Saturday, January 21, 2012

[Review] Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

Title: Prized
Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
Series: Trilogy (Birthmarked #2)
Published: November 8th 2011 by Roaring Brook Press
Rating: ★★★☆
Goodreads Summary:
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole? 
Emma's thoughts: 
 **SPOILERS FOR BIRTHMARKED**
When I started this book, I was really, super, extremely excited. Even though Birthmarked wasn't a mind-blowing five stars for me, I believed that there was so much potential and possibilities for the story. I can't say I was disappointed, but when I finished the last page, I was void of excitement and anticipation for the next book.

First of all: LEON. Okay, I was dying for him to reappear in this book after the tragic separation in Birthmarked, but when he talks to Gaia for the first time... I. just. wanted. to. slap. him. I hate that he changed so much, and all he ever was angry, frustrated, scary, and downright rude. He does redeem himself later on, but I was just so disappointed by him! But then again, he does have his reasons to be mad at Gaia. I was mad at Gaia. She's a strong protagonist, but sometimes she just made the stupidest decisions. She's awfully stubborn, and it's mostly admirable, until the joke's on her. The Martrarc made sure of that. Well, concerning the Martrarc, I was mildly confused about her. She was the royal bitch of the society, and also blind. No, I mean, literally. It's no surprise that she's portrayed as the evil mastermind that naturally annoyed the hell out of me, playing Gaia every chance she got. And it's just downright mean to take Maya away from Gaia! She was good for her part though.

And ohh, the Chardo brothers♥! Peter not so much, but Will! I'm sad that Peter had the more dominant part in the novel, but the little things Will did made me giddy! It was everything Leon would've done, if he hadn't turned into such a jackass..! Though Will disappointed greatly at one point near the beginning, I found myself forgetting that not much later. Peter on the other hand, every time he came around, I just wanted to tell him to 'LEAVE.' He can try be all stupidly cute he wants to be, but I am never going to like him! *crosses arms in determination*

Honestly, the whole Sylum society is a bit fucked up. The ratio of girls to boys is one to nine, and yet, girls rule. To me, that's just a tad bit unrealistic. Say, it's 1800 men, and 200 women. Who do you honestly think would win? The actual logistics behind why girls are only born one out of every ten times is really quite interesting, and to say the least, disturbing. As well as the mystery why no one could leave Sylum when they decided to stay, without dying anyways. That confused me a bit. It was explained, but O'Brien never really explained how. I guess though, in a world that doesn't exist, it's hard to elaborate on things like that.

{Okay, I just had dinner, and the woman I'm staying with me told me I need learn how to do stuff around the house since the boys don't have to, but I'm a girl, so I'm required to do housework. I must know how to cook and clean. I must wash and sweep. DO YOU KNOW HOW MAD THIS MADE ME?! I hate the fact that because I'm a girl, I have to this, and I can't do that, because that's what men do. This is reversed in Prized, but the same concept applies. I love that in this book, there's the clear, obvious moral that both men and women should have equal rights. Because, I shouldn't have to do anything I don't want, nobody should. And I don't even know these people for goodness sake!}

Anyways, waay off topic.

The ending of the book, to me, was, I don't know... too ideal? It was cute, and it made me happy, but then I thought about it again. It definitely leaves an exciting plot line for the final novel, but the only real thing that bothered me was Gaia's position. Yes, she's awesome and all, but was that really necessary?

Overall, I did enjoy it. I did love and hate parts. The chemistry between Gaia and Leon in Birthmarked didn't really make it in here, unfortunately. The love 'square' was a little lol worthy, but I really hope it'll sort itself out in the last book. Even though I'm not dying for it to come out, I'll be sure to buy it!

Rating: 3.5 stars~ My expectations were probably too high, but it's good for a sequel!  
First:
 She grabbed the hilt of her knife and scrambled backward into the darkness, holding the baby close in her other arm.
Favourite:
"...Maybe you could ask eight hundred people to carry my cot."

"How do you think we got you here?"
Teaser:
 She was absolutely not going to ask him if his sperm were viable.

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