Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1) by Caragh O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: March 30th, 2010
Number of pages: 361pgs
Format: Hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository

In the Enclave, your scars set you apart, and the newly born will change the future.
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother's footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be "advanced" into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish

From the moment I opened the very first page, I was hooked.

We're taken right into Gaia's world of being a young midwife, following in her mother's footsteps. At sixteen, Gaia knows just about everything there is to know about delivering a child, but while her mother is at another birth, Gaia is forced to deliver her very first child out into the world.She starts to feel guilty about delivering the child to the Enclave for others to raise, but she serves the Enclave and is taught not to ask questions, and do as she is told.

Upon arriving home, Gaia is told her parents had been taken into the Enclave for questioning, basically arrested for something she can't imagine they would be involved in. She too is questioned regarding information her parents might have kept hidden by a soldier. How could she know anything like this... she has no idea what was going on.
From that moment on, she determined to find her parents and sort out the mess they think they are in. She is sure they must be mistaken. But getting inside the wall was proving harder than she imagined, and that's when things start to take off..

I really fell in love with Gaia's story of not just finding her parents, but also finding out the truth. Along the way, she meets and gets to know the solider who questioned her. Leon.

The romance in this book felt very natural, and realistic. These two characters. Gaia and Leon both have been through complicated messes and come out at the other side.
The journey to discover the truth behind the patterns, and the package that was left to her seems to be more complicated than she thought. She does not have a lot of time other wise, she could end up dead.

 I really liked the mystery behind this story. And the end gives more to work with for a series. I loved this book the first time I read it, and even more the 2nd time.

This story feels different than a lot of the dystopian things out there. And the writing was just great. Caragh has a knack of getting you addicted in the world she has created.

Rating: 5/5

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