How did I get it?:
I bought it!


In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be “advanced” into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.


I’m trying to start some series this year that I’ve heard a lot of things about. Birthmarked is one of those series. I picked it up a few months back, and I’m only just getting around to it. I was worried within the first 100 pages that I wasn’t going to get into the book, but then it grabbed me and pulled me in.

Birthmarked is set in a dystopian world, where the upper class live behind a wall in wealth, whilst the rest of society struggle for survival in a world wrecked by climate change. It centres around sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone. Gaia has a scarred face, so will never know how the other class live. Gaia has followed the rules set by the Enclave for all of her life. Gaia and her mother ‘advance’ the quota of the first three babies born in a month to the Enclave. These three babies will have a chance to be brought up with the opportunities that other children might not have. The mothers obviously find giving up their children tough, but it is seen as a honour and they are rewarded for their sacrifices.

Gaia hears whispers that the quota is going to go up. Soon after, her parents are arrested as it is believed that they are hiding something. Gaia has a problem now, she wants to find her parents, but she knows she has a duty to serve the Enclave. If she goes against the Enclave, then Gaia could be facing death. Gaia follows her heart and starts to uncover deep secrets.

I was really impressed with Caragh O’Brien’s debut novel. I thought the writing was particularly engaging and the ideas were interesting. I thought Gaia Stone was a brilliant protagonist. She accepted who she was and had learned to live with it, despite her insecurities. Although there is a romance, it’s not the centre of the book, and instead the book’s main focus is centred around family love.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!