First Born

First Born
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
January 28, 2014
ISBN
978-0310739302
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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.

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1 review
Overall rating
 
3.7
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3.0(1)
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4.0(1)
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4.0(1)
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Beware of Birds!
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
3.0
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4.0
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4.0
Firstborn: A Novel by Lorie Ann Grover is Dystopian Fantasy meets giant birds. It reminded me a lot of The Golden Compass.

The hook is that Tiadone, a declared male in a society that kills firstborn females, must join the army, suppress her femininity, prove her worth and survive. Her greatest ally is her familiar, a goat-sized bird that can hear her thoughts.

Firstborn: A Novel is published by Blink, a teen imprint of Zondervan that is quickly proving itself a supporter of edgy, compelling YA books that are clean without being preachy. (Other Blink titles I’ve reviewed include Doon and Like Moonlight at Low Tide.) Please note, some Christians might question my label of “clean fiction” to describe Blink books. I’m Methodist, and these books seem clean enough to me. In Firstborn, for example, there is a kissing scene that goes above the waist. I wouldn’t even mention that, except I know that some of my blog readers have different standards than me of they want kids/teens to read.

I thought Lorie Ann Grover did an excellent job with world building in this book. The concept of the bird familiars was really cool, and I rooted for Tiadone the whole way. This book is definitely a keeper. I think my son might like to read it in a few years too, as well as my daughter.

P.S. I received a free copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for my honest opinions and review.
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