Born (Born #1) by Tara Brown
Genre: YA, Dystopia,
Published: September 2012, by Tara Brown Publishing.
My Rating: 2 birdies.
Born had a lot of promise, but it didn’t perform for me. To me, this is a very generic dystopia – it’s literally just your basic dystopia setting (crazy plague, natural disasters, warfare and whatnot) with a poorly written plot and undeveloped characters. Unoriginal.
The story follows Emma, who is a survivor that lives on her own with a wolf named Leo. The story starts from when her lonely life is interfered by strangers who are in a similar position she is in. This sets up the rest of the story for her change from uncaring, lonesome Emma to I’m-poster-girl-for-saving-humanity Emma.
The development of Emma is probably the best thing about Born. It is done well. We have a really strong idea about who she is, what she’s been through and how that defines her. We understand that she’s lonely and she begins to crave human contact to point that she creates her own little family of survivors that she cares for, which grows into caring about the life of every single mistreated survivor out there.
Other than this, the story goes downhill. The rest of the characters are poorly developed. I understood the basics of some, but it still left something to be desired. This could be because the book was trying to juggle too many characters at once. Emma’s new “family” grows to the size of a small army, and we are told extensively about each one – pulverizing us with useless information to soak up with nothing to really show us who the characters are.
The romance in Born was awful. I tag insta love on an epic scale. I can see that it was attempted to be realistic and non-insta, but it didn’t pull it off, making it feel too instantaneous for me. You can tell the author tried to make it realistic by there being an initial attraction plus letting the male’s interference let Emma see the joy in life once more. It didn’t work, though. Mainly because we don’t see any of this happen, we were just told so. Plus, there was a love triangle, between two brothers none the less. Ugh. And it didn’t even bother trying to form a connection between Emma and brother number 2 before they were “in love”. It wasn’t done well at all.
To top off poor development and bad romance, the dialogue was beyond cheesy! I hate cheesy, unrealistic dialogue. If two characters can’t speak naturally, then the whole thing has an off, fake feel about it. I felt this every time a character was trying to give an inspirational or emotional talk AND when they were talking normally. Seriously, can you torture me more?
Yes. Yes it can. Not only was the plot poorly written with a totally un-original setting, all the climaxes and action were ruined with way to many “lucky” coincidences. It really is just taking the easy way out of a tricky situation. The same goes with the mysteries in the plot, there always just happens to be someone who knows all the answers in close proximity, at the right time.
If anything could have been improved to make Born just that little more bearable – it definitely would be description. I was so confused as to what was happening at times, simply because there was a distinct lack of imagery.
I did forget to mention the Wolf – I love Leo. Animals in books makes everything better. I honestly think Leo was the only thing keeping me reading to the end of Born. I would describe it as boring, confusing and unoriginal. I think it is a poor example of dystopia and I would not recommend to anyone. Not even younger readers, because there is some heavy content.