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25 January 2012

Birthmarked (Birthmarked #1)

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien is the first book in her trilogy by the same name.

Gaia lives with her parents in Warfton, on the shore of what was once Lake Erie. Her father is a tailor and her mother is a midwife. Gaia, just sixteen, has just helped deliver her first baby without her mother's assistance. Wafton is dependent upon the walled city it surrounds, called the Enclave.

The Enclave produces the microprotien and provides water for the people of Warfton. In exchange, each month the first 3 babies delivered by each midwife are given to Warfton. Those children are adopted by the families within the walls and raised as their own. At the age of thirteen, the kids can choose to come back to Warfton or keep their new life. No one ever chooses to come back.

Gaia returns home from advancing her first baby and finds her parents have been arrested. She is not content to sit by and wait for their possible return. She must find a way inside the Enclave to find her parents. For people who live yards from the wall, the people of Warfton know very little of what goes on inside the wall. But Gaia will risk everything to rescue her parents from a system she is starting to have doubts about.

O'Brien has created a dystopian civilization that fans of the genre will love. Her characters are beginning to think for themselves after being raised to believe the propaganda forced upon them. Birthmarked promises to be an interesting trilogy.

O'Brien, Caragh. (2009). Birthmarked. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

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