Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Cast, P. C., & Cast, K. (2007). Betrayed. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press. 

ISBN-13: 978-0312360283

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Vampires, Magic, Paranormal, Coming of age, High School

Reading level/ interest age: 16+

Plot summary:

Zoey is at the House of Night for a month when parent visiting day finally arrives. She is happy to see her mother and grandmother but Neferet, the school’s High Priestess, steps in and begins an argument that has Zoey’s mother thrown out. Distraught, Zoey wanders the school grounds and comes upon Aphrodite and her family. Aphrodite gets a harsh verbal lashing and, shortly after her parents leave, Neferet approaches Aphrodite and tells her some equally mean news. Zoey becomes suspicious of Neferet and later seeks out Aphrodite to ask about her goddess-given ability to see the future. Aphrodite warns Zoey of her latest vision that includes Zoey’s grandmother dying. Zoey listens to Aphrodite’s advice and saves her grandmother from driving off a bridge. 

As if this was not enough to deal with, Zoey has also caught the attention of the school’s poet, Loren. With Zoey’s high school sweetheart Heath pressing Zoey into more than she desires and Erik showing interest, Zoey is caught trying to balance all three. Then her roommate, Stevie Rae, suddenly rejects the Change into a vampire and dies in a gruesome way. With Zoey’s mother angry with her, boys harassing her, and her new best friend dead, Zoey struggles to maintain her emotions.

Reader’s annotation:

Zoey has only been at the House of Night for a month and already her mother is angry with her and boys want to win her love. She can’t even talk to someone because her roommate and best friend just died. Is Zoey strong enough to sort all of this out on her own?

Information about the author:

P.C. Cast

“P.C. Cast was born in Watseka, Illinois, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. Since her tour in the USAF, she has been speaking and teaching professionally.

“Ms. Cast is an award winning fantasy and paranormal romance author. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers' Best, and the Laurel Wreath” (, 2014).

Kristin Cast

“Kristin Cast was born in 1986 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Along with her mother, Phyllis Christine Cast, she is responsible for writing the popular young adult book series House of Night. The House of Night series includes nine vampire-themed novels which all center on the adventures of a 16 year old girl, Zoey Redbird, who is forced to attend the House of Night boarding school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cast's hometown.

“All of the novels in the series are marked by eerie, single word titles — Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Tempted, Burned, Awakened, and Destined. In addition to the nine full length novels of the series, Cast and her mother have also written several other House of Night novellas to supplement the series, including Dragon's Oath and Lenobia's Vow, with a third work titled Neferet's Curse set to be released in February of 2013.

“Cast attended Broken Arrow High School, where she graduated in 2005. She then attended the University of Tulsa for her college education. In addition to the new novellas she is writing with her mother for their House of Night series, Cast announced that she had also begun working on her first solo novel” (, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       What would you do if your stepfather was as mean as Zoey’s?
2.       How would you handle Aphrodite after witnessing the scene between her and her parents?

Critical evaluation:

The conflict in Betrayed is very different from the first book in the series, Marked. Betrayed focuses more on Zoey’s relationships with the other characters rather than leading up to a large climatic battle. If the reader does not know that this series contains about fifteen books total, the story line can seem confusing as Betrayed leaves the reader feeling like they are missing something. The book is just a puzzle piece in the larger tapestry the series weaves. No book can be read out of sequence as each book contains just enough information to lead the reader to the next one. Only the first few books have a sort of recap of the storyline but this dissolves as the series continues.

Betrayed can also be a bit difficult to read at times due to the sheer amount of unnecessary parenthetical information. Zoey’s inner thoughts are an angry beehive leaving the reader wishing the book was written in third person rather than first. Know that the writing does get better in the later books but it will be a struggle getting through the first few. The characters also develop and lose their immaturity as the story progresses as well.

Challenge issues:

·         Negative portrayal of Christianity

Defensive Maneuvers:

·         Have the library’s collection development policy memorized and on hand in case a situation arises.
·         Keep positive reviews on hand to refer to or hand out when needed.
·         If the book has won any awards, mention them to the patron and briefly explain the award.
·         Listen to the patron and practice good customer service skills when communicating. Let the customer know where or if he/she can escalate his/her complaint.
·         When necessary, cite sections of the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights or refer to the ALA's Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials.

Why included:

Though the series starts out rocky and terribly written, it does pick up towards the end. The dialogue gets shorter, the characters develop, and the plot begins to click. Readers may not be able to identify with Zoey’s vampire talents but she does struggle with boys, relationships, and enemies – something all teens can relate to.

Reference: (2014). P.C. Cast. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from (2014). Kristin Cast: Bio. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

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