Note from Sheila: I think, unless I have a blog tour, I am going to make Tuesdays, “Tuesdays with Camryn”. I introduced her last week, Camryn is a daughter of a good friend who ♥LOVES♥ to read and has taken on a roll of coming over, reading many of my YA books and then emailing me reviews. Camryn can give you a great YA perspective on these books, where her reviews make me want to drop everything (like with this one!) and read it next.
One more note – this is not the cover of the book I have, however… I wish it was… I much prefer this cover I found on-line for the paperback.
Birth Marked is a story written by Caragh M. O’Brien. The main character, Gaia Stone, has lived with her parents, Jasper and Bonnie Stone for her whole life. Gaia is a midwife, and very recently started helping mothers by herself. In her society, the first three babies born (for each midwife) each month, were to be taken to the Enclave, to be sold to the residents who lived inside. This is called the baby quota. For Gaia, this is a horrible part of what she does. After her first birth, she comes home to find that her parents have been taken by the Enclave, because they thought they could be traitors, by supposedly encouraging residents of their Sector, Sector Three, to rebel against the baby quota. After almost a month of waiting, Gaia decides to go in after her parents. She starts her treacherous task of breaching the Enclave Wall, the one keeping the “outsiders” from fraternizing with those who lived inside the wall. After successfully getting inside the wall, Gaia learns that both of her parents are in prison, but she does not know where. As she heads deeper into town, near the center, or the Bastion, she sees two people, a man, and a pregnant woman, being escorted to their hanging. When the mother is hanged, Gaia is frantic, trying to save the baby, who was probably about ready to be born. Masquerading herself as family, she accompanies the woman’s corpse, where she is able to save the child. But, consequently, she is unaware that this is illegal, and lands herself a potentially permanent spot in prison. Will she see her parents? Will she make it out alive? Or will she remain in prison until she meets her end?
Birth Marked was much better than I thought it was going to be. It reminds me of the Hunger Games, i.e. the “capital” or Enclave, was elitist, and the baby quota was a big sacrifice, just like each District had to send tributes. But enough of the Hunger Games. This book was amazing. I have my fingers crossed for a sequel, but I should survive without one. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games (here I go again) or who wants a great book that isn’t a long read but still has good detail.
Update: It has been brought to my attention that for those HUNGRY for more after Birthmarked, Barnes and Noble has a “between” book called Tortured, which falls after Birthmarked, but before book II, Prized. Even better news? This baby is free for the Nook!
Camryn is 12 years old, soon to be thirteen and enjoys reading YA books of the fantasy and romance genre. A few of her favorite books are “Hourglass” by Myra McEntire, “The Other Countess” by Eve Edwards, “Hush, Hush” by Becca Fitzpatrick, “The Immortals” series, the “Marked” series and the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series. When she’s not reading she enjoys watching Gilmore Girls or going to book sales for more books to add to her ever-growing collection.