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Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
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3783728,549 (3.87)15



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When we last saw sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, she was fleeing the cruelty of The Enclave with her baby sister Maya. Alone in the wilderness, both are near death when they are rescued and brought to the strange town of Sylum. Read the rest of the review on my blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/prized-caragh-m-obrien/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Enjoyed this as much as the first one. There were a couple of conversations that confused me a little--the characters were expressing emotions that we were supposed to understand they'd been feeling, when they hadn't been clear at all. But it's a tiny gripe. I really enjoy this series.

More on this and other reviews on fefferbooks.com! ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
As far as YA fiction goes, this trilogy worked for me. I will admit that I struggled to get through the first one, but that the ending kept me reading the second. And the third! So now I've finished the set. While I liked Prized better than this (ever-so-slightly), I appreciate the social issues covered in all three books. I liked the plot and character development in this last one most. I still think much of the dialogue feels cheesy and contrived, but I get that this is what teens like and want. Overall, a worthwhile read. ( )
  CanadianA | Jan 30, 2014 |
Love this book. Rarely do I like the second book more than the first book but in this case I did. New characters are introduced to contribute significantly to the plot and are intriguing. If you liked Birthmarked, then do not hesitate to rush our and get this book. Gaia finds herself in the community of Sylum, where she has a deal of difficulty adjusting to the rules which include no touching no kissing and no voting, if you're a male. Gaia find herself attracted to more than one male and that is a really big problem in this society. I love how spunky she is and how she never stops fighting for what she thinks is right. Book 3 is called Promise ( )
  JRlibrary | Nov 19, 2013 |
Prized (Birthmarked Trilogy) Birthmarked is one of my favourite YA books, it has it all: great world-building, well-developed characters who make realistic choices, a real sense of terror considering what was at stake and, oh wonder of wonders!, no love triangle, no insta-love, no Mary-Sue for a heroine.
There was very little of this in Prized. I don't know, maybe because Birthmarked was so amazing my expectations for Prized were too high. But really, what flowed so beautifully in Birthmarked was stunted and just felt forced here.
The love quadrangle: I get it, new setting, new rules. But Birthmarked was special because the heroine was unwanted. It was special because there was no insta-love between her and the love interest, because what happened between them was built slowly, and it felt beautiful, it felt real. It wasn't even a major part of the plot but it was all the more cherished for that.
In Prized we get Gaia making absurd decisions and going back and forth on the ones she does make. I like flawed characters, the thing is, this just made her inconsistent and unrealistic. Surely, with all that was happening, she had more to occupy her mind than wasting time wondering whom she loved more?
While in Birthmarked there was this feeling of "there may be romance here, but really, now is not the time" (and it really wasn't!), that was set aside in Prized, and in my opinion the book really suffered for it.
Insta-love: I kind of (almost) understand the thing she had with Will, but Peter? What was even the point? If you needed another one for a love triangle (and believe me, you never need a love triangle), Will at least had something in common with Gaia, something Leon did not have. What was the point of Peter even existing?
Leon: That was just... I get it, but I'm really, really sorry to say this because I genuinely like Caragh M. O'Brien's writing... it was poorly executed.
All in all, this book left me feeling that O'Brien was not only trying to make it more conforming to what is generally perceived a YA audience desires but also that she was rushing to meet a deadline.
I hope this is just second book syndrome, like I said, Caragh M. O'Brien's writing is great - I'm giving this a two, I know this sounds horribly unfair, but if it were another writer, one I'd never read before, I'd probably give it a 3.5. But the thing is, I have read a nearly flawless book by O'Brien, and you just can't follow that with... this. I'm sorry! I feel terrible because, as I've mentioned several times, I love her writing, so I have every hope that Promised will amaze me. ( )
  Isa_Lavinia | Sep 10, 2013 |
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Sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone is in the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her when she is captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where she must follow a strict social code or never see her sister again.… (more)

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