Publisher: Square Fish
In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife, Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia's mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia's choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.
Another aspect that I enjoy in YA literature is having a strong leading heroine. Gaia Stone fulfills that role admirably. There's no damsel-in-distress in Birthmarked, waiting around passively to be rescued. Gaia goes out there, and she gets it done. She brings the action, she forwards the plot, and she makes it happen. Sergeant Grey... hehehe, what can I say? He's pretty dreamy, yeah. :) Probably one of the best boys of YA, and all that jazz, no big deal or anything. (Subliminal message = read Birthmarked!)
I'll admit - I was getting a little worried at the very beginning in regards to Gaia's initial reactions, and it was a little hard to suspend disbelief at that point. But once you get past the beginning, WOW. Just wow. And yeah, there were some plot elements that were a little predicatable, but the plot just worked here. It just meshed with the story, the characters..
One of the other great things about Birthmarked is simply how smart it is. The technology in it, the science behind it... it really adds an extra layer of depth, which is great to see. In case you can't tell from my review this far - basically, I loved Birthmarked.
These few paragraphs here hardly do Caragh O'Brien's Birthmarked justice. This is one to move to the top of
the TBR list, a must-read. A dystopian masterpiece.