Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthmarked: A Review

Birthmarked by Caragh M OBrien

When Was It Released?:  30th March 2010
Where Did I Get It From?: The library 

Who Published It?: Roaring Book Press  
Number Of Pages: 362 pages

Birthmarked was the first dystopian novel I ever read. I know, I’m a long way behind in terms of this genre, but I just never really knew where to begin. To admit I was a little nervous about starting it would be an understatement, however after receiving the sequel Prized for review I decided to get my hands on this book and read it.

Gaia and her mother work as midwifes, having to deliver the first three infants born every month to The Enclave. They never question what they have to do. That is until Gaia’s mother is taken away by the people she has always been loyal to, causing Gaia to question everything that she believes in.

I absolutely loved the way in which Caragh O’Brien has created such an intriguing world that I wanted to know everything I possibly could about. I was instantly drawn in to learning about the world in which Gaia lives as well as The Enclave, finding it easy to understand. I loved how the society in which Gaia lives in, where water is rationed out, really got me thinking. I was literally scared at times thinking about how I would cope if I had to live by these rules and regulations. I was constantly unsure of whether The Enclave was good or evil, and I really enjoyed how there were so many gray areas, leaving it open to reader interpretation. The pace is fast enough that I was constantly on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next, there are so many twists and turns throughout the novel. It was not too fast though, and I was still able to keep up with all the action while taking in every little detail about Gaia and The Enclave.

I really fell in love with the character of Gaia, she is so strong, passionate, determinded and most important of all likeable. I enjoyed reading about the way she changes and has to grow up throughout the course of the book. I loved the interaction between Gaia and Leon, finding it to be realistic, believable and entertaining with the splash of humour that is added. I really appreciated the way in which there is a love story within Birthmarked, that lingers beneath the surface and is more subtle than in most novels. I found this added a lot more depth to the novel and gave the romance room to grow in the forthcoming books.

I only had one issue with Birthmarked and that was that I had to wait to read the sequel, Prized in order to find out what happens next in the story. As soon as I put Birthmarked down I just had to pick up Prized. I was dying to know what happens next.

Birthmarked is a story that everyone will love, regardless of whether you have read dystopian before. The storyline is unique and really brings some great ideas, that will have you thinking about long after you have finished the book. Pick up this book, put aside a couple of hours and get started because trust me you will be unable to put this book down.

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