Okay, I realize that most YA books now-a-days seem to be trilogies or series, but Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1) by Caragh M. O'Brien is one of those series not to be missed. O'Brien does an excellent job building a beautiful (and scary) world from the ground up leaving out no detail in a fast-paced, gripping tale filled with amazingly written and crafted characters that overcome adversity and continue to grow and shift throughout the book.
Birthmarked is a story about a harsh desolate society where there are the "haves," those privileged few that live within the protection of the lush walls of the Enclave and the "have nots," the majority who live on dry and famished outside. Gaia Stone is one of the "have nots." Her family believes in the duty of their work and Gaia follows her mother's footsteps and begins her practice as a midwife who delivers the quota of babies from outside the wall to be "advanced" to those on the inside. Gaia has never questioned what she did or why until her mom and dad are imprisoned and Gaia must try to save them. Her journey opens her eyes to the world and people around her for the first time and sets her on a path of family, adventure, strength, personal growth and friendship that will send her into a direction she never knew or dared to think existed.
This is surely a series that you will not be able to put down and will go looking for Prized (Birthmarked, #2) & Promised (Birthmarked, #3) right after!