Friday, November 15, 2013
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
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.
I was blown away by this book-I was so glad I took the chance and read it! It is everything a gripping dystopian should be: interesting characters, a unique setting, and fun plot twists throughout. I really admired Gaia. At the beginning of the book, she seems extremely shy and self-conscious because of the burn on her face. But throughout the book, she is pushed out of her comfort zone and grows through the challenges she faces. She makes friends in unexpected places that help her gain new insights about the world around her, and to find the courage within to bring about change.
I love that the story takes a new spin on having a birthmark. Instead of being born with one, Gaia and her mother actually mark babies with a small tattoo as a way to keep a record. They have to take three babies away from their mothers each month and give them to the Enclave. Most everyone is in complete support of this system until Gaia starts learning the truth about the Enclave. I was gripped by both the story and the character development--it was written with depth and feeling. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian fiction.
Content: Some violence