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Book rating: 04 Hardback Birthmarked Trilogy (Hardcover)

By (author) Caragh M O'Brien

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  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Format: Hardback | 356 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 208mm x 33mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 8 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1596435704
  • ISBN 13: 9781596435704
  • Sales rank: 190,341

Product description

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

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Author information

Since earning an MA in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, Caragh M. O'Brien has been a high school teacher, an author of romance novels, and now a novelist for teens. Her novels "Birthmarked "and "Prized" were named YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. "Birthmarked" was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and chosen for the ALA 2011 Amelia Bloomer List. She lives with her family and writes from her home in Connecticut.More about the author and her novels can be found at www.caraghobrien.com.

Customer reviews

By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 24 Oct 2011 5

I liked Prized, and even though it had the same main character, there was a totally different feel in this second book of the series. That is not necessarily bad, but not quite what I was expecting. I think that this is set up for a really big storm and huge changes in the next book(s?).
I was still pulling for Gaia throughout this book, and even though I could understand where she was coming from, I totally don't agree with some of her actions. Now, I can't sit here and say that I would've done any differently in her position, in fact, I probably wouldn't have had the bravery to do anything that she did.
Another thing that I wish could've been pulled off better is the love square. Yes. I said it. It's there. And I can see the appeal, and how it developed, I just wanted more depth. To me, there was always a clear choice for Gaia, and the rest was almost just plot movers.
And I know this sounds negative, but I really did enjoy this book, I like the conflict that it set up, I adored the new characters added into the story, and Gaia got a chance to learn more about herself by leading, by making mistakes, and by being thrown into a society where everything is not as clear cut as we want things to be. There are no easy answers, but situations that demand action. I am really eager for the next book and to find out what happens to the characters I care about.

By Sandra Keys 23 Sep 2011 4

At the end of Birthmarked we left Gaia striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a meagre handful of supplies, and an old vague rumor to guide her. The sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives the wasteland only to be captured by the people of Sylum. Sylum is a dystopian society where women rule the men. Even though the men drastically outnumber the women, and a kiss is a crime, and can be called attempted rape. In order to see her sister Maya, Gaia has to submit to Sylum's strict social codes and laws, but how can she deny her own sense of justice, her own curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole and the person she is.


I was initially disappointed in this book as i expected to learn more of Gaia's arduous journey through the wasteland but the book started as she was captured/rescued by a male from Sylum. Gaia has initially to give in and go against her beliefs to fit in with the ruler of Sylum, however as time goes on incidents happen where Gaia is unable to conform and goes against the rules to do what she believes in. Unfortunately for Gaia she has to face many unpleasant consequences for her well meant actions.
Gaia learns more of her heritage, and follows on with research her grandmother had started whilst she was the ruler of Sylum years before. Sylum really is a strange place, the rules, the people, its difficult to explain. Gaia has many choices to make even romantic ones, ones she never thought she would ever have to make because of her burnt scarred face. Just a sneaky teaser for you here You will have heard of a love triangle, how about a love square? lol
I had many favourite characters in this book of course Gaia and Leon, then I loved the caring natures of Will and Peter, the Chardo brothers. I loved the stubborn courage of the libbies (NO SPOILERS SORRY YOU WILL HAVE TO READ THE BOOK) I loved the cameraderie of Josephine and Dinah and the fact they quickly accepted Gaia for who she truly was. I even enjoyed the blinkeredness of the cuzines so set in their old ways.
The book ends in such a way as to set the scene for a book 3....so I will be impatiently waiting lol
So to some up Go and Pre-order the book! you won't regret it. Obviuoslt if you haven't read it read Birthmarked first. I really did love this well written descriptive book two in the series by Caragh M O'Brien.

Review quote

"Although this is undeniably a dystopia, it is filled with romance and beauty..."--"School Library Journal" ."..this series practically begs to be a book club selection." --"VOYA" "Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling books should know about O'Brien's writing: these are smart, tough romances." --"Booklist""" "Much like "Birthmarked", Caragh again creates a vivid dystopian world that was so easy to imagine as the story goes on." - Mundie Moms blog "Prized was an intriguing read that I didn't want to put down. Most of the characters are absolutely lovely, and the plot is one to get you hooked! I am eagerly anticipating the last book in the trilogy, I am very curious to see where Caragh M O'Brien will take readers after the unpredictable twist Prized ends with. " - The Book Cellar "Readers who loved "Birthmarked" by Caragh M. O'Brien will definitely not want to miss out on its sequel "Prized", nor will fans of "Shift" by Charlotte Agell, "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, "Delirium" by Lauren Oliver, and "Dark Parties" by Sara Grant." - The Book Muncher