Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Birthmarked - Caragh M. O'Brien

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)

After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.
Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.
Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, Birthmarked explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

I've had this on my TBR pile since it was released and I never picked it up or ever really considered it,  I got pulled into books with a lot of hype or beautiful covers.  Now while I am happy I waited because the sequel is in the works and it won't seem like such a long wait to get it,  I feel like I robbed myself of this great story for way to long!  This in my opinion was a terrific book.  I really liked Gaia, from the first page you can see her uncertainty.  She knows what she should do but it still seems to feel wrong to her.  She continued on with her life after the arrest of both her parents in the hopes that they would be back home soon.  It wasn't until she gets some very shocking news that she finally strays from her path in an attempt to get them back.. From there she starts her journey into seeing that life within the walls might not have been everything she was lead to believe.  She makes some tough choices that land her in dyer straights and still she clings to the hope of being with her parents.   As the story continues to unravel she makes and unlikely friend and fights for the life of herself and her parents as she plays a delicate game with the people in charge of there world.  I stayed on the edge of my seat for most of this wild ride.  I was amazed by Gaia, once she set her mind she never really wavered.  She was strong and in my opinion amazing.  Along the way my heart broke along with Gaia's, and at times I felt her relief as if it truly were my own.  As I've said before I am rather new to dystopia genre but I am loving it.  My first taste was the Hunger Games and I have been searching for something that compares and while I have found other great books nothing was quite as good, but I think this series has the potential!  I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars but I can't so 5 stars it shall be!  I hope that all of you will give this book a chance. 


  1. I'm a new follower :D

    I think that I would like this one, I've been enjoying the whole Dystopian and PA genre of late.

    Interesting review,


  2. Ooh! I recently received a copy of this for review, and I'm so excited to read this. Thanks for the review!


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