The overall theme seemed to be about acceptance. When Zoey was Marked she had to deal with the instant change from her friends and family. Her family abandons her and turns to their crazy prayer tree. They chose to believe in the stereotypes and failed to realize that Zoey might look different, and eventually be different, but she is still the same on the inside. They did not accept her anymore. All but Grandma Redbird.
When Zoey gets to House of Night she is immediately different from the others because her mark is almost complete. She learns that most want to stare and focus at her obvious difference, while some want to take advantage of it and see what it means for them. And then she meets the people that accept who she is and don't care so much about her mark. These are her real friends. Zoey chooses not to follow Aphrodite and together with her friends decide to do something about it.
Damien is one of the real friends that Zoey makes and she doesn't even flinch to find out that he is gay. It's a non issue. They poke friendly fun but never judge, and it is openly discussed. This was remarkable for me because kids can be so cruel and I loved these characters for being so accepting.
When Eric steps into Zoey's world they both realize that their connection is deeper than just being attracted. Zoey has to step beyond her preconceived ideas about him, and his involvement with Aphrodite, if she wants a chance at a relationship. Eric has to accept her friends.
And in all of this, Zoey has to learn to listen to her instincts and be true to herself. This isn't always easy to do when you are 16 years old. When she first learns things about her gifts she wants to hide it from her mentor and her friends because she just wants to fit in. In the end she learns what it means to trust and chooses to be honest.
What did you find as the theme? How do you feel about the idea of acceptance for these fledgling vampyres? Did it ring true to you or feel too obvious?