Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Birthmarked

Title Birthmarked
By Caragh O'Brien
For Fun
Source I own it

First Sentence In the dim hovel, the mother clenched her body into one final, straining push, and the baby slithered out into Gaia's ready hands.

Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. 


General thoughts
I went into this one with excitement. First of all it was refreshing to be reading a book written in third person. We had a interesting new world, mystery from nearly the first page, and a brooding love interest with dark eyes. And then...the rest of the book reared its ugly head.  The third person became tiresome. I know you need to watch it with the pronouns in writing but when a characters name is leaping out of one page 50 times it starts getting on your nerves! The interesting world started coming off as showy and "look at me, look at me", and where, oh where, did the brooding dark eyed guy go? He turned into the biggest sap! Other things that bothered me to no end...
1 The whole code thing. There was way to much explanation about it, and I started thinking, "I bet the author loves codes and thinks we all find it as fascinating as she does...." and guess what? After finishing the book I looked at the back flap and, yep, the author loves codes. 
2 Every so often the author would throw in a big, fancy, needless word to...what? Maybe increase our vocabulary, but it just came off sounding pretentious and out of place. 
3 The pacing drove me insane. When Gaia and Leon are running through the tunnels with the guard hot on their heels and then they stop and choose right then to have a heart to heart?!!! What?! 
4 The whole DNA/chromosome thing. It didn't even make scientific sense. I don't claim to be smart and I'm sure I just missed something but by then I was so irritated I didn't even want to waste any more time thinking about it. (why would a "scientist" think that one baby from sector three who had the suppressor gene was more than just a fluke? Seriously? There's no reasoning behind that?!) 
5 The amount of descriptive detail. Oh my heck! On page 304 Gaia "...jammed her thumb into the latch and yanked."  Seriously? It couldn't just say, she opened the door? Or, if it wanted to be more frantic, say she yanked the door open. Why did it need to be so dang detailed? I could care less what Gaia did with her thumb!
So, yeah, not my favorite all! 

Gaia: Her sudden transformation to trusting, obedient midwife to full on rebel just didn't come off as believable.
Leon: Can you say girly man? 
...I just don't care enough to talk about any of the other stereotypical characters in this one. 

Would I recommend it?  
I guess if you love pretentious, unbelievable books with annoying stereotypical characters then sure. 

PS. I'm sorry if anyone out there loved this one and was highly offended at my review. It just rubbed me the wrong way and I had to vent somewhere!


  1. Hahaha. This is too funny Jenny. I love that you're able to be so honest. Girly men just don't do it for me. The first line is a bit gross...I'm not a huge fan of detailed birth scenes. Although...the book sounds kinda interesting but based on our similar tastes in other areas, I'll give this one a miss.

  2. Somehow I think your review was more entertaining than the book. Good for you.

  3. Lan, I probably shouldn't be so honest but I can't help it when a book bugs me THIS bad!

    Dana, Wow, what a complement.

  4. Woah, well I hate pretentious books too to be honest. I also haven't seen this book around at all :/ haha sorry this one wasn't worth your time booo

  5. Darn, I was one of those that loved it, though your review didn't offend me. I'm beginning to think we have no reading tastes in common - which just makes reading your reviews that much funner :)

  6. Book Purring, Really? You haven't heard of it? Crazy!

    Melissa, :( I think we have books in common...right? We have to think of one now.

  7. Jenny! I loved this book! I just read Prized and I think it's even better, but uhm maybe you should just skip that one. (Or not, because I can't wait to see a hilarious review from you on that one!)