Firstborn

( 11 )

Overview

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 ...

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Firstborn: A Novel

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Overview

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 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An engrossing story with welcome depths."
Kirkus Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613755808
  • Publisher: Oasis Audio
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Lorie Ann Grover is a co-founder of the influential site readergirlz, where she is a visible advocate for teen literacy and activism. In addition, she is the author of three acclaimed novels: Hold Me Tight, a VOYA pick; On Pointe, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year; and Loose Threads, a Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel and a 2003 Washington state Book Award Finalist. Lorie Ann lives in Washington State with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This was a unique story that reminded me a little of the Hunger

    This was a unique story that reminded me a little of the Hunger Games. It was interesting learning about her world and experiencing these new circumstances with her. Tiadone was isolated from people for much of the story and while I liked her bird, there was a lot of description of it's movements that bogged me down a little. They were the main characters and it was a little hard to not have that dialogue back and forth instead of just one-sided. I felt bad for her and all the hardship she had to go through, but what kept me going was the hope of a happily-ever-after. I was a bit conflicted about the ending. I liked part of it, but was disappointed in another part and wondered if there might be a sequel? There was quite a bit of action and the chapters were very short, so it was easy to find places to pause. I felt the story got a bit sensual or suggestive in a few spots and thought it went too far in one. I did like the spiritual struggle Tiadone goes through and thought the conflict between her people's beliefs in a Creator and their captors' worship of a bird was interesting to see. It felt like more could have been done with that in relation to her friend. Overall, it was interesting and if you really like dystopian or science fiction, you might like it.

    I received a free ARC of this book from Blink books in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted May 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I want to thank Zondervan for providing me with a copy of this b

    I want to thank Zondervan for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.




    Blurb from Goodreads:
    Tiadone has been forced to live her entire life as a female accepted as male in her community in order to survive as a firstborn child. But when she needs to pass the rites of manhood, she finds the Creator may have use for her feminine traits after all.




    Upon reading the blurb for this book, I thought it would be interesting. A girl who must disguise herself as a boy or she would be killed. I can only imagine the struggle that would ensue. Tiadone was born female, but she was claimed as male so that she could live (as firstborn females are put to death otherwise). We follow her as she takes the steps to become a productive member of society through specialized training with weapons and intermingling with the other boys turning to men. Except Tiadone must hide all her female traits to be accepted. And she never really feels truly accepted. Why would she? She's female and grows breasts and has her first bleed while training.




    I have to say that the story was an interesting one, but really there's not much to it. You follow Tiadone through her required service, but nothing truly happens. She finds herself attracted to some of the boys around her, but knows she can't act on it for fear of being put to death and causing her family shame and imprisonment. I was rather bored for most of the book waiting for something to happen. It's quite repetitive in it's descriptions.




    I really couldn't connect with any of the character, even the main one. She was quite flat and to be honest, I didn't really feel or see her change all that much (even thought the story drags you through her changes in her life). I did see her become stronger, but other than that, she spent much of the time confused. She has an interesting relationship with her bird, Mirko.




    The book is well written with detailed descriptions of the landscape and characters. The world building is well done, although I do question some of the motives behind the people who have condemned Tiadones people to give up their firstborn girl. The chapters are rather short, so the book gives nice places to put it down and pick it back up easily. The book is very bound in gendercide as well as religious beliefs and how people are persecuted for them.




    The ending was a bit disappointing for me. I like the Tiadone comes into herself, but there is so much left unsaid and undone, I feel like it needed a better wrap up for me. It was rather lackluster. For those who enjoy a dystopian type/fantasy read this might be up your ally but beware the very religious undertones.

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  • Posted March 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I liked this book, but I think the ending left quite a lot to be

    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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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    I received this Advanced Reading Copy from Blink. Firstborn was

    I received this Advanced Reading Copy from Blink.
    Firstborn was a very different story. Set in a world where first born females are viewed as unworthy, Tiadone tries desperately to prove that she is worthy, after her parents declared her male . When her parents declared her male the day she was born, neither realized the decisions they had made for her: one being that she would never marry.
    Not only must Tiadone overcome her "declared maleness," but she must also conquer her own feminism. Tiadone feels attracted to her best friend, which isn’t a good thing in the Madronian world. Through the story, Tiadone struggles with being a believer in the Creator Spirit, while the Madronians believe in a birdlike god called the Four-Winged Condor. She also deals with one of the questions that many people have: "Why God?" The discovery and acceptance of her true faith helps Tiadone accomplish much.
    To be honest, the story started out very slow and I sympathized with Tiadone because of all of the attacks made on her. About half way through the book though, the tale picked up pace and ended up leaving me hanging at the end.
    I liked the characters in this book very much. One of the main characters in Firstborn was Tiadone’s bird, Mirko. At birth, each person is assigned an egg, which can be one of two types: Miniata, the females’ rapion and Signico, the males’ rapion. Because Tiadone was declared male at birth, she was given the slightly bigger Signico. Mirko is her constant companion. As the time for the two to separate draws nearer, the reader can feel the strong connection between bird and human. It was easy to understand the sorrow that would be felt by the two at their Severation Ceremony.
    Overall this was a wonderful tale of faith, friendship, love, and family. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a female warrior character.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    This book is about a young boy, actually a girl, who grows up in

    This book is about a young boy, actually a girl, who grows up in a world where first born
    children must be males. If a child born is a female the parents must declare her a male to
    save her life. This book takes you on the twist and turns of living as a declared male in this society.

    I can honestly say that I really enjoyed reading this book. It really showed the struggle some
    feel when they feel they must pretend to be someone they are not. I felt connected to the character
     and had a hard time putting the book down to do my homework (oops). The only “problem” I found
    with the book it jumps spans of time and it seemed rushed at time. I would defiantly recommend this
    book to someone who enjoys function books, most defiantly to young a adult because it teaches a lesson.
     This lesson is that no matter how hard you try you can not suppress who you really are, you must be true to
    yourself and embrace who you are. 

    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.
     I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing
    this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the
    Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”»

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Engrossing and fast-paced, this book will be sure to hold your a

    Engrossing and fast-paced, this book will be sure to hold your attention. Whether it is in the future or in another dimension, the reader is thrust into an unusual world of oppression. Firstborn females are either left for dead or forced to live life as males (“declared” as the book calls it). Tiadone is one of those declared males. She lives her whole life with an amulet on her hip. It holds her father’s hair and a desert cat’s heart in it. This—she is told—gives her masculine power to overcome her femininity. In this strange world, people get birds that live with them for part of their lives. The birds grow up with their humans and serve them. As this animal-human friendship grows, it is severed once the oppressive government regime says so. Tiadone’s bird Mirko is unique in that it sings and communicates with Tiadone through vision. Ratho, Tidaon’s best friend and fellow worker, has a bird named Thae. As both characters age, they feel an attraction that they are not allowed to have. Subtle romance is worked into the book in a way that is not graphic. As Tiadone and Ratho serve their government, religious tension ensues. Tiadone worships the Creator Spirit (which is forbidden by state law), while Ratho worships the Four-Winged-Condor (which is promoted by state law). Tiadone is forced to question every aspect of her life as she lives a lie. The reader will sympathize with Tiadone when she really believes her amulet will make her male. While I am not sure if the author intentionally was making comparisons, I will say that Tiadone’s experiences reminded me of the Holocaust. Not in the sense of genocide but rather in the great religious oppression, the shaving of heads, and the abuse. Also, the worship of the Four-Winged-Condor was reminiscent of Christianity. [Tiadone is forced to participate in a ceremony where a priest puts a wafer on her tongue and gives her wine to drink. Also, at one part in the book, the government’s religious institution is accused of worshipping a created being.] I will not spoil the ending of this book, but I will say there will be despair and victory at the same time. Tiadone will question her faith and if there is even a God at all. She will learn what it means to let go of friends and family. Tiadone will lose some of her dreams but come out more alive than ever. This book will make you think what your true priorities are and what lives you may be living with. It will make women embrace their identity as female and learn what true love is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    My friend is obsessed with dystopian and post-apocalyptic young

    My friend is obsessed with dystopian and post-apocalyptic young adult novels. She likes to give me lists of her favorites, and one of those, a newer one, is FIRSTBORN. I was thrilled to receive a copy of FIRSTBORN by Lorie Ann Grover from Thomas Nelson via Booksneeze. At first, I was worried this would be a bit cliché – girl disguised as a boy. I quickly learned that wasn’t the case.

    The world building was spectacular. I really felt as if I was there with the main character, Tiadone. Her world is dominated by men and they feel that women are worthless. Firstborn females are put to death. One race conquered another and have forced their ways upon them. I loved how that topic was incorporated, since that has happened all across history.

    I enjoyed the fast pace, the energy that empowered each page. Many of the chapters were short so they kept me reading up until late at night. I also liked how it felt as though it existed in the past, rather than as a dystopian. It is, however, still a dystopian. I highly recommend this for young adults, as it help to make people think about what self-worth is really about.

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  • Posted February 25, 2014

    Language: 0. Other objectionable: Rude joking, mention of the w

    Language: 0.

    Other objectionable: Rude joking, mention of the whole leaving-babies-to-die practice, a fight with a wild cat (some injuries described), and a few romantic scenes.

    Suitable for: This is Christian YA, so highschoolers would enjoy it.  Adults would too, I guess.

    Pros: I liked Tiadone's character.  In many ways she reminded me of Cassia, the female protagonist in the Matched series by Ally Condie. In fact, a lot of things in Firstborn reminded me of that series, now that I think about it. If you haven't read that series, you have no idea what I'm talking about. Well, just know that Tiadone is very brave and is always trying to do the right thing, but is also a little scared sometimes. And that what the main thing I liked about this book.

    Cons: Well, I found myself being confused about what was happening, frankly, all the time. I was always having to look back a few pages and ask "where in the world did that person come from?" or "what are they doing now, again?" and that got very old, very fast. So yeah.  I didn't really understand the plot, either. To me, the book ended too quickly with a lot of unresolved problems.  I think it could have gone on for another 100 pages.  Yeah, I know I'm weird. I get upset when books don't do themselves justice by being too short. :)

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  • Posted February 15, 2014

    THANK YOU TO BLINK YA BOOKS BY ZONDERVAN FOR AN ADVANCED RE





    THANK YOU TO BLINK YA BOOKS BY ZONDERVAN FOR AN ADVANCED READER'S COPY OF THIS BOOK!

    First of all, I was amazed at what this was about. I didn't know what to expect, but it looked really good. I haven't read a book that was this good in a long time. It was really very good and I was able to never put it down. I was up until late last night reading this book until I finished it. I was highly disappointed in finishing it because I want to read more.
    There were a few mistakes, but that was expected as it was an ARC. Overall it was very well written, although it was fairly easy. I believe young tween/teen girls would enjoy this book as well as boys, although there are some parts that are VERY much girls only I would think.
    It is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I believe that people will enjoy this book for a long time to come.
    I gave this book five out of five stars because it was well written and I was able to put myself in Tiadone's shoes. It was very relatable and the energy was kept up throughout the book even though it wasn't particularly an adventure book.

    Tiadone was born female, but because her people have been taken over by another people that don't believe in first born females, she was declared male from birth. As Tiadone struggles with who she is and how she should live her life, she gains a new friend, as well as an old one. Truths come out about who her people really are and what, not just who, she is.

    I was really hoping that Ratho would have a bigger part in the book, as he was my favorite character. It didn't happen, but that is okay, because I think it worked out in the end.'

    I believe that the author, Lorie Ann Grover, has left it open for a sequel, but don't start anything because I DEFINITELY do not know that for sure, AT ALL! It was a good ending as it was, but options are always open.

    This book was beautifully written and I look forward to reading more from this author.(

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This book is okay. Though I do not really get this plot of the b

    This book is okay. Though I do not really get this plot of the book. You get a look of what a girl has to do though and live in this society that was dominated by men. You also get a look at what a boy has to go though. Tiadrone struggles with herself and her female. Their are trials that Tiadrone goes though. She also finds the truth as well.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Zonderkidz-Books and Netgalley.)
    Tiadone is a girl who is forced to live as a boy. In a society where first born girls are left to die, Tiadone’s father declared her male, and a special amulet hides her femininity from the world.
    Now grown, Tiadone must take her special bird and go off to defend her home, the way that all first-born males must.
    How long can Tiadone hide that she is female? And will she never be able to fall in love and have children of her own?


    This book was a bit of an acquired taste, and I didn’t really enjoy it all that much.

    I felt quite sorry for Tiadone, it was so wrong that she had to pretend to be a boy all her life, especially when she realised that she was in love but couldn’t be with the person she was in love with because she was supposed to be a boy. I admired her strength, but I also thought she was right to tell her father that he should have taken her to live somewhere else rather than declaring her male.

    The storyline in this was fairly straight forward. Tiadone had to overcome the challenges of pretending to be a boy, and also had to overcome the challenges of defending her home the way that all the males did.
    I thought that this book was written in quite an interesting way, and there was adequate world building etc. I just didn’t really enjoy this one. The topic was a little strange, the world where Tiadone lived was a difficult world to live in, and the story just wasn’t really my cup of tea. I think that other people would enjoy this, but it just didn’t call out to me.
    The ending was okay, and I liked how Tiadone managed to rescue someone important at the end. I did find parts of this book confusing, but I was happy that Tiadone felt that she had found her place.
    Overall; a very different story about a girl who has to pretend to be a boy in the society in which she lives.
    5 out of 10.

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