Birthmarked is a Young Adult dystopia, set three centuries in the future after natural disasters have left the world barren, hot and dry. On the land where Chicago used to stand is now a walled city, which is home to the privileged few, while the remaining population live in smaller villages outside the wall and have to provide a monthly quota of babies to the mysterious governing Enclave in return for food and water rations.
Gaia Stone lives outside the wall with her parents and is training as a midwife until one evening when her parents are arrested by the Enclave. Gaia must now risk everything she has to get them back...
I liked this book. Gaia was brave and resourceful and didn't take any nonsense from anyone. The plot rattled along at a decent clip and there was a good amount of action to keep the reader interested. The love interest, Leon, was an interesting character with a bit of a shady past. The Enclave didn't come across as a particularly evil regime (compared to some other dystopias): they seemed more desperate than anything.
All in all, this is a pretty good book with shades of The Handmaid's Tale and 1984, but told with a YA slant. It didn't knock my socks off, but I'd still recommend it, especially for dystopia fans.