Monday Mini (7): Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

It's Monday morning, the alarm clock just went off and everything is rush rush rush to get ready for the work week. Unfortunately there's limited time for book talk, and even less for blogging, but we still MUST share some book thoughts before we dive into the day. A Monday Mini is a quick little review typed with one hand, while coffee is made, makeup is applied and car keys are found with the other. Have a great Monday morning!

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

Published March 30th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press

From Goodreads: After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.
Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.
Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, Birthmarked explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

Another great dystopian world in which women are merely breeders trying to save the human race. If I didn't absolutely LOVE this kind of story, I'd be highly offended. Or flattered- since apparently only women will be able to save mankind in the future. Go us.

The people inside the Enclave are dying. Diseases they thought long gone have begun to claim the lives of their children. Years of inbreeding have rendered their offspring nearly nonviable and the need for babies from outside the wall is growing at an alarming rate. Gaia must "advance" the first three infants she delivers every month. To "advance" an infant is to take it immediately from its mother after its birth and turn it over to the orphanage inside the Enclave where it will live in safety and luxury, free of want for the rest of its life. Or at least that is what the people forced to live outside the walls, in poverty, are made to believe. To them, the Enclave is a paradise that they will never be fortunate enough to enter. The Enclave controls everything. The limited food and water left after the world's climate changed resides within its walls and the commoners outside are given rations. When a child is advanced, the mother is given extra food and water for her troubles. Oh boy. They take your baby and give you lab created fungus curd and rain water. SIGN ME UP.

Gaia is a great, strong female lead who fears absolutely nothing and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Her single minded determination to save her parents who are being held inside the Enclave was most admirable. Then I got to thinking about it. If your job was to take a newborn out of the arms of its protesting mother and turn it over to an organization that would let all your people die if it weren't for their offspring- you'd have to be pretty tough.

Didn't like the love interest. He was a wishy-washy sap. No use for him.

Another fabulous, harsh, gritty Dystopian read where one person is able to hold on to a tiny spark of hope in a world that no longer has any. Love love love the world O'Brien has created and looking forward to the sequel this fall.

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Laura @ A Jane of All Reads
I read excessively and hoard books like a greedy dragon. Theoretically, I also plan to use them to barricade myself against the forthcoming zombie apocalypse.

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