Title: Birth Marked
Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
Release Date: March 2010
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Length: 362 pages
Summary (from Goodreads):
After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.
Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.
Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.
I had a lot of trouble with this book in the beginning. I was so bored the first 50 pages. Painfully bored, and I wasn't a fan of the writing either. Technically, nothing was wrong with the writing, but it felt so... thick, for lack of a better word. I felt like I had to trudge through it since it did not flow well for me.
The story took off for me. The writing improved, the story got going, I fell in love with Gaia, with Capt. Grey, the story line-- everything. I was intrigued by the world, similar yet so different from our own, and how smart the book was. It involved genetic codes, DNA, all this scientific stuff that I hate in real life, but somehow O'Brien made it work for me. Made it interesting and compelling for me. I was flipping through the pages, unable to read fast enough, unable to figure out or guess how the story would end.
Gaia was an extremely strong female character, something that is not common in today's teen market. If she wanted to accomplish something-- like save her parents, deliver a 9 month baby whose mother had just been executed-- she went out and did it. She did not let any one, not even the government manipulate her own beliefs. Gaia had a backbone. She was a hero, not only to the characters in the book, but to me as well.
And I think there might be a sequel, judging by how open the ending of the story was. Any one know??
1. Characters: 20/20
2. Writing 18/20
3. Plot 20/20
4. Originality 20/20
5. Cover 9/10
6. Title 10/10
Overall score: 97 or A