Author: Caragh M. O'Brien
Publication Date: November 8th 2011
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Synopsis: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?
My Thoughts: I think Prizedwas even better than Birthmarked. I feel like a lot more seemed to happen and Gaia grew up a bit. It's an extremely enjoyable story that I can't seem to get enough of. Caragh M. O'Brien has mad a new fan out of me!
It pretty much started off where Birthmarked left off, with Gaia in the wastelands. She's been out there for about two weeks and has run out of formula for her baby sister, who is now dying. They are saved by a man on horseback and he takes them to Sylum. They are saved, but they take Maya away from Gaia and lock her up for endangering her sister. Eventually, they realized that Gaia is a midwife and a talented one at that. Since they have no midwife, they decide that Gaia can take over the job IF she follows their customs. The women in the society are dying out. For some reason none are being born, therefore there are strict rules about showing affection in public, especially if you're not married, there is NO touching allowed between girls and boys. Oh, did I mention that if Gaia leaves she will die? For some reason, anytime someone tries to leave Sylum, they get sick and die. So she might as well get used to it and make herself fit in. She struggles to adapt to the strict rules of the society, even more so when she discovers Leon is being held in the prison there. Will Gaia be able to adapt to the society? Or will she cause everything to change?
I just cannot get over the ideas and creativity of Caragh M. O'Brien. The world she creates in this series is amazing and I just can't get enough of it. It's safe to say that I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the third book in this amazing dystopian series, Promised. There were a lot of things that happened toward the end of Prized that makes me want to read more. The writing just pulls you in and makes you want more. There was a bit more romance in this one because the ratio of men to women in Sylum is 9:1, so Gaia is the new girl in town, making her the most desired, even with her scar because no one seems to notice it as much.With all of the attention Gaia recieves, Gaia and Leon struggle in this new place and their relationship basically dies off.
I still have to say that if you like dystopia, you should definitely read this series. It's a great story and I find it a little bit different from other dystopians. It's an original story for sure, and well writen. I'd give it 4.5 owls if I used that as a rating, but it will have to take the 4 for now.