Birthmarked Trilogy: Book 2
Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
My Recommended Age: 15 and Up

I can't think of a book that I have read that has left me as baffled/irritated as this one.  In fact, I have been asked by several friends if I have read it and what I thought.  My answer is the same with all of them..."I really don't know what to I guess I am speechless".   You can not imagine how hard it is to write a blog post when you are speechless.

Finally escaping into the wasteland with her newborn baby sister,  Gaia Stone is hoping that the rumor of a community of outcasts will prove true.  Having escaped the city with out her new found love Leon, Gaia is captured and taken to the community of Sylum.  Here, the men drastically outnumber the women, yet the women rule.  In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, which is opposite of everything she has just learned and become.

While there is little blatant questionable material in this book, the book is littered with mature ideas and themes.  Without spoiling too much, parents need to be aware that Gaia is asked to perform an abortion and her internal dialogue is full of holes and reasoning that is less than desirable for young impressionable minds.   Additionally, the nature of males and females is questioned and is frankly downright weird!  Again, if my daughter were reading this, I would want the conversation regarding gender to be with me...

There is little romance, however, the well developed strong Gaia has been replaced with a flighty young girl who can't resist the striking good looks of a young man, she barely knows.  Kissing is the extent of the relationship, but again, it happens in such a way that I would want to be the one to talk with my kids about it.

In a nutshell, if you read "Birthmarked", forget everything you learned and start over.   Everything from the characters to the setting to the story line is totally different...I still think Birthmarked was very well done and one of the better YA books I have read. Prized, however, is taking time to get over, but as we learned in "Birthmarked", there’s always hope.

~Happy Reading

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