Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book Review: The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams @carolbooks

The Chosen One nearly ripped me apart. I hated this book. Well, I guess I should say I hated what this book was about.

Kyra is a member of "The Chosen Ones" a group of fanatic Christians who practice polygamy, but it's much worse than that. Kyra, who is 14, finds out she has been chosen to marry her 60-year-old UNCLE. She is understandably very unhappy about this. Her three mothers and about 20 siblings are unhappy about it too.

She wants to escape, she has a young boy she is interested in, and she has some other secrets. You can see where the story is going, and it is somewhat predictable given the circumstances. But there are interesting details, such as the fact that Kyra sneaks away once a week and gets books from the bookmobile. (No books are allowed in the compound except for the Bible.) This helps to make The Chosen One stand out and keeps the reader's interest.

It is also interesting that it hasn't always been this way. Kyra's moms grew up with much more lenient rules. It all depends on "the prophet" (the current leader of the group) and how fanatical he is.

Let me just say that my blood was boiling when I read this, as I'm sure many of you can relate to. Tears were shed. (And I'm usually not a cryer.) People who use God's name and the Bible to make people live in such brutal, life-threatening conditions just cannot be tolerated. I know this happens all over the world, but we can't get used to it. It isn't right. And, I know this is fiction, but we've read the news stories about similar circumstances. It's not even the polygamy. That's not the issue AT ALL. It's the beatings and the murders and the rapes. It's the withholding of medical treatment. OK. I'll stop now....

The Chosen One is riveting. If you can handle the emotional aspect, you should pick this one up. It's a great issue book for teens, and I'll be pointing them towards The Chosen One.

Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2010
Copy obtained from the library
240 pages (qualifies for my "Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!")

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Wow, this seems like a very emotional book, I'm not sure if I have the stommack to do so. But it also seems like a very good book, so I have put it on my readinglist. Thank you for a great review! All the best from your "namesister" in Norway :)

  2. I think this is a fantastic book. Williams handles the issues so well and pulls the reader in with such an intensity.

  3. I have this book, but haven't had a chance to read it. Thanks for your review. I now know that I will need to be in the right frame of mind to approach this. I really appreciate authors who take the time to shed light on the not so pleasant aspects of our world. I think it can be very powerful for kids and adults.

  4. Sounds like an incredibly intense book. I'd probably cry too! I'd love to read it, and will add it to my tbr list, although I'm sure it'll make me angry lol.


  5. I loved this book. I agree, it is heartbreaking, but I suppose that is why it is one of those books that have stayed with me. It really took me inside a lifestyle that I was was aware of, but gave little thought to. After reading it I have often wondered how we can do the right thing and prosecute a sex offender, but make it legal if the parent gives permission by way of marriage.
    Great review Annette.


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