Hello my lovely literary comrades! Hope the 4th of July was filled with barbecues, fireworks, and fun. :) Anyway, lets get to the review.
Birthmarked is by the talented Caragh M. O'Brien. It's a dystopian novel that centers on Gaia Stone (is it pronounced Guy-a or Gia? I never know xD). She is 16 years old and a budding midwife. Charged with the mission of "advancing" 3 babies each month to the walled Enclave, Gaia's life is changed when her beloved parents are arrested and taken in for questioning. On a mission to save them, Gaia's life will be forever changed as she learns horrifying news and questions everything she knows.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. I mean really like it. I thought it was a bit tough to get into at first but I am so glad I stuck it out. Because it is unlike any other dystopian novel I have ever read, and when most people (including myself) have given that title to Megan McCafferty's Bumped, that's saying something. This is so unique and different, which is entirely refreshingly brilliant. I loved this book from the moment I got into it (which was about almost a quarter in.). Although I do wish the author explained some things (such as: What do the terms mabrother and masister mean? I have no clue.), but that did not deter me or inhibit my enjoyment. I loved Gaia's journey through the Enclave, what she learns, how everything happens, and what Gaia does. I also loved how subtle the romance aspect was. It was not instantaneous love (or "insta-love" as it's known in the blogosphere), which was nice. I liked how the relationship developed, and how it correlated with the story directly, and was not an aside. When there was action, it was intense, and every moment was amazing.
Gaia is a rockstar, truly. I thought she was a perfect character to lead this novel. Her scar made her an outcast in her town, which made her sort of a loner, and not like everyone else. She was also strong, curious, and unyielding. She did not take crap from anyone. I loved seeing what was going on through her eyes, and reading her inner monologue and reading her trying to figure things out. Her questioning nature led to quite a bit of trouble, and I loved reading those moments. Leon, oh Leon. He is not like most YA male leads. He really did not brood all the time, and he was just swoon worthy. I love love loved reading his exchanges with Gaia, and how subtly and deeply they fell in love. He was tough and strong and hard to comprehend at times, but I adore him utterly. Characters such as Myrna, Masister Khol, and others were fabulous characters to read. No one was one dimensional, and everyone was enjoyable in one way or another.
I truly love Ms. O'Brien's writing style. It was perfectly suited for this book, and made it even better. She created this whole world and did not convolute it with random plot holes. Everything was set up perfectly, and the twists were lovely.
I suggest you find this book somewhere and read it, you will not regret the decision.
I'll next review Ascend by Amanda Hocking.
Until next time comrades
Viva la literature!