Abby's Reviews > Birthmarked

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
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's review
Jun 21, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: i-own-it, favorites
Read from April 14 to 16, 2012

I am a sucker for good dystopians and this, my friends, is a good dystopian. Actually, it's a FLIPPING amazing dystopian. I loved every second and I couldn't put it down. Flash forward to me reading all day during school and all night until I finished it (so actually one day and one evening considering how short of a read it is). Luckily, I already have Prized and could pick it up as soon as I put Birthmarked down. The plot was very good with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
As far as the writing, I fell in love with the way O'brien writes. She is fantastic at describing just the right amount while successfully delivering her point. Also, she is obviously incredible at the world building aspect of it. I actual believed how and why the society functioned the way it did.
The problems with their society were interesting and complex and made you ponder. The questions it raised were clearly represented and Gaia carefully and completely had to answer to each as to if she thought it was wrong or right. She then had to act upon her decision, which she always did. That is why I admired her so much throughout the book.
Another thing, the characters were fantastically complex and interesting but still easy to connect with. I loved Gaia and how strong and brave she was to always do what she felt was right. Leon was sweet and tough and believable. I loved how they weren't necessarily the "perfect couple" because they both had their own baggage but they didn't let that get in the way. Also, O'brien did not give in to one of my pet peeves in books, which is that I hate when authors allow the romance to hinder the telling of the story. In this case she used it to progress the story and the characterization which I thoroughly appreciated. Another pet-peeve is when the romance feels to forced and awkward. Again, not the case in this book. The romance felt natural because of both Gaia and Leon's backstories. Also, it wasn't like they saw each other and instantly fell in love, it took a while to get to know each other and form trust like it is in all real relationships.
The side characters were all fantastic too. I loved Mace and Pearl and their adorable family. I loved Derek, Todd, Amy, Emily, Myrna, Sgt. Bartlett, Jasper, and Bonnie.I also found the 'villains' (such as the Protectorat, Mabrother Iris, and Masister Kohl) intriguing and driven.

All in all an utterly lovely read and recommended to all.

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Reading Progress

04/15/2012 page 314
87.0% "I love this book!! I am super excited to finish it and start the sequel... Probably tonight!"

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