In a dystopian future, society is marked by the privileged that live inside the Enclave and those who live a life of poverty and no education outside. Following in her mother’s steps, sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone becomes a midwife and the best in her sector outside the wall. Her job wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t have a quota of babies to give to the Enclave for “advancement.” Mother greed is supposed to be unnatural and disloyal to the Enclave; mothers should be happy their children will be given better opportunities, but something seems off about all of it. One night her parents are taken in for questioning. It stretches to three weeks and still no word from them. Meanwhile, Gaia’s being questioned by the mysterious Sergeant Grey about a list or some secret code her parents made about the babies her mother helped bring into the world. Determined to get into the Enclave to save her parents, she smuggles herself in and her life drastically changes. What does the Enclave want with her parents, and what is in the mysterious ribbon with an embedded message? Gaia soon realizes it’s not so simple to rebel, especially against an elitist society that’s all about their exclusive gene pool.
Wow. I wanted to read this book for a while now, and I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to finally read Birthmarked. I love strong heroines that stand up against authority! Gaia isn’t your traditional perfect character with overwhelming beauty either. The scars of life are on her face quite literally. She goes through life with different forms of bravery, and doesn’t even think so. She’s just doing what she has to do. There is also slight romance and it doesn’t impair her judgment. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever used my dictionary as much as I did reading this book. I feel like I learned a volume of words I never even heard of before. It’s always nice to learn something new.
If you love dystopia, then this is one of the best I’ve read recently. The only bad thing about this book is that the next one (Prized) doesn’t come out till the early part of November. It doesn’t leave off on a cliffhanger, but it certainly has you wanting to read more about Gaia and those she loves. Put it on your TBR list, because it’s excellent.