What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

If you haven't read my review of Birthmarked, the first book in this trilogy (this is book 2), then you can check it out here. Birthmarked was one of those that I bought on a whim, I didn't know anything about it other than what I read in the summary. But I ended up enjoying it so much that I was really excited to read Prized when it came out!
Here is the summary from Goodreads: 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?

What I Liked: 1) Leon. Leon, well, honestly, he wasn't too nice in this book. Except that he actually was nice, Gaia just didn't perceive it as nice at the time. Through his...animosity towards her, he is actually able to snap her out of the mindset she's fallen into while being held in Sylum. 2) Sylum. Okay, I didn't so much like it, as I liked being able to make Sylum the antagonist. I guess you could say I liked hating it, the societal rules that were driving Gaia to change to drastically. It was almost like brainwashing. But despite wanting to hate Sylum, I found myself understanding why they did some of the things they did. Not agreeing with it, but at least seeing their point of view. I think that's a great quality in a book. 3) The introduction of new characters. Because Gaia has traveled from the Enclave to this new community of Sylum, we're introduced to many new characters, several of them I hope stick around for the next book. Many of them become very real, because they are very likeable and personable. I particularly liked Peter and Will. 4) The plotline. The storyline and details all flowed very well, without many big skips and jumps, or a lot of stopping and starting that can plague a novel. It moved with deliberate pacing, which I always appreciate. I know that when I can read a book uninterrupted for hours, and have to pull myself back to reality when I'm through, then I was really immersed in the story.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Gaia, whom I thought was great in the first book, had changed drastically in this book. Her strength and rebelliousness was zapped from her personality, and she became very two-dimensional. I do think that this was part of the story, because, as I mentioned before, she's become kind of brainwashed, I look forward to seeing her strength and leadership return in the third and final book, Promised.

Overall thoughts: I always get worried right before I open book 2 of a series that I really enjoyed the first book. No need to worry with this one, Miz O'Brien delivered an interesting continuation of Gaia's story and kept me engaged and intrigued with new characters and new problems for the MCs to face. I had the teensist of issues with Gaia's personality changing so drastically, but I have a feeling in the next novel, she'll be back to her old self. Maybe just a more mature, grown-up version. Excellent companion novel, can't wait for the next one!

My rating: 4 shots

Cheers and happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful review. I haven't read the first one yet, but it sounds like a good series.

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  2. I've been really curious about Birthmarked and Prized for quite a bit now. I've been reluctant, but your review is making me lean towards buying copies =)

    -★Wendy★
    A Cupcake and a Latte: Young Adult Reviews!

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  3. I love this trilogy so far! Love love! I agree about Sylum and I think you're right about Gaia...it wasn't a hiccup in O'Brien's writing...Gaia was just supposed to be that way. I enjoyed the new characters too, as well as the old. :)

    Amber
    The Musings of ALMYBNENR

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