So I just finished reading Birthmarked. This is one that’s been on my list for a while. It’s about this society where midwives have to give the first three babies born every month (that they deliver) to the Enclave, or advance them, as they call it. The Enclave is supposed to be a perfect society, so in theory, the babies are actually being given an advantage. The people living outside the Enclave are all very poor. However, only perfect babies are accepted. Gaia lives with her mom and dad and is in training to be a midwife like her mom. She wasn’t a candidate for advancement because of her scarring. She was burned as a small child. The story begins with Gaia performing her first delivery and subsequently handing over the baby to the Enclave. Before she can get home that night, she’s told that her parents have been arrested and she should run. But she doesn’t. She breaks into the Enclave to find her parents and things sort of spiral out of control from there. Just as no society can be perfect, the Enclave has its share of secrets and problems. I thought the plot was great, and I really liked Gaia’s character. I definitely recommend this book for fans of YA dystopian novels. I’m really looking forward to reading Prized, the next book in the series. As a mother myself, it was kind of disturbing to think of all these babies being taken from their mothers at birth though. I can’t imagine that kind of pain. So, I felt like that element of the story really stood out to me. I thought it drew a more emotional connection for me as a mom. So–good characters and good plotting.
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien