06 March 2011

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

When I glanced at this cover on GoodReads, I instantly felt compelled to read it.  I know, I know--don't judge a book by its cover.  But, seriously, how many people can honestly say that they've never picked up a book because it had an awesome cover? No one? That's what I thought.  A lovely professor of mine was kind enough to loan me her copy of this book so I didn't have to place my name on the lengthening list of holds at the local public library.

My judgement: Go find a copy of this book and read it. NOW. No, you don't need to read my review first.  First, you need to go see if your public library has a copy and put your name on the hold list (because I'm sure that all of their copies are check out).  Now, on to the review, which you can read after you have a hold on this book.

From the cover:
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. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

This is a novel that you will start and not put down until you have read the last page.  The main character, Gaia, is a sympathetic character from the beginning.  The scar on her face sets her apart, even in the world outside of the Enclave.  She's a strong-willed character with quite the determination when it comes to her family.  When her parents are arrested by the Enclave, Gaia, scorning the advice of those around her, insists upon find a way into the Enclave to rescue her parents.  Her determination, quick-thinking, and (ultimately) love drive her to impossible lengths to save those she loves.  The cast of characters that she meets along the way will surprise the reader.  I don't want to spoil any plot points here, so I'll suffice it to say that O'Brien's debut novel is well-written, suspenseful, and moving.  The world and characters that she has created will leave your mind reeling.  Don't despair: the second book in a three book deal is slated to appear later this fall.


Alexandra said...

Talk about a raving review! I love it when we give a random book a chance and it turns out its right up our alley.

Maybe you should send an email to the graphic designer and thank him/her?

kaye (paper reader) said...

I am so excited for this book. I believe I have it on hold at the library, although when I first saw it I saw the other cover (the bright white/purple/pink one) and that helped to pull me in, too. I'm glad that it's as good as I'm anticipating!

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