Prized (Birthmarked, #2) by Caragh O'Brien
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: November 8th, 2011
Number of pages: 365pgs
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?
In this second installment, the story picks up pretty much right away with Gaia travelling over to the dead forest with her newborn baby sister. Since she is all her sister has in the world now, Gaia tries her best to keep her alive, but thigs seem to look grim.
Whena Gaia encounters a man and he takes her to his village, she thinks they will help her butm it's probably not the sort of help she had encountered on.
In exchange for them keeping her sister alive.. Gaia might have to make a promise and a choice that will affect their lives forever.
In this new town, Sylum there was different rules and laws that everyone must obey against otherwise there will be conseqences.
When people are mysteriously dying upon leaving the town, Gaia and her new group of friends try to figure out the cause of it and try to find some way around it. That's not the only mystery that is surrounding the town.
People keep having babies and only few are girls. Is this just bad luck, or is there something more to it? What Gaia discovers might be truly horrifying and unexplainable.
But Gaia isn't the only newcomer to town. Someone else has turned up, someone from her recent past who has come looking for her.
Ah, aint true love grand? Yes. But while that might seem like an overwhelming joy to have Leon there with her.. when Gaia is forced between a rock and a hard place.. she doesn't know what choice to make.
Either way she will be hurting someone. So what does she do? Try to work her way around the problem and try to get make the best decision possible.
I know some people didn't like this book as much as the first, or felt the characters were vastly different but I don't think that's the case at all.
Gaia was still the same girl she has always been.. but sometimes she has to make choices and decisions that she wish she wouldn't have to.
We see different layers to Leon. Not only is he the boy we met in Birthmarked, but since Gaia left the Enclave.. Leon was punished, and he has been through so much and that itself would change a person. We see him more passionate, dangerous and utterly in love with Gaia. I think I fell more in love with him in this book.
We have new characters such as Peter and Will, brothers who end up liking the same girl.. who likes someone else.
The leader of the town, the Matrarc. Banished girls who Gaia befriends.
I was going to rate this 4 stars, but then I remember on my re-read of this book, I could not put it down. It was addicting, and the angsty /tension between Gaia and Leon made me finish this book within a day.
This book was a thrilling ride, and it sets up for the final book in the series which I cannot wait for especially with what will be happening, and that alone.. is a must read.