Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After waiting for a year for this to come out, I eagerly reread “Prized” and dove right into “Promised.” I liked it, but I hyped it too much in my mind. The first two books in the trilogy were SO GOOD. The sequel was better than the first…Yet, the third installment did not live up to my expectations.
Certainly, there were surprises and twists–and O’Brien is amazing with her irony…but, I just feel…emotionally let down.
I can’t say there wasn’t a satisfying resolution–because there was. I can’t say that thinks were tied up too neatly, because they weren’t. Characters die that you are close to…perhaps, I am sad for the characters? Perhaps, I wanted something as unique as “Prized”? I don’t know exactly.
There are many issues that hit home and hit hard: artificial insemination, adoption, genetics, abortion, class differences, motherhood and feminist ideology…And the group of rebels is seeks justice and reformation, not just an overthrow. There is a lot of awesomeness: great themes, excellent characterizations, emotional development and great story arc.
It is missing something that the previous two books had, which I think is its freshness in the world of YA dystopias. Either way, it is a great read!
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Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Gaia continues to the Dead Forest to discover that there is civilization outside of the Enclave. Here she discovers information about her family, especially her grandmother and her role in this community. But every community has its problems and Slyum is no exception.
I really enjoyed Birthmarked, but, I loved Prized. It is a rare occurrence that a sequel is better than its initial in a trilogy, but Prized exceeds the standards O’Brien set in her first novel in this trilogy.
This book is exceptionally well-written, with exceptional character development. Gaia’s character evolves further in this novel, suggesting that Birthmarked was only a small glimpse into Gaia’s personality and strength. This dystopia sets up a promising conclusion to the trilogy that will combine the first and the second.
I really cannot say enough about how excellent this book is. So many dystopias miss an aspect–perhaps pushing the society, or a love triangle, but falling flat in some other aspect. While there was a “love square”, O’Brien handled the romantic intrigue with great care so that it did not feel forced or as if Gaia’s decisions and personality relied on the inclusion of a a boyfriend in order to complete her as a person.
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