By Caragh M. O'Brien
Synopsis: (From Powells)
Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia's mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty.
Why I picked this book: I have to say, I am not a huge fan of the cover. I think it could have been much more amazing without the swirly strands of colors that block the image underneath... so for once it wasn't the cover that grabbed me. I loved the idea behind it... Having to give up your child in the hopes of it living a better life, in a society you do not even understand. I sat down at Powells to read the first page... and five pages later realized I just had to buy it.
I thought this was a very, very good book. It may be that I myself am a mommy, so the fact that it was based very much so around babies and raising a family kept me reading. I have to admit, there were even some moments that I felt myself choked up and had to look away from the page. Babies... they get me every time!
I felt the story line was very well played, though the middle did drag a bit. There were times that I was tempted to skim, wanting to just 'get on with it,' and luckily the story did go on.
It was a relief to, for once, not have a YA book based soley around "I love him and he loves me and we must fight for our love." You know its true... too many books have been that way lately. While I do love my good love story, I can get burnt out. Gaia, the MC, has enough depth and mystery to her that you want to find out what her fate ends up being. And the leading guy, Sergent Grey aka Leon, keeps you bouncing back and forth between contempt and gooey-at-the-knees-kiss-me-now emotions. Birthmarked, while it does have budding romance in it, is mostly based around Gaia fighting to find and save her Mother, and later fighting for the entire idea of what family is.
My sole complaint is the slow slow moments, and a few what felt like loose ends. I have read there is a book two coming out soon, so I am hoping those ends get tied up and nice tightly. I cant definitely say it will be on my TBR pile.
Birthmarked is a great new dystopian to add to your stacks. It is The Giver meets Big Brother, and by the end you hug your babies, realizing how happy you are that you do in fact get to keep them. I recommend this book.
4 out of 5 stars
(I'm sorry if this review felt slightly rushed. I myself had my little babe tugging on my for attention, but I wanted to get this posted, finally.)