Firstborn
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Zondervan / 2015 / Paperback
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Firstborn

Zondervan / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

Because her totalitarian community does away with all firstborn females, Tiadone is forced to live as a male to survive. But when it's time to pass the rites of manhood, she discovers she must use her feminine wiles to survive. Can she follow the promptings of her Creator and overcome the ways of her oppressive society? 240 pages, paperback from Zondervan.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)
ISBN: 0310739314
ISBN-13: 9780310739319
Ages: 15-17

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Publisher's Description

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.

"A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender. An engrossing story with welcome depths" – Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

Author Bio

Lorie Ann Grover is the author of young adult novels including Hit, which Hypable calls "a powerful book about tragedy and recovery which shows you both sides of the story, for better or worse." She has authored Loose Threads, a Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel, and On Pointe, a Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year. As a literacy advocate, she is a co-founder of readergirlz, which was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize. 

 

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 6
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  1. Samantha Coville
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Great setting, flat characters
    June 5, 2014
    Samantha Coville
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This review was written for Firstborn: A Novel.
    If your firstborn child is a girl, you are face with two options: leave the infant to die outside the protection of the city or raise her as a boy, training her to shun her natural female behaviors. Tiadone's parents were faced with this choice and they decided to keep her. Others are generally not as lucky. But was it a mistake? The bird that is her assigned companion is percieved as evil and Tiadone is beginning to feel an emotion for her best male friend: love.

    Very interesting premise. I'll give the author that compliment. It was unique and original and I was drawn into the idea of it all. I think that's what kept me reading more than anything else. And the setting was wonderful as well. It had a life of its own and I could see a whole group of novels in that world.

    I wish the characters could be as interesting. They were simple, flat. I could either tell exactly what they were going to do because it was so darn obvious or I was left confused because they acted in a way that made zero sense to how they were written. Miss Grover needs to work a bit on character development and fleshing out her beings and letting them be themselves instead of forcing them to fit her plot.

    I would still recommend giving the ebook a try, don't bother paying for hardcover though. I like the setting and the idea of the story but the people will kill it for many. Tread with caution, but I'd read it if I had to do the week over again. And I guess that says a lot in my busy world. Three and a half birds out of five.

    *I recieved this book for free from the author but it in no way affected my review.
  2. An Avid Reader
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A good story for an older audience
    April 30, 2014
    An Avid Reader
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Firstborn: A Novel.
    While reading through the list of books available for review through the BookLook Blogger program, the synopsis of Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover caught my eye. Tiadone is a firstborn daughter in a land where her people, the R'tan, are ruled over by the Madronians. And Madronian law is that no firstborn female shall live. The parents of newborn girls have a choice: either declare their infant a male or sentence her to death by exposure on a harsh mountainside. All those years ago Tiadone was declared male and grew up as a boy. Now that she is reaching maturity, feminine traits are beginning to show up, confusing her, and she must decide what to do about it.

    One of the first things I noticed when I opened the book was that it was written in first person, present tense (if you've read the Hunger Games books, you know what I mean). With that writing style, a book can be a little hard to get into, at least for me. Also, Tiadone's culture is a somewhat primitive one, and since the book is written in her words, the words chosen are often somewhat primitive and simple. But once you get used to it, it only adds to the feel of story.

    I would not recommend this story to a young teen audience. Some of the descriptions of things, the words used, and events that take place are not fully in line with Christian morals, are a little more explicit than I would desire for a young audience, and are not what I would want my young teens reading. If you are a parents considering giving this book to your child, I would recommend reading through first yourself. Other than that, it is a great story for a mature enough audience.
  3. Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    February 23, 2014
    Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Firstborn: A Novel.
    An edgy release from Grover!

    Wow. I'm still reeling from reading the final pages. This is not a book for the young and light of heart. Written in first person present tense (as so many are these days...), we get an intimate look into the life of Tiadone, a biological young woman, who has, from birth, been declared a young man in order to preserve her life. This is what drew me to the story after skimming the back cover copy. Pure intrigue.

    The mastery of this story world is incredible. It felt almost tangible. However, there were a couple minor details left unexplained that I didn't work out until halfway through. I found it a minor drawback, albeit a distracting one. Other than that, I felt immersed in the story. I'm duly impressed.

    Tiadone is a highly unusual character. As I mentioned earlier, she has been told for most of her life that she is a male, not female and that the amulet around her waist will suppress all feminine traits in her. Her gradual transformation over the course of the story is near perfection. Most YA books these days seem to be written in first person present tense, thus it's common. But, Firstborn is a classic case where this perspective is needed. It's fits the story better than first person past tense would. We're thrown in the moment and Grover wrote it exceedingly well.

    I can't spend too much time on Ratho in this review, but I will say my affection for this particular hero goes back and forth. Once or twice, I felt like he acted out of character, but this is just my opinion. Firstborn pulls you in and wraps it's talons around your imagination, pun intended. I was loathe to ever put it down. I hope there is a sequel in the works, because I want to read more! It is worth mentioning that Grover offers a raw story, holding little back for this reason I recommend this book to girls fifteen and older.

    Things to note for my younger readers... There are some gruesome violent scenes, and given we're in Tiadone's head we are given intimate details about her body, thus my recommendation to girls.

    I received an ARC of this book from Blink in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
  4. Alicia
    New York, NY
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Great premise...:|
    February 20, 2014
    Alicia
    New York, NY
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    This review was written for Firstborn: A Novel.
    As a firstborn daughter myself, it was with great expectation I read this novel. I was truly appalled at the fact that baby girls were left to die in the wilderness just because they were born first- the atrocity. Though the book is fictional the plight for baby girl's survival is very real. All around the world baby girls are looked upon as trash, burdens, and dispensable.

    I enjoyed Tiadone her struggles were real and emotions true. To the world she is supposed to be a male, but only she knows the truth. Despite what a great character she was, the author could have done so much with this subject, but sadly failed. A few complaints of mine would be: the time period, was this book past or futuristic? Why do these birds who take at least a decade to hatch seem unnaturally smart, why does the world seem to revolve around these birds?

    The greatest disappointment was that this was not a "christian" novel. The author mentioned a 'creator spirit' that had some of the same attributes as God, but was very far from the truth. Overall I was confused and felt uncomfortable with some of the things, mainly the whole bird and human relationship, the weird visions and talking through the visions, and just the lack of Biblical beliefs.

    However, Firstborn allowed me to be grateful to the Lord for allowing me to live as a firstborn female child!

    I received a complimentary copy from BookSneeze in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
  5. Ragdogs
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Very Disappointing
    February 11, 2014
    Ragdogs
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review was written for Firstborn: A Novel.
    The Synopsis:

    "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 in the community in 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 evil.

    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 Review:

    I have to say this book was a disappointment. I had been eagerly waiting for this book to come in the mail and then when I started it, there were many things that sat uneasy with me. For one, I didn't like Tiadone's personality and the book is written like her diary. I didn't like the way she talked about her (male) best friend, Ratho, which was in a very sexual way, and the book itself seemed to move to quickly.

    However, the overall storyline was great. I was fascinated with tribe's traditions and the birds were a good touch too. There was also great description, so I knew what Tiadone was talking about. But I lost interest in the book when Tiadone continued commenting about Ratho, so I won't be finishing the book any time soon and do not recommend it to any of my friends.

    "I received this book from Book Look Blogger program for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own."
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