The Chosen One – Carol Lynch Williams

Title: The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
ISBN: 9780312555115
Pages: 224
Release Date: May 12, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Teen, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

From the dust jacket:

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

The Chosen One is a slip of a book, barely 200 pages. It is unassuming, with the text on the pages in a relatively large font. On top of that, it is considered a YA book – by all physical accounts, this should be an easy read. How is it, then, that I found The Chosen One absolutely terrifying (though impossible to put down!)?

The Chosen One is an incredibly well written book about a young girl named Kyra living in a polygamist sect. Though she is only thirteen, she has already begun to question the Prophet’s words. Once a week, she sneaks out of the compound to the passing mobile library and loses herself in forbidden books, learning about the world around her. She is smart, savvy, and easy to love. It’s impossible not to root for Kyra as she faces one horror after another within her community.

What’s really scary about The Chosen One, and what chilled me to the bone while I was reading it, was the fact that this could be a true story. There really are women and children living like this in the United States. Kyra’s family seems more sympathetic to her plight than other accounts I’ve read, but still, there were points where I didn’t see how this novel could end happily. More than once, I was tempted to read the last page of the book because my heart was breaking for Kyra and I just needed to know that she would be okay.

The Chosen One is definitely an emotional read. It’s one of those books that affects you and makes you think about the world around you. It’s incredibly well-written and engaging. Though the subject matter is heavy, the book tries to keep hope alive and is never a weight on the reader. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who is even the slightest bit interested in reading it!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.

Comments

  1. Last year, I went through a phase where I read every book on polygamy I could find. I was just fascinated with it and always wondered if I would have the strength to escape something like that. I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

  2. Last year, I went through a phase where I read every book on polygamy I could find. I was just fascinated with it and always wondered if I would have the strength to escape something like that. I’m really looking forward to reading this one.

  3. I often find myself skimming through books, too, desperately needing to find out if everything is going to be okay — or if it’s not, and I need to brace myself for disaster! 🙂 Needless to say, I try not to read books that are too suspenseful, haha! Sounds like a very compelling read… I’ll look for it!

  4. I often find myself skimming through books, too, desperately needing to find out if everything is going to be okay — or if it’s not, and I need to brace myself for disaster! 🙂 Needless to say, I try not to read books that are too suspenseful, haha! Sounds like a very compelling read… I’ll look for it!

  5. Great review! This is definitely an interesting subject.

  6. Great review! This is definitely an interesting subject.

  7. I’ve only skimmed your review. I’m on the waiting list at the library for this one (currently #12 and moving slowly). I’ll come back and read thoroughly when I’ve finished the book. Good to see such a high rating.

  8. I’ve only skimmed your review. I’m on the waiting list at the library for this one (currently #12 and moving slowly). I’ll come back and read thoroughly when I’ve finished the book. Good to see such a high rating.

  9. Did you know that your blog was featured on Google’s blog? Here’s the link:

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-search-and-beyond.html

  10. Did you know that your blog was featured on Google’s blog? Here’s the link:

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-search-and-beyond.html

  11. I also read and reviewed this book. I really agree with so much that you said in your review. I liked this book as did my daughter.

  12. I also read and reviewed this book. I really agree with so much that you said in your review. I liked this book as did my daughter.

  13. I’ve read several good reviews about this book! It’s on my wishlist now! 😉

  14. I’ve read several good reviews about this book! It’s on my wishlist now! 😉

  15. the cover is very beautiful, and i had no idea it contained such a plotline.
    there is a polygamous community in canada also, and so far it appears that the goverment doesn’t feel able to test the boundaries of religious freedom in court despite the fact that bigamy (much less polygamy) is illegal here.

  16. the cover is very beautiful, and i had no idea it contained such a plotline.
    there is a polygamous community in canada also, and so far it appears that the goverment doesn’t feel able to test the boundaries of religious freedom in court despite the fact that bigamy (much less polygamy) is illegal here.

  17. M.–I remember watching a made for TV movie about the polygamists in Canada…it was similar to the Chosen One.

    I still don’t feel it had a happy ending…I mean it wasn’t possible…you know?

  18. M.–I remember watching a made for TV movie about the polygamists in Canada…it was similar to the Chosen One.

    I still don’t feel it had a happy ending…I mean it wasn’t possible…you know?

  19. I have been fascinated with polygamy and polyandry my first anthropology classes. This one sounds very emotional. I’ll have to find time for it.

  20. I have been fascinated with polygamy and polyandry my first anthropology classes. This one sounds very emotional. I’ll have to find time for it.

  21. I have not read ANY book on this subject… I so wish I could get this book to read 🙂 🙂

  22. I have not read ANY book on this subject… I so wish I could get this book to read 🙂 🙂

  23. i didnt get the ending. can some ome help me understand it?

  24. i didnt get the ending. can some ome help me understand it?

  25. This was definitely an intense read. Great review!

  26. This was definitely an intense read. Great review!

  27. I’m finishing up with The 19th Wife and will be reading this one the end of this month. I’ve got two review books ahead of it, and I’m getting antsy to pick it up, especially after 19th Wife.

  28. I’m finishing up with The 19th Wife and will be reading this one the end of this month. I’ve got two review books ahead of it, and I’m getting antsy to pick it up, especially after 19th Wife.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading this book yesterday, and it was one of the best books i ever read. I was wondering if theres going to be sequel to this book?

  30. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading this book yesterday, and it was one of the best books i ever read. I was wondering if theres going to be sequel to this book?

  31. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading this book, and it was great i was wondering if there was going to be a second book written?

  32. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading this book, and it was great i was wondering if there was going to be a second book written?

  33. Anonymous says:

    I just finished this book, and I must say, it was one of the best books I’ve read. However, I really don’t like clif hangers, so I hope there is a second book on the way! Has anyone heard yet? I know a lot of people have asked the same question, but it has been a while.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I just finished this book, and I must say, it was one of the best books I’ve read. However, I really don’t like clif hangers, so I hope there is a second book on the way! Has anyone heard yet? I know a lot of people have asked the same question, but it has been a while.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I just finished this book. It was absoulutely AMAZING. I loved it. But there NEEDS to be a second book! If not, I will die of curiosity trying to find out what happened to Kyra! Anyone know if there is a second book?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I just finished this book. It was absoulutely AMAZING. I loved it. But there NEEDS to be a second book! If not, I will die of curiosity trying to find out what happened to Kyra! Anyone know if there is a second book?

  37. I thought this review was good, i also read the book and it was good to.

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