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Prized (Birthmarked) Hardcover – November 8, 2011
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“Although this is undeniably a dystopia, it is filled with romance and beauty…” ―School Library Journal
“…this series practically begs to be a book club selection.” ―VOYA
“Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling books should know about O'Brien's writing: these are smart, tough romances.” ―Booklist
“Much like Birthmarked, Caragh again creates a vivid dystopian world that was so easy to imagine as the story goes on.” ―Mundie Moms blog
“Prized was an intriguing read that I didn't want to put down. Most of the characters are absolutely lovely, and the plot is one to get you hooked! I am eagerly anticipating the last book in the trilogy, I am very curious to see where Caragh M O'Brien will take readers after the unpredictable twist Prized ends with.” ―The Book Cellar
“Readers who loved Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien will definitely not want to miss out on its sequel Prized, nor will fans of Shift by Charlotte Agell, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and Dark Parties by Sara Grant.” ―The Book Muncher
About the Author
Since earning an MA in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, Caragh M. O'Brien has been a high school teacher, an author of romance novels, and now a novelist for teens. Her novels Birthmarked and Prized were named YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. Birthmarked was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and chosen for the ALA 2011 Amelia Bloomer List. She lives with her family and writes from her home in Connecticut.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Pre-order the official script book today. Kindle | Hardcover
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Photo (c) Tomy O'Brien
Top Customer Reviews
Right from the start, I was surprised in a negative way by the book. Nothing at all is recounted of Gaia's time spent in the wasteland with her sister, not one word. Instead, the book opens with Gaia being scooped up, rescued, and promptly dropped into the middle of yet another dystopian society. I could not believe that the author passed up an opportunity to show more of Gaia's strengths. The story of Gaia's flight practically begs to be told, and I was stunned that it wasn't addressed in the book at all. What a missed opportunity to flesh out not only Gaia's strength of will, but to establish the strength of the bond between her and her sister.
The next unpleasant surprise for me came in the form of the setting: Sylum. I could not for the life of me figure out why Gaia had been plucked from one dystopia just to be plunked down in another. For chapter after chapter, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading some other book or some alternate version of Birthmarked. I simply could not see how Gaia's time in Sylum furthered the plot. Essentially, Birthmarked and Prized are like two stand alone books rather than two installments in a trilogy.Read more ›
Let me get this straight. Gaia can kiss Leon and wriggle around a little on his lap, but that's the extent of the sexual content. Apparently, the author/publisher believes that's as much as is appropriate for a 12-year-old audience.
However, we can have a long, lengthy, and detailed discussion of why abortion is an important personal right. Because that's far less controversial than some heavy petting. Whatever your views on abortion, it's a very sensitive topic that many families believe is completely equivalent to the heartless murder of an innocent infant. I think it's a bit less appropriate to champion this cause to young audiences than to include some mild sexual content. And let's not use euphemisms like "miscarry." If you willingly terminate a pregnancy, it's an abortion. Saying otherwise is an insult to people who have had involuntary miscarriages. If you're going to take a stand, have the guts to call it what it is instead of wimping out.
The author has every right to write a novel about abortion, and the inclusion of that topic wouldn't prevent me from reading that novel. But if we're going to target this to pre-teens, their parents have the right to know that the novel promotes abortion. It's not mentioned in the cover flap or the description of the book, so I'm mentioning it now. If you'd rather discuss abortion personally with your child than have her read an author's diatribe on it, think twice about this book for your pre-teen.
That being said, it's a pretty good read for older audiences.
The heroine, Gaia, continually makes selfish, stupid choices without thought to consequence. In Birthmarked, we forgave her obvious poor choices/decisions because of her inexperience. In Prized, she seems to have learned nothing from her experience. Rather than growing personally and learning how to maturely counteract injustice, she chooses the same obviously ineffective types of recourse that mostly keep her imprisoned and unable to proactively work for change - just as she did in the past. In fact, in this book, Gaia seems to adopt a very unsettling victim mentality, constantly relying on others to save her and pardon her inappropriate behaviors and decisions. She doesn't even seem to be able to think through/of simple things (e.g., Leon reminds her that they will only be able to live in the winner's lodge with Maya until the next games and that she could be chosen as the next prize. And Gaia seems completely stunned and surprised - Hello!! Wasn't this completely obvious to everyone but her?)
More and more, it appears that Gaia is convinced that all she must do to change things is point out injustice and make a demand for change (and the way she does it makes her come off as a child pouting and shouting "that's just not fair" rather than supporting her own arguments with grown up logic and action). She doesn't seem to learn that she cannot influence those in authority without leverage and a plan.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This series in wonderful and refreshing, not you typical story. I have purchased this series and I look forward to reading it many times over!Published 4 months ago by book lover
This book keeps you wanting to know what happens next. Lots of solid characters. I can't wait to read number three.Published 5 months ago by karen Haase
If you are conservative, beware of what this series is teaching your children. Hidden in the pages of this novel (and the next one) is the persuasion that abortion is okay- the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Chocoma
I love this book sooooooooooo much!! It is awesome!!!!!! I'm gonna read the whole series. I can't wait to read number 3Published 9 months ago by sarah hallam
I almost didn't order this book because of all the negative ratings from the anti-abortionists. I am personally opposed to abortion but at the same time, feel it should be a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by KS
This book keeps you captivate while also talking about and bringing forth many important topics that would be great to discuss with others. Five stars.Published 12 months ago by Jennifer Douglas Ullmann