BIRTHMARKED - My 2010 Dystopian Favorite

See below how an orange,
a box, and a code
won Editor Nancy Mercado at
Roaring Brook Press the

2010 was a big year for dystopian novels. My personal favorite was BIRTHMARKED, by Caragh O'Brien

Mundie Moms gave it five stars out of five. Here’s what they say:

On Amazon
“From the moment I opened Birth Marked, Caragh had my undivided attention, as she drew me right into Gaia's world. Following in her mother's footsteps, Gaia is a midwife. Delivering her first baby should be something to be proud of, but when you have to take the baby away from a grieving mother and turn it over to the Enclave, how could you celebrate? Everything up to this point in Gaia's life has been about serving the Enclave, honorably and without questions.

After delivering the heathy baby to the Enclave, 16 year old Gaia returns home to find her parents have been taken to the Enclave and the handsome solider standing in front of her wants answers Gaia's can't give him. What I liked about this story, is that there's no need for a drawn out explanation into the story's history, and as Gaia is trying to figure out what's really going on behind the walls of the Enclave that separate her people and the "wealthy" ones, and why her parents were taken, I found out the answers when she did. That's what made BIRTHMARKED such a remarkable page turner. I didn't have time to think, I just kept reading as I wanted to know what would happen next.

Scared from a burn that covers her half her face since she was an infant, Gaia is no stranger to trials and tribulations. Where I would want to throw my hands up in the air and yell "what next", Gaia's inner strength gives her the courage to continue on. I absolutely wish I was more like her. She's a very strong heroine and was very relatable as she tries to do the right thing, holds on to her faith that her parents are still alive and will do whatever it takes to try and save her family, even when all hope is lost.”

Reading like a writer, I give BIRTHMARKED five out of five stars, as well. I found the constant surprises refreshing and the pacing perfect. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Caragh had Gaia taking a completely unexpected route, giving the novel so many interesting twists, and leaving each chapter end with a hook that made it difficult to find a spot to put the book down, even at two in the morning.

At a conference I attended, Emily Lockhart said to ask our writer-selves, “What’s the worst thing that can happen next.” Well Caragh sure takes that question to new depths. The ending left me wanting more. I’m looking forward to book two!

Okay, so you want to learn how an orange, a box, and a code won Nancy Mercado, editor at Roaring

Brook Press, the deal for BIRTHMARKED? It's a great story, read it here.

Read the first chapter of BIRTHMARKED here.

Visit Caragh's blog here.