Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Firstborn” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.23  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Tiadone has been forced to live her entire life as a female accepted as male in her community in order to survive as a firstborn child. But when she needs to pass the rites of manhood, she finds the Creator may have use for her feminine traits after all.
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Blink (first published December 23rd 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Firstborn, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sarah Baker
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  340 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Firstborn
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book, you guys, had the potential to be brilliant. It tackled interesting subjects and discoursed, albeit in a very superficial manner, gender expressions and portrayals especially with regards to gender being a societal construct. It had feminist themes interwoven with issues of identity. But the execution of the novel left a lot to be desired. The characters are not likeable or individuated satisfactorily, the romance is lacking, the pace stilted and the writing, poor. There are not ...more
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Zonderkidz-Books and Netgalley.)
Tiadone is a girl who is forced to live as a boy. In a society where first born girls are left to die, Tiadone’s father declared her male, and a special amulet hides her femininity from the world.
Now grown, Tiadone must take her special bird and go off to defend her home, the way that all first-born males must.
How long can Tiadone hide that she is female? And
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was NOT for me. I had trouble following the plot most of the time. I found the characters boring. The writing was not easy to read because of the sentence structure and vocabulary. It was a strange concept and didn't work for me. Blah.
Marit Thostenson
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing

First of all, I was amazed at what this was about. I didn't know what to expect, but it looked really good. I haven't read a book that was this good in a long time. It was really very good and I was able to never put it down. I was up until late last night reading this book until I finished it. I was highly disappointed in finishing it because I want to read more.
There were a few mistakes, but that was expected
Samantha K.
I did not think I would like this book, but it was there, and I had nothing else to read. Well, that and the cover looked pretty darn cool. What can I say? Sometimes books surprise me. Especially ones that make me think.

Tiadone is a declared male. That is, she was a first-born female that would have been brutally murdered had her father not declared her male. This has huge repercussions that reverberate throughout the rest of the book. Particularly, she struggles with her identity. The
harlequin {Stephanie}
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book had so much wasted potential. It had too many missing pieces for me to even consider finishing it.

Upon first picking this up I was excited, the writing was great and it starts off on an interesting and horrific note. While continuing on this journey I noticed some gaping chasms in the story that could not be ignored. For a bunch of boys and one girl named as boy who are coming of age to join a type of army to defend borders I am baffled as to what they are going to do out there. Play
Tiadone, her parents' first child, is a girl, and according to the beliefs of the people who conquered them a few decades earlier, her life is forfeit. Her father declares her to be a male, though, and so she is raised as a boy, wearing a special amulet that will convey male power to her and allow her to perform as a boy, including serving their larger community as a patroller on the perimeter of their territory. She is sent with her friend Ratho, a boy who has known her her whole life, but for ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I saw parallels with other societies that place more importance on having male children. I can also see the religious parallels between the religion of the original R'tan people, and that of Judeo-Christian-Islamic faiths. The dreams written as poetry are great! I love that they don't rhyme (because they don't HAVE to! :) )! I would actually be more than happy to get my hands on a second book if this story were continued.
Kara Peterson
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading books that have "something different" but that keep me entertained.
This book is about a culture that has been taken over and has to submit to new demands and rules. One of these is that women are seemingly "less than" and the first born if it is female is killed. The father can mark her "undeclared" I guess this means she is no longer female, she carries the male responsibilities for the family. This is the story of an "undeclared" and the struggles she faces, (her religion,
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
*Thank you so much to Zondervan for sending me a copy through BookSneeze!*

Also posted on:

To be honest, I didn’t really like this book. The story just didn’t click with me, and I felt the writing and the character relationships were a bit awkward. I fully read a little over half the book and then skimmed the second half, so I may not be able to recall all the specific details, just my general feelings about it.

But let’s start with the good bits. :)

Anasheh Satoorian
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A lot of people pick up books based on the cover appeal. Yes, I appreciate a beautiful cover as well, but I am really big on a synopsis. I remember coming across this book at the library. I was picking up my holds for the week, when a I saw this book amongst another library patrons holds. Yes - I am that person who checks to see what books other people read. And that's when I first came across FIRSTBORN. All I have to say that I was blown away by the synopsis. The premise was new and fresh and a ...more
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I want to thank Zondervan for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Tiadone has been forced to live her entire life as a female accepted as male in her community in order to survive as a firstborn child. But when she needs to pass the rites of manhood, she finds the Creator may have use for her feminine traits after all.

Upon reading the blurb for this book, I thought it would be
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
By Lorie Ann Grover

Sometimes Fate Has a Different Plan...

Since before Tiadone's birth the R'tan have been beneath the Madronians and their oppression. Worship of the Creator Spirit and reading of the Oracles a punishable offense. And daughters who are the firstborn must be declared male or discarded.

Tiadone is the first declared male among the R'tan and future declarings will be determined by her success or failure. Can Tiadone deny her true centerself and survive, living the
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
An edgy release from Grover!

Wow. I'm still reeling from reading the final pages. This is not a book for the young and light of heart. Written in first person present tense (as so many are these days...), we get an intimate look into the life of Tiadone, a biological young woman, who has, from birth, been declared a young man in order to preserve her life. This is what drew me to the story after skimming the back cover copy. Pure intrigue.

The mastery of this story world is incredible. It felt
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Should she fight to embrace who she truly is, or show that she can be strong and accept who she is forced to become?

Firstborn has so much potential to become an amazing Dystopian/Fantasy title, yet it seems as if it almost didn’t recognize its own potential. None of the characters are likable, especially our main character: Tiadone. Her personality doesn’t allow for character growth and is incredibly stiff.

The story is written as if it’s her diary, so we are forced to read many of her thoughts,
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have seen this book a couple of times on different websites. I thought the cover was cool and the concept of the story intrigued me. I finally decided to check this book out and see what it really was all about. I have to say this book was way better then I thought it would be. I can not imagine growing up as a declared boy but actually being born a girl.

Tiadone was a good "boy". In fact, I thought she was better then some of the real boys. She was tougher. I loved Tiadone's companion, Mirko.
Lisa Godfrees
I really, really loved this book, but I can see why it has such a range of reviews. This book deals with transgender issues. Through a cultural mandate, the female main character was forced to grow up identified as a male. Everyone knows she was born female, so it's not one of those books where she's trying to hide it, instead she's trying to fill a gender role she was not birthed to. She does admirably, but then puberty strikes and despite her best efforts to fit in with her male peers, she ...more
Raya Whitehouse
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booksneeze
This is a very interesting story. It is about how if your first child is born male, he is fine, but if you are a female, you are left by the cliffs to die and be killed and eaten OR your parents have to declare you a male and raise you to be a male. As a female (who was declared male) while you grow you would have to suppress ALL feminine urges or you will be killed the moment they find out. This book follows Tiadone through about a year of her (his) life.

I was sorry to see it end and wish there
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Okay, so I'll be honest, this wasn't at all what I thought it would be. I'd like to say it was so much better, but I think I'd be lying. And I don't say that in a mean way. I was fairly convinced that this book would be a dystopian type setting. Which it kind of was. But I almost feel like it wanted to be more of a reality type, not fairy tale I mean. I still enjoyed it. Some of Grover's details did throw me off a bit. I loved the interaction between Tia and Mirko. The bond was really kind of ...more
Hana Telige
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
If there's girls dressing as boys involved, I'm probably going to like it. Firstborn is a unique look at what it would be like to be born a girl and immediately get labeled with the gender male. I thought the conflict between what she believes and what she knows is really interesting. And although "twining" created an almost telepathic connection between the humans and their birds, the birds never actually spoke words, which was refreshing. Although the Disney idealist in me hates the ending, it ...more
This is really a good read for young or old. A dystopian society, held by strong unorthodox beliefs, first born daughters are given up to the elements. Decreed undesirable by the priests, the only way to save them is to name them as boys. They are to live as male for the rest of their lives. This is the story of one such girl, who goes beyond what is designed for her.

I really hope there is a sequel to this book in the future.
Sageline Philippe
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
o mg this book was so awesome that i didn't even want it to ends i fall in love with the book the fact that she have to leave her entire life as a declared male and that his father was lying to her and that she find out at the end she had a sister wish her fater through away and she goes back at the end to find her was awsome i love cant wait for a second one .
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The idea and concept in this novel was surprising, but the story did not disappoint. I loved this book, it was always entertaining, and I could not put it down. I finished it in one sitting that was approximately two hours. I feel as though this book should not end here, and could be a series. I highly recommend this book.
Karine Leary
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book "Firstborn" is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. It addresses a very delicate subject and has opened my eyes to a delicate subject of gendercide! The killing of firstborn girls. It follows a firstborn girl that is declared as a male in ordered to save her life! Her journey is intriguing, brave and is handled beautifully!
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a pretty good book but it was a little slow. Coming of age stories of teenage girls can get a little monotonous but there is the problem that she has to act like a boy. Interesting read but not one I would recommend to others as a must read.
Sep 02, 2015 added it
Shelves: dnf-abandoned
DNF, made it about 50%.

This one drove me nuts. I wanted to be interested in the story but after way too many made up words that weren't really explained when the meaning wasn't always clear and stupid made up names like Droslump, I gave up.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good read. I wanted it to continue however...
May 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Mad Wolf's Daughter (Mad Wolf's Daughter #1)
  • The Memory Thief
  • Tiger Queen
  • A Touch of Gold (A Touch of Gold, #1)
  • The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter (Mad Wolf's Daughter #2)
  • The Forty Thieves: Marjana’s Tale
  • The Silence Between Us
  • Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
  • Everneath (Everneath, #1)
  • Kin to the Asuras (Children of Fire, #5)
  • Life in Outer Space
  • Legacy of the Feathered Serpent (Children of Fire, #2)
  • I Become Shadow
  • Love Is the Drug
  • Heirs of Avalon (Children of Fire, #3)
  • Meridian (Arclight, #2)
  • Queen of the Night (This is Shyness, #2)
  • The Brokenhearted (The Brokenhearted #1)
See similar books…
Lorie Ann Grover is an awarded YA novelist and board book author whose works include Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn, and Parents Magazine Best Children's Book, Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish. She co-founded readergirlz and readertotz. Living with her husband in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, she writes, practices weapons tai chi, and watches hawks take flight.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »