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Prized (Birthmarked #2)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  15,081 ratings  ·  1,440 reviews
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 soc ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Roaring Brook Press
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsInsurgent by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopia Novels
80th out of 728 books — 7,949 voters
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YA Novels of 2011
137th out of 1,278 books — 6,831 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Clare Cannon
This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever had to write, both because the book left me heartbroken, and because it was so confusing that it left me quite exhausted. It is also difficult because I highly respect the author, especially for her openness to honest feedback, and though I disagree with some of the things in this book I continue to respect her and will eagerly await whatever else she may write. The other difficulty is that the themes dealt with are highly controversial, and yet they ...more
Sarah Terese *Kili!*
Oct 16, 2014 Sarah Terese *Kili!* rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NO ONE. Please, save yourselves...
Recommended to Sarah Terese *Kili!* by: stupid self. You stupid stupid past self who said "hey, look there's a second birthmarked! Let's read it!!" You idiot, you. Curse you, past self. Curse you...
Oh. My. Goodness.

Apparently I'm not safe anywhere from this freakin' epidemic of YA love triangles squares. And that's just the first complaint of many about this sequel. Welcome, welcome, one and all to the new face of young adult dystopian fiction: prostitutes and sex in the desert! First with the second Dust Lands book, (elsewise known as Rebel Heart....and we already know my opinion on that piece of trash...) and now with this thing...Ah, well. Let's take things as they come, shall we? We'l
Jillian -always aspiring-
It seems fitting that I devoured Prized on Valentine's Day as if it were a box of chocolate -- but this book was so much better than chocolate to me.

I don't think a book in recent memory has made me dread or hope as much as this one did.

Prized made my heart a knotted mess, and then slowly -- painfully -- the knots began to untangle and leave me even more stricken.

This book and its predecessor Birthmarked are so much more than run-of-the-mill YA dystopian novels. They are rife with important topi
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
If the debut book in a series is even semi- good, I will continue with a series. I understand that it is hard for a debut book in a series to knock my socks off because you have significant amount of world building, and brand new characters to introduce. Usually, the plot is deep in the book and so I know patience is the key.

Why I wanted to read book 2 in the Birthmarked series?

I liked book 1 but I did not love it. I did like the 2nd half and because I thought it had potential, I wanted to see
Prized continues the story of Gaia Stone, a 16 year old midwife and refugee from the Enclave. Accompanied by her newborn sister Maya, Gaia is found out in the wastelands by Chardo Peter. Both Gaia and her baby sister are close to death. She finds herself in Sylum, which is just as bad as Enclave only it is run by women.

Sylum is a strange settlement. In Sylum, the men outnumber the women, but the women have all the power. Sylum is a puritanical place. A simple kiss can result in an attempted rape
I'm really giving this book a 3.5 (between liked and really liked) because I really did like it but there were a lot of things that bothered me about it.


My biggest problem with Prized is I felt it was a totally different book from Birthmarked. None of the characters were the same. Gaia is supposed to be this strong young woman who stands up for what she believes. While she does redeem herself at the end, I found that she gave u
Steph Su
The trouble with the first book in a trilogy rocking your world is that, as much as you anticipate the first opportunity you get to read its sequel, you simultaneously fear that it won’t live up to how much you enjoyed the first. Sadly, in PRIZED’s case, this was true. Whereas I couldn’t put Birthmarked down, I struggled at times to push myself through PRIZED’s copious use of info-dumps and inconsistencies in characterization and plot that really pushed the limit on my tolerance of YA lit cliché ...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Warning: This will contain some spoilers for Birthmarked that will probably make no sense if you haven't read it. But be warned.

4/5 Stars
I remember liking Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien. I remember the basic plotline - girl midwife in a dystopian society where they're taking babies from the poor and advancing them to the rich. Girl discovers flaws of society, rebels, story ensues. This is how Dystopians tend to go and I've read a lot of them now. But I very much remember liking this one, as va
Prized is a hard book to give a rating to that reflects its quality. On the one hand there are a few things that are very well done, such as the idea of a matriarchal society—truth is, I don’t think there are any YA books that explore this idea—and the gradual way Caragh M. O’Brien transforms Gaia from a headstrong leader into a submissive follower. However, there are some things that prevented me from giving it the five stars I wanted to.

I’ll start with those to get them out of the way. Through
"THIS. BOOK. SUCKED. I loved Birthmarked SO MUCH, and Prized just ground all those happy emotions into the dust. I said one word throughout the entire book, over and over again: Ugh.
But. Butbutbut.
There were... Some okay moments. But there is a lot of moral issues that bothered me, making it hard to continue reading... And the love square was just plain ridiculous. The fact that Gaia acknowledged that it was a love square made it all the worse.
And while I did enjoy the technical elements, and th
I became so attached to the first book when I read it. . . I absolutely cannot wait for this to come out!
Dea Sauva
I read Birthmarked in March and couldn’t wait for Prized ever since. Imagine my delight when I saw the title on NetGalley! Everyone who knows me is fully aware that I’m a dystopian buff. Leaving whatever I was reading was such an easy decision when I found out that my request got accepted. All those months of waiting are definitely worth it! I loved Prized more than I did Birthmarked and I’m anxiously waiting for the last book in the trilogy.

Prized begins where the first book left off. After esc
ahhh what happened?
where is the world and the characters I came to love and care for and was looking forward to read about...

-Gaia's character ended up just like all the other boy obsessed, selfish, and stupid female leads out there. Here was a character who was strong and independent, brave and resourceful, and smart. Suddenly she is weak and pathetic, stupid in her decisions, and falling head over heels for every guy that gives her a second look.

-Although I found Leon's abrupt character chang
The first book, Birthmarked is one of my favorite books! I really loved all the characters and coding and puzzles. I can't wait to get a hold of this book! :)

Prized is AMAZING! I LOVED it! It feels very different from Birthmarked (maybe because of the place setting and how Gaia is treated) but I loved it just as much. Definetly a new favorite.
Gaia Stone and her baby sister, Maya escape the Enclave with hope of finding a better life for them in the Dead Forest(Sylum).
Sylum, Gaia discovers is comp
◕ ◡ ◕  Arooj
*sigh* This book...I just did not enjoy it. At all. The first book was an interesting start to the series, but this book was not what I expected it to be.

First of all, this series doesn't sound dystopian at all to me. In Birthmarked I could have believed it, but not so much now. This world just doesn't make sense to me. I also didn't like how after learning so much about the Enclave, we now have to learn about another society. It was just plain boring. All Gaia did was sit around for weeks as a
*This is the second book in the Birthmarked series. This review may contain spoilers for the first book*

I read Birthmarked, the first book in the series, prior to having a blog of my own. Of course that means I never reviewed it. I can tell you it was a book I absolutely knew I would want to read the sequel too. Many first books in a series I read and never have the desire to pick up book number two…Birthmarked had me wanting to read Prized right after reading the last page. I even picked up my
Yeah, yeah, I know. Why would I want to read this book when I didn’t particularly care for the first one? Umm… well… I’m a masochist AND it was an ARC. I can’t turn those down! Opportunistic much? LoL.

I know it’s one thing to world build but when you’re going from one place to another and make it completely different without a real thread of connection between them there’s going to be problems. The author took the idea of being unable to have control over your own reproduction/keeping your baby
Prized takes place shortly after the events of Birthmarked. We join Gaia who has run away from the Enclave with her newborn sister, who is barely surviving the wasteland. When she is found and taken to a nearby settlement, Sylum, Gaia hopes that she can nurse her sister back to health and find the grandmother who left the Enclave years ago, but when her sister is taken from her and she finds that her grandmother has been dead for years, Gaia must decide to leave Sylum without her sister, or sta
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I didn't think O'Brien could do it again, but she did. And it was perfect. Again.

Let me start by saying how much I loved Birthmarked. Usually, I never expect the second book to be as good, or even slightly better,than the first. This totally blew away my expectations. Everything about this book was great. O'Brien's writing just flows so perfectly. She's very descriptive, and definitely gives you a good vision of what this "magical land" actually looks like. Amazing. That's really it.

Trisha Wolfe
Okay, I’ll admit this. I’m not proud, but I did not read BIRTHMARKED. Everyone close your gaping mouths. It’s kind of painful sometimes being a writer. And not being able to read every book you want when you want is one of the hard parts. But when I saw that NetGalley had PRIZED, I requested promising myself I would read BM first. Wrong. I got caught up with craziness, instead. Then I only had a few days left to either read this or not. So I chose to at least suck this one down.

I’m so glad I did
Enna Isilee (Squeaky Books)

I LOVED Birthmarked, and so I had incredibly high hopes for this book. I'm happy to say that I LOVED this book as well, but for different reasons.

Once again, in Prized we are thrown into a dystopian society. And once again, Caragh is BRILLIANT at creating mind games. In the first book I couldn't help doubting whether or not what the Enclave was doing was BAD. WHAT they were doing was good, but HOW they were doing it was bad. It really messed with my mind, but I always believed in Gaia'
Jun 18, 2013 Laura rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
Not a fan. As with many other trilogies such as this the first book is the best and it all goes downhill from there, this is no exception.
First off, a love square...seriously?? How is that relevant to any kind of plot in this book? (Oh yes that's right, there was no plot!) "I love Leon, no wait I love Peter, oh just kidding, it's actually Will"...and it goes on and on. Boring and so over done.
Then of course (view spoiler)
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
quite different from #1,
and somewhat lacking in the clarity and originality that made Birthmarked so compelling.

i have to say, i think she picked the wrong love interest!

so for the cleanreader review:
if you are a prolife teetotaler, this book is not for you...and it's not a big loss to skip it completely. if, like me, you're a very feminist prolifer, you'll find the choices and society worth contemplating, even if you don't agree with gaia's decisions. while i found the social commentary thou
Amazing. Simply amazing. Possibly better than the first. Review to come!
Dec 31, 2010 Kelsey marked it as to-read
This book can't come out fast enough!
Cecilia Solis-sublette
For me, the second book of a series is always a downer. This book has its ups and downs but more ups than downs. What makes this novel different from typical trilogies is that this novel is set in a different realm of the community. As Gaia is faced with having to adjust and assimilate to the new laws and customs, she is faced with an identity crisis that is represented through each of her three suitors - each suitor representing a unique possibility and opportunity for Gaia. This realization ma ...more
I'm puzzled as to why this book enthralled me so. There was so much in this book that I disagreed with but I just couldn't put it down, I had to see where it led. I was disappointed in Gaia and her actions, and I felt the author left gaping holes in the plot, but the story was intense (hence the 4 stars instead of 3).
What I liked: The male characters seemed to be well developed (no pun intended). The story really grabbed me. The genetic mystery of why men outnumber the women in Sylum. I liked t
I really liked the first book in the series. As for this one... well... I'm giving it 2 stars only because it did raise many emotions inside of me - albeit all of them quite negative. Very negative, actually.

The main character here is a completely different person. She's whiny, selfish, weak and she makes you want to strangle her. I actually understand Leon quite well. Are there people saying he was "too cruel"? Well, I think he wasn't cruel enough! Frankly, Gaia made me want to spit into her fa
Read the full review here.


In Prized, the author transplants the heroine Gaia into a new society which is completely different from the setting of the first book. Sylum has climate change survived by becoming a matriarchal society surviving on marshland north of the Enclave. A mysterious genetic defect has caused an imbalance in the number of males and females being born in Sylum, resulting in the men outnumbering the women 9:1. The matriarchal nature of the society means that
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Caragh M. O'Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O'Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA from Johns Hopkins University. She recently resigned from teaching high school English in order to write young adult novels. For more information, visit
More about Caragh M. O'Brien...
Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1) Promised (Birthmarked, #3) Tortured (Birthmarked, #1.5) Ruled (Birthmarked, #2.5) The Vault of Dreamers

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“It isn't always easy between us. I admit that. But it's right between us, always.” 40 likes
“She’d heard of love triangles before, but a love square?” 32 likes
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