Thursday, March 4, 2010

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

Title: Birthmarked
Caragh M. O'Brien

Pages: 360, paperback
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Tags: Dystopian Debut
Release Date: March 30, 2010

Overall Rating:

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.

All together Birthmarked is mind-blowing. From start to finish I was captivated by some of the best writing I've ever read. With ease I was hooked and with great pleasure I finished it.

O'Brien introduces us to Gaia, a 16 year-old training to become a midwife. In a different time-setting, Gaia lives outside the wall where there are no accommodations. Gaia must deliver babies and give a quota of 3 babies a month to the Enclave. After successfully performing her first delivery, Gaia's parents are arrested by the Enclave. Gaia must fight wind, rain, and thunder to rescue her parents.

To my surprise Birthmarked was a wonderful threat. It explored life in the future and what is yet to come. It originality had be screaming awesome. I was fooled by the cover, but what's inside is what matters. The plot was well crafted and left me in "Aw". This is one of those books that you must stay all night reading, no matter how late it is.

Engaging and interesting were all the characters. In particular, I enjoyed reading about Gaia. She faces troubles and must learn to arrive at an outcome solution. Following Gaia's journey was suspenseful.

My negative thoughts are teensy. I felt that there could have been more background information about the characters and the setting of the book. We deserve to know.

My overall enjoyment in this book is huge. I must say it made my favorites. This is a dystopian you all have to read you will be drawn into Gaia's world. "Some of the best of 2010"

Plot: (10/10)
Characters: (10/10)
Ending: (8/10)
Enjoyment: (10/10)
Cover: (8/10)
Overall: 46/50 = 96% = A+

Doesn't draw my attention. It doesn't live up to what is inside. Don't be fooled by the cover.

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Info or to Buy Birthmarked:
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Book Crazy Jenn said...

WOW, wonderful review, this one sounds like an amazing read!

Melissa said...

This was my Waiting on Wednesday this week, and I absolutely cannot wait to read it! It sounds so great...brilliant review! :)

Addicted Book Reader said...

I totally agree with everything you said : D I totally loved it, and I agree too about the cover! I actually kind of liked the ARC cover because it goes really well with the story.

Dannie said...


Jessilyn said...

I had this on my wishlist wednesday love your review it just makes me wanna read it more.

Dahlia said...

Great review! This sounds pretty interesting, I'll have to look into it.

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

This is the first review of this book I've read. It sounds really good!

Jan von Harz said...

I recently asw this on a WoW and thought I would really like this book. Reading your review makes me sure that this is a must read. Thanks

aprilnichole said...

this has been on my wishlist. I'm glad you gave it such a great review.

Congrats on being featured on this weeks Saturday Network!

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

here from the Saturday Network. (Congrats on being featured! =D)

huh, a teenage protagonist as a midwife? That's something I don't see every day... Lovely review, I'll have to check this book out. =D

Jami said...

Hi! Visiting from the Saturday Network.

This one is definitely different. I'm gald you liked it so much. I'm glad I read your review. I didn't like the cover, so I don't know if I would have read it before. Great review!

Miss Remmers said...

Great review - it stinks that the cover is such a let down.

librarypat said...

Will have to put this one on my Must Read List.

Christina T said...

Something about this book reminds me of The Forest of Hands and Teeth minus the zombies. I can't wait to read it. Fantastic review!