Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

Transferred from my old blog, originally written on April 25, 2010. I'm beginning to fear the same thing is happening with dystopian literature as the paranormal fad. It still is one of my favorite genres, but so many are getting published that you have to search out the quality titles. I'm looking forward to Birthmarked's sequel, along with Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I have also now read 1984 and I loved it.

7 out of 10: I have to say that I love the current trend in YA fiction for dystopian literature. Hopefully it's replacing the supernatural trend (you know- vampires and werewolves and fairies oh my). I actually think dystopian literature is good for teens. The characters are strong and they fight for what is right. They rebel against oppression, which is always a good lesson. And I know this sounds foreboding of me, but these teens will know what oppressive governments and societies are like. They will hopefully not be apathetic to changes similar to ones in these books.

I just finished Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien. It was so good! It's set about 300 years in the future and begins with a 16 year old midwife "advancing" her first official delivery to the Enclave. She lives in a society outside of the walled Enclave, and each midwife has to advance the first three babies delivered each month. After this, all hell breaks loose. Her parents are arrested and she begins to question the Enclave's rule while she is in search of her parents. And yes, like the best YA fiction, there is romance- the wonderful slow-building kind.

This looks like a fabulous list of YA dystopian novels. Out of his list, I've read The Giver by Lois Lowry (but not its companion novels), The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix and most of the The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. I would recommend all of them. The rest sound interesting too, especially Genesis by Bernard Beckett, Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Of course, I also want to read Brave New World by Aldolus Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell (I'm actually ashamed of myself for not reading this because I was an English major and my husband who is definitely not a reader has read it). Reading Birthmarked also made me want to reread The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. They're both dystopian novels, and they both have to do with birthing babies so I was think of Atwood's novel as I was reading Birthmarked.

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