young adult book reviews & more

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

BirthmarkedGaia Stone has always served the Enclave. As a midwife, she faithfully hands over the monthly quota of babies she delivers to the people who live inside the wall. Life for Gaia outside the wall isn’t luxurious, but it is tolerable, and Gaia has never had a reason to doubt the Enclave until they arrest her parents. Scared and alone, Gaia hardly knows what to make of the situation. Questioned by guards and confronted by dangerous rumors, Gaia knows there’s only one course of action left for her to take: to enter the world of the Enclave and save her parents. And from there, she might die—or find out the truth.

Birthmarked is a truly captivating story that is an excellent addition to the dystopian genre. The reader is immediately drawn into Gaia’s tale and her role in a faltering society that is desperate to survive. The plot is probably what captures most of the reader’s attention. It’s hard not to be fascinated by this novel’s complicated premise of a futuristic society at the mercy of its limited gene pool. However, what I appreciated even more than this undoubtedly thrilling plot was O’Brien’s strong characters. Gaia in particular is a complex heroine who demands to be heard. Her thoughts and actions influenced by her past, uncertainty of the future, and insecurity make her a likable and realistic protagonist. It’s been a while since I could say I didn’t want a story to end, and without a doubt, I didn’t want the story in Birthmarked to even finish. The combination of real danger, such vivid characters, and the relevance of many situations presented in this novel made it irresistible to me. Although O’Brien didn’t dive as deeply into morals and ethics as she could have, I don’t mind because this story is already so good on its own and has definite potential for a sequel.

Birthmarked rightfully deserves a place among the ranks of popular novels such as The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I eagerly look forward to seeing more from O’Brien, preferably a sequel to Birthmarked, although anything else would do as well.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from Amazon Vine

8 munch(es) :

Jan von Harz said...

I love dystopian stories and for me this is high praise since I am really a huge fan of Hunger Games. Enjoyed your review and will be looking to read this one.

Jessy said...

I love the dystopian genre and Birthmarked is a dystopian that is high on my list of favorites.

Holly Bryan said...

This sounds great! I love dystopians, and the addition of moral questions having to do with reproductive rights and other women's issues is also attractive to me. Actually this has been on my TBR list for quite some time! I look forward to reading this, thanks for the review!

M.A.D. said...

Dystopians are my favorite reads, and Birthmarked sounds so good!!! I really like that Gaia is a complex character, that makes for a more interesting novel!! <3
Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

Moni said...

This book is amazing. I picked it up on a shelf a few weeks after it came out four years ago, and now its finally coming to a close. I've gotten four friends hooked, and I'm so excited to finally see it, but a piece of me is leaving as well.This got me started in writing my own dystopia, and in the entire genre. Some people say hunger games, nay- I say Birthmarked!

Christina Kit. said...

I absolutely thought this was a completely unique dystopian:) I loved the characters and the plot - your review is perfect:)

holdenj said...

I didn't realize how long this series had been around, until I found this! I have a friend who is a midwife, I don't think her life is quite as exciting as Gaia's! Thanks for the intro to a new to me series!

Unknown said...

I anjoyed this book so much! I hope they make it a movie. <3 thanks for the review!

Post a Comment

Let the munching begin.