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Caragh O'Brien

Caragh O’BrienCaragh O’Brien Since earning an MA in writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University, CARAGH M.O’BRIEN has published a number of romance novels for adults. Currently, she teaches high school in Connecticut. This is her first novel for young adults. Learn more at Caragh O’Brien’s website.


Birthmarked: Strong protagonist, weak world-building

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien

In an opening letter concerning Caragh O’Brien’s new book Birthmarked, her editor says that she could describe the book as a “Hollywood-style pitch (The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games)” but chooses to avoid the lazy and instead describes how the main character, in the book's first chapter, must deliver a baby solo (not hers) and then, against the wishes of the mother, take it away and deliver it (literally this time) to a group called The Enclave.

It was a good choice, not only because that opening chapter is more intriguing, but also because it would have been cruelly unfair to Caragh O’Brien to set up readers with such high expectations. For all its relative merits and its general surface similarities, Birthmarked is nowhere near as gripping or... Read More