Julia's Reviews > Birthmarked

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
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's review
May 07, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: dystopia, appropriate-for-high-school
Read in May, 2010

An interesting future dystopia in a world where reproductive rights are at issue - also an exciting "escape" based thriller.

At first this seemed like one of the milder dystopian futures I'd read in books, but it soon turned more disturbing to me as it delved deeper into issues about who "owns" children and planned breeding. What made the culture creepy is how on the surface it seemed almost OK.

The book raises intersting issues & is not afraid to get dark when needed. However, I did feel that one of the very minor plot lines - of how the male lead was disowned from his family - went to an unecessary place & did so overdramatically. I think that regarding this plotline, the author was trying to explore all the implications of this society's life style, but instead it felt like she just dropped a bomb in the room & then scooted us away before we got to watch it go off. In other words - a dud. Also, the ending was bleak - which I could live with - but felt like it was perhaps written for sequel potential, which kind of annoys me on principle.

Sorry about being so vague above, but I don't want to provide spoilers. The gist is that I liked the book, though I took issue with a few points. I don't think I'll be compelled to read it again (as I do with my favorites), but I would most likely read the sequel if one is made.

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