt takes on his own mission: Rae Winter, miracle survivor. But when Matt starts to fall for Rae, to make friends for the first time in his life, he’s not sure who or what to believe anymore. How can someone like Rae, someone who is thoughtful and smart and kind, be an agent of the devil? With the lines of reality and fantasy, myth and paranoia blurred, Matt confronts an awful truth....

What if the devil’s mark doesn’t exist?
Linda Kao grew up in California and spent most weekends throughout elementary school hauling books home from the library to read on the living room rug. After completing her degree at Stanford University, she taught elementary school for several years before earning a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA. Along the way, she discovered a love for writing fiction, and in 2014, she received the SCBWI Sue Alexander Award. She has published short stories and poems in Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Fun for Kidz, and Boys' Quest. Linda currently lives in Southern California with her family and enjoys running, reading, and attending her children’s sporting events.

You can find her on Twitter @lindalkao
Product Details ISBN: 9780593527573
ISBN-10: 0593527577
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: June 20th, 2023
Pages: 368
Language: English
"Kao deftly blends chilling, slow-burn psychological horror with supernatural elements and moving relationships in this intense debut." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This thoughtful debut offers both supernatural thrills and careful character development." Kirkus Reviews

"Matt’s voice is raw and chaotic, revealing his self-doubt, frustration, wide-eyed innocence (he’s never been in school before much less had friends), and confusion with an authentic messiness." —BCCB

"Thoughtfully drawn and interesting."  Booklist