Title: Firstborn: A Novel

Author: Lorie Ann Grover

Website: http://lorieanngrover.blogspot.com/p/ya-novels.html

Publisher: Blink

Publication Date: January 28, 2014

ISBN-10: 0310739306

ISBN-13: 978-0310739302

Genre: YA

Source: Received for an honest review.

Book Description Courtesy of Amazon:

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.

My Thoughts:

I liked this book, but I think the ending left quite a lot to be desired. There is promise to this story, and it was just left hanging. I don’t know if that was intended because there will be a sequel or if it was meant for the readers to imagine their own ending.

Hopefully the former, because I’d really like to see where Tia and Ratho end up.

Tia, whose father chose to raise her as a “declared male” so that she could live, has willfully and purposefully suppressed all her femininity to this point in her life. And has done so amazingly well, because that’s all she’s known.  She goes on to confront and succeed over every societal expectation of her failure. She finally arrives at the realization that mere men can’t suppress what God and nature intended, and she begins to accept all that she has and will become.

Fortunately, the love she has for her best friend is reciprocated, although only after some mystical visions shown to Ratho by Tia’s rapion, Mirko. The relationship aspect between the adolescents in this book and their rapions (birds, similar to raptors) are a unique idea, and I really enjoyed how this author explored it. I found myself to be quite sad at the releasings and could feel the sense of pain these kids experienced when losing their partners.

There were so many good parts to this book that I really don’t want to give it a 3. However, I feel like there could have been so much more. Tia has such a strength of character, and a great relationship with her father, and Ratho, and Mirko, that I felt there was so much more to their story than the way it ended. I guess I feel jilted, and I want to know more. If I knew this was a first in a series, then I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a 4, because I would know there is more coming. As it is, I think this author potentially cheated herself and her readers from a truly excellent and thought-provoking conclusion.

Rating: 3

HEAT Rating: None

Reviewed By: Daysie W.

Review Courtesy of: My Book Addiction and More

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