Carve the Mark - Problematic Book Breakdown - The Butterfly Reader

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Carve the Mark - Problematic Book Breakdown

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.



Okay guys, I want to start by saying that I did not even want to read this book at first, it did not sound good to me and I was still leery after the ending of the Divergent series. Yeah, that ending.

Though I found I could not help myself after everyone was talking about this book, good and bad. I found myself more interested in it and I bought it. I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed this book. It took a little while to pull me in but once it did, I could not put this book down. 

The world building is great and I love how badass Cyra was. I loved watching her struggle with her current gift, it's not easy when you deal with chronic pain (trust me, I know) and she pushed through, there was sometimes when she had to struggle just to dress herself and I found myself relating to that so much. 

She doesn't give up though, she keeps going on and pushing through. Cyra is so strong, I fell in love with her completely. She is probably the top of my book girlfriends for sure. 

I loved watching her learn to stand up for herself and how she decided not to be used as her brother's toy anymore. I loved watching Ako and her slowly fall in love. I love watching how they made each other better. He helped her learn how to stand up for herself. She taught him how to fight and showed him that not every Shotet is brutal. I liked that they felt like equals. He wasn't always saving her and she wasn't always saving him. They saved each other.

I still think she's slightly stronger than Akos though but I'm probably being bias because I just love Cyra so much. 

I just loved this book. I'm so glad I read it and I can't wait to see what happens next because that huge spoiler at the end... yeah I need to know what the heck this means and what is going on. 

Read this if you haven't yet.

So this section isn't part of my review but I want to put what everyone is saying about this book and then add my own thoughts because guys... people are going crazy about things in this book and after reading it, I'm just sitting over here trying to figure out what they are all going on about.

First off:

prejudice and/or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

In the bluish light, his skin was so pale he looked almost like a corpse - Page 60 (talking about Ryzek)

Now he is mean and hateful to Cyra but not because of the color of her skin or race but because she has a power he wants to use. Eijeh is also treated badly by Ryzek but because of what Eijeh can do, not because he has light brown skin or his race. Ryzek also treats Akos like trash and he's white. The guy isn't racist, just a piece of freaking shit like his father trained him to be. He's even an ass to his own race just to further his own goal. So he's not being prejudice against any one race. He hates anyone who stands in his way. Even his own people.

This also leads me to another point, everyone is saying that the Shotet people are all dark skinned and the Thuvhe are all white. NOPE! Not true either.

"For me?" Eijeh's eyes were a pale green. An unusal color, like iridescent insect wings, or the currentstream after the Deadening time. Against his light brown skin, so like the milky earth of the planet Zold, they almost glowed. - Page 64 (Eijeh's a Thuvhe) 

A tall, pale man opened the door, his hair shaved so close his scalp shone. - Page 125 (Talking about the Storyteller, a Shotet)

Moving on, I saw some people saying when Ryzek took Cyra's memory of her mother that he raped her... yeah guys someone actually said that. My mouth hit the floor and then I realized that there is some really misguided people out there that just want to find fault with anything. He never raped his sister. 

If you have the book you can read the scene yourself pages 46-51. Rape is not taking a memory from someone by touching their cheek with a hand and to me that's an insult to those who have been actually raped. 

People have also complained about how the language of Shotet is discribed, saying it's racist because the Thuvhe think it sounds harsh. Yeah... I guess they've all forgotten that German sounds harsh or even Dutch. Yep. I'm not going into anything more on this one. That says enough. 

Now for the cutting, I watched a video on YouTube of a girl who was in tears just from seeing this book cover... she was a cutter and it 'triggered' her. I honestly think that's unhealthy, if just seeing a book cover makes you want to cut, you need help. Right now, because that is not healthy. 

I was a burner. I started out cutting but found the pain went away too fast. I wanted something that hurt longer. So I moved onto burning myself. I have scars all over, my forearms, me ankles, my stomach, and even a few on my thighs. So I was a person who self harmed. I did this for years, even sometimes today I'm tempted by it whenever I make a mistake. 

That was my reason for cutting, I was so sick of being the 'messed up' kid, the one who could never do anything right. So I thought by causing pain and leaving a mark that would never leave my skin, I could train myself to be better. To be the person everyone wanted. I could look at that mark and know not to make that mistake again. 

Though I've not cut in three whole years. I'm proud of myself for that. Also if you cut or used to cut, I can't say anything profound or say those words to make you stop. It's hard to stop, it's like a drug. All I can say is, the world beats us up so much already, we shouldn't help it. If anything you're all you've got. Take care of yourself. 

Sorry, off topic, this book did not make me want to cut at all. Not even once. 

Lastly, if you think I missed something let me know below.

Have a great day and as always have a great day. Happy reading little butterflies. 


  1. This was a great review and it convinced me to give this book a shot. I was very excited for it when it first came out, but then I saw the negative reviews and decided to skip it. I will give it a go now, see how I feel about those aspects.

    1. Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy the book.

  2. I haven't read this yet but it's been on my TBR for a good minute. I don't want to be one of those people who say "Oh, people will find fault in anything." because sometimes it's good that they do, because then it opens up discussion on why things are good or why they're bad. But GEEZE the problems people have with this book are abundant. Good job on explaining things and providing your source for your information. :)

    1. Yes I agree completely with you! But yes, on this book, I think it was really blown out of proportion.

  3. I think people don't understand that everything is not black and white.....there are nuances, there are shades in between. Plus this is fiction, so....yeah there's gonna be bad things in it because if not it would just be a morality play, if everything were so perfectly straightforward.

    As for the people getting triggered over the book....I used to cut too, for many years. It got pretty bad. Sometimes I see mentions of self harm and it "triggers" me but you know what? Society can't just cater to my every whim, not to mention that avoiding triggers instead of facing them and dealing with them is an extremely unhealthy way of "coping". Honestly if people are so offended they can just look away. I personally found the cover really really pretty :)

    Great review! Remember, you're allowed to enjoy whatever book you want, you don't need anyone's permission, no matter how offended people are. Reading should be about opening our minds, not closing them at the slightest hint of discomfort.

    Wren @

    1. You make a perfectly great point! Nothing is ever black and white.
      That's something that has always bothered me and you're right. If you're getting that triggered, you really do need help. Avoiding the issue will not make it get any better. In fact that's probably the equivalent of running from your problems....

      I'm sorry you used to cut. It's a very hard habit to let go of. I think it's something that will follow us every day for the rest of lives. And I honestly don't think it ever gets easier.

  4. Great review - I finished the audio of this awhile ago, but still haven't gotten around to properly reviewing it yet - I've been so busy. You make a lot of good points, especially concerning the controversial parts.

    1. Thank you! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this one too!