Thursday, February 10, 2011

BIRTHMARKED by Caragh M. O'Brien

First off, I can't figure out if Birthmarked is one word or two. But holy tattoos, people, it so doesn't matter. You need to read this book.


Description: In the Enclave, your scars set you apart, and the newly born will change the future. Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty.

I know, you're hooked already, right? Well, if not, here's why you should be.

1. The writing. Gorgeous, elegant, yet every word is there to advance the story, not trip up the reader in beautiful prose. The vocab Caragh uses is awesome. My favorite? The "unlake." It says SO MUCH in just one word.

2. The plot moves. I mean, it moves. I loved every second of it, from the daring rescue of a baby to the tense walk in all white toward the wall.

3. There's a wall (obviously, from #2). I think you know how I feel about these things, but if not, let me remind you. Walls = fences. I like them both. I like the danger they symbolize. I like the "there's something scary out there." But in BIRTHMARKED, the scary is inside the wall. Which makes it even better.

4. The characters. In one word, brilliant. I loved Gaia, and her strength, and her skill, and her wit. I loved her mother and father. They were painted as real people, even though they're not on-page very much. I liked the love interest, which reminds me how much I loved the subtle romance in this book.

So yeah. If you like dystopian settings/stories with well-crafted characters and brilliant writing, you'll like BIRTHMARKED. Add it to your list, stat.



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39 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great review. I'll add this to my huge list. I just read Clockwork Angel and Demons Covenant. Loved both of them.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I will soon be completely out of money because of you. :)

I just finished Jennifer Echols' Going to Far and holy crap I wanted to crawl inside that book. Now I must buy everything else she's written.

Laura Pauling said...

I did read this book and you're right - the writing was gorgeous!

Theresa Milstein said...

This is going on my list right now.

My most recent that I really got into and can't wait to read the sequel is Across the Universe.

kellyhashway said...

Ooh, I like this! Thanks for sharing. It's going on my TBR list.

Matthew Rush said...

God or Buddha: Can I please have an extra month added to my life every year so that I can have time to read all the amazing books I hear about from the Bookanistas? Thanks.

Oh and world peace would be cool too.

Mary Campbell said...

I've read this and I did like it a lot.

Hannah Kincade said...

oooh, I just picked this one up from the library! I can't wait to start it! Squee!

Lisa and Laura said...

This sounds amazing. The mom in me loves reading stories about babies. Even if they are dystopian!

Lisa and Laura said...

Dystopian babies, I mean! Ha...

Anita Saxena said...

I'm sold.

lynnrush said...

This sounds good. I'd have to say the last book that stole my breath....Dark Divine by Bree Despain. I could NOT put that book down. I haven't started reading the second book, because I know I'll set aside all the editing I have to do. But once I'm done with these edits....I'm so gonna read book two. :)

Love those kinds of books.
Have a great day

Jessi said...

Your reviews are like sitting down with a friend and hearing the best details of a story. Love this. It's been in my TBR pile forever and now I may just have to dig it out.

Tracy Loewer said...

It totally sounds like something I would read, but...is it weird that the title kind of grosses me out a little?

Shari said...

My stack of to-read books has now reached my office ceiling. I must stop reading your bookanista posts. But I can't stop myself.

Tracey Neithercott said...

It's on my list, but I have yet to order it. I guess I should move it up the line.

Jen Daiker said...

I hear amazing things about this book! My little bookstore in town even mentioned it to me saying I MUST READ IT. Now you... guess I need to hop on board.

Andrea Mack said...

I really enjoyed this book - great writing and a great story. Definitely agree with your recommendation!

Quinn said...

Sounds great! I'll have to look into getting this one.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Oooo. Does sound so good. Will have to check it out.

ali said...

Awesome! Will read ASAP!

Henya said...

Going to check it out as we speak.

And loved your glowing review. Classy, indeed.

T C Mckee said...

Ooh, this sounds amazing. I'm adding it to my ever growing list. I'm gonna have to start giving books away on my blog. I'm gonna end up on that show about hoarders. So scared.

Donea Lee said...

Wow - this does sound fascinating! A unique premise, I like that. Thanks for the review.

Chris Phillips said...

That looks great.

Paula said...

I JUST posted something on my blog about Birthmarked (one word, btw) and was glad to see someone else enjoyed it as much as I did!! It is great, isn't it? Can't wait for book 2.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Ohhh this sounds good. I'm gonna have to get a hold of this soon. Love the idea of the danger being inside the wall.

Carrie Harris said...

This has been on my to-read list for about forever. I think it just moved up a couple notches. :)

Colene Murphy said...

Oh! That sounds great!! Awesome review!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Great review! I'll add it to the ever growing pile of books to be read. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Carolyn V said...

Seriously Elana, how many books do you read a week? I have to get my 30 done for class and I just don't see how I'm going to finish in 4 months!

Katie Mills said...

wow, def sounds different and original! Thanks for the review!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Okay. I am totally going from here directly to Amazon. I will NOT pass Go, even though I could really use the $200. Birthmarked, here I come! :-)

wordpress said...

I just added this to my "to read" shelf on Goodreads. Great review! This is Cory Jackson BTW.

Heather said...

I've had my eye on BIRTHMARKED. Since you're raving about it now I know I have to get it! Thanks for the review.

Kristi Helvig said...

This book sounds amazing--I'll have to get it. Also, great blurb for POSSESSION at the top of your blog...I love James Dashner. You rock!

The Golden Eagle said...

I saw this in the library, took it out, but never got around to reading it! I'll have to remedy that.

Thanks for the review!

tahlianewland.com said...

This is on my TBR pile in the list of - want it but can't get it on ebook in Australia. Looked again after reading this and discovered that it's coming into the Book Depository - free shipping - in 77 days for just under $9 for paper back, so I'll get to read it after all.

Thanks for reminding this is worth following up.

Shana Silver said...

Wow, I've heard a lot about this book but never really knew what it was about. It sounds awesome! I'm intrigued by the danger being *inside* the walls.

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