Friday, May 16, 2014
Firstborn - by Lorie Ann Grover
About the book:
Where does a firstborn girl fit in a world dominated by men? When Tiadone was born, her parents had two choices: leave their daughter outside the community to die in the wilds, or raise her as male and force her to suppress all feminine traits. Now, as the first female living as male in her village, Tiadone must prove her father didn’t make a mistake by letting her live. As her male initiation approaches, Tiadone knows every eye on the community is on her, and desperately wishes to belong and finally be accepted.---But at every step, traditional feminine gifts and traits emerge, and the bird she's been twined with is seen as a sign of the devil. Worse, as Tiadone completes her rites, she finds she is drawn to her male best friend in ways that are very much in line with the female gender. Confused and desperate, Tiadone tries to become what she must be while dealing with what she indeed has become: a young woman who may be able to stand up to her despotic rulers and uncover her real purpose in life.
This was a unique story that reminded me a little of the Hunger Games. It was interesting learning about her world and experiencing these new circumstances with her. Tiadone was isolated from people for much of the story and while I liked her bird, there was a lot of description of it's movements that bogged me down a little. They were the main characters and it was a little hard to not have that dialogue back and forth instead of just one-sided. I felt bad for her and all the hardship she had to go through, but what kept me going was the hope of a happily-ever-after. I was a bit conflicted about the ending. I liked part of it, but was disappointed in another part and wondered if there might be a sequel? There was quite a bit of action and the chapters were very short, so it was easy to find places to pause. I felt the story got a bit sensual or suggestive in a few spots and thought it went too far in one. I did like the spiritual struggle Tiadone goes through and thought the conflict between her people's beliefs in a Creator and their captors' worship of a bird was interesting to see. It felt like more could have been done with that in relation to her friend. Overall, it was interesting and if you really like dystopian or science fiction, you might like it.
I received a free ARC of this book from Blink books in exchange for an honest review.