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(Birthmarked #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  23,288 ratings  ·  1,827 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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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  23,288 ratings  ·  1,827 reviews

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Clare Cannon
May 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
kiwi kili
Feb 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE. Please, save yourselves...
Recommended to kiwi 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...
UPDATE 6/10/19!! Original review still available below, updates at bottom!


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 t
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

I am very surprised about this book.
It was very interesting the whole time. It made me feel angry so many times towards Gaia and her attitude about everything that was going on that I became frustrated. I love a book that awakens strong emotions in me. I enjoyed it so much!
I liked the first book of this series, but Prized is defenetetly an improvement from the first installment. This story is more complex, it evolves fluidly and maintains your attention at all times.
Jillian -always aspiring-
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Disillusioned dystopian and/or YA readers who want to read something deep, smart, and honest
Recommended to Jillian -always aspiring- by: Pactmate (you know who you are)
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
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopian
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
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
"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
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I became so attached to the first book when I read it. . . I absolutely cannot wait for this to come out!
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
Another wonderful addition to the BIRTHMARKED trilogy.

Even though they're in a different setting, the dystopian society stayed the same. Just touching a female would land a male in jail for attempted rape. This society have women in charge and the men as second-class citizens. I didn't really understand it but I did accept that because there was a shortage of females they allowed women to be in charge because they were so valuable. I still don't understand how there were hermaphrodites and how
Apr 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one more than the first book! Like I said before the writing style isn't my fav but the story is still exciting :) ...more
Karen’s Library
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
In Prized, Gaia is found in the wasteland with her baby sister, both of whom have almost succumbed to starvation. When brought to Sylum, she discovers another community, this time ruled by women.

Within the same series, Caragh O'Brien has again created another crazy dystopian world with completely different rules, classes, and rulers. In both worlds, Gaia is one of the few who dares to challenge what's in place. Although... There was a time when Gaia did disappoint.

But, in the end, she once agai
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Also so fun to have a nice YA series for winter reading.
Oct 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
*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
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blargh
*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
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
“She’d heard of love triangles before, but a love square?”

I'd never planned to continue this series. I hadn't loved the first book and only had sketchy memories of it. But I wanted an audio book and this one was easy to get, so I grabbed it.

Imagine my surprise. The adventure of her travel, being found by Peter and the adventure into the new land was fascinating. I liked learning about the new rules and the town, the people and their lives. The fact that she was a midwife was an interesting twis
Isa Lavinia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-books
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.

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 s
May 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
As much as I enjoyed Birthmarked, the first book in the series, I liked this one way better. Or, possibly, I just don't recall the first one well now. Either way, I can tell you that I just ate this up. Were it not for work and social responsibilities, I would not have put it down.

What I love about this series is that O'Brien focuses on topics that are not often tackled in YA novels, like midwifery (which grosses me out, but it's still awesome that there are details) and genetics. Gaia, too, is
Trisha Wolfe
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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'
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. A teen age midwife and her infant sister are in woman run society [s] 4 429 May 08, 2019 09:34PM  
Leon or Peter? 38 159 Jan 24, 2016 04:18PM  
Read-along: Prized 27 28 Apr 28, 2014 01:57PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Girl is in a small town where women are ranked higher than men? [s] 3 163 Dec 17, 2012 05:59PM  
GAME Befriend, Marry, Avoid 1 26 Jul 01, 2012 08:09AM  

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Caragh M. O'Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS series, 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. Once a high school English teacher, she resigned to write young adult novels. For more information, visit ...more

Other books in the series

Birthmarked (3 books)
  • Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1)
  • Promised (Birthmarked, #3)

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