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Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien update: Lemme just say something.

I've been lying to myself.

This book was, actually, a real disappointment. I read it once, on Kindle, because I was ecstatic for it, and when I finished it, I was absolutely dumbfounded. When I saw the book in the library, I thought there was definitely something I missed--because I didn't enjoy it and how were the ratings for this book higher than in Birthmarked?--so I checked it out the next day.

Needless to say, I read the book two times in two days.

And I was still disappointed. The ending was spectacular; we had our favorite Gaia back that was there in Birthmarked. But like everyone else said in their reviews, each character changed. Gaia wasn't the same anymore, and I couldn't help being so pissed mad at her when she ignored Leon's call for help--no matter what her excuse was--and being so afraid and cowardly in front of the Matrarc. Where was the courage that this girl had? Where was her determination, her fight? It all completely vanished. She even failed to care about her sister--the only family she had left. I was appalled. This was not the same Gaia from the first book.
Don't get me wrong, even Leon wasn't the guy I once loved. He turned brooding and angry and completely different. He wasn't the guy that provided moral support anymore like he did in Birthmarked. I just ... gahh, I was so disappointed.

Another thing people mind that I do not so much is the idea of O'Brien using the word "miscarriage" as "abortion." Yes, it delves into abortion rights. And while I do not care for O'Brien's views on it, I am completely against it. I'm not sure which term to use here, but I do not believe a child should be killed once life is given to it. There are also something in my religion that says God gives life to the child after a specific amount of weeks--two, I think--but after that abortion is completely prohibited. But you can abort the baby before that specific time because essentially you are not killing a life.

Don't take my word for it. But that's what I think.

I don't know what to say about the romance, either. Now that I think about it, it wasn't the same, deep, meaningful connection Gaia and Leon shared in the first novel--in this one it is all about attraction. That's all it is. And it's disappointing, because you would expect the book to build these things instead of trash it down the toilet.

Anyway, I'm still giving Promised a chance. I think--I hope--it's better than Prized was. I hope Promised is so much better that it can make up for the mistakes that evident in the second, or even first book. I've read series that can do that. I hope O'Brien can pull it off.

Final rating: 2.5
I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. Usually, I don't.

This is my old review.

Okay, so I have so many thoughts on this book, both good and bad.

Honestly, I just wanted to say that I have been waiting like crap to get this book downloaded, and when I finally downloaded the ebook, I finished it in a day.

Soooo many emotions!

All right, I'll just start out with the flaws. There were a few instances that left me disappointed in Gaia's behavior. When she steps into this new society, she nearly has to change herself completely to abide by their laws. I honestly liked how she started the book, but there was a part where Gaia completely forgot about Maya. It was all 'Oh, I'm worried, I hope she's all right' and then abruptly, there was nothing. She nearly forgot about what mattered most and focused on her romantic problems and loneliness instead. :/ She followed the Matrarc's (woman in charge) orders like a starving puppy to it's food, and it made me cringe with horror at what Gaia had become.

Another thing I hated was her feelings toward Leon when he had first arrived. To not spoil anything, let's just say she's being selfish here again.

I wasn't surprised when he seemed to be angry at her, actually. Especially with how she acted towards him. But, as they warmed up to each other again and seemed to be friends, she turned back to that strong, fearless Gaia that I love. (: By the end of the book, I had completely forgot about the bad parts. A nice installment, and tons of more romance, but I think the first book will always be my favorite.