Review: The Chosen One

Title:  The Chosen One

Author:  Carol Lynch Williams

Published:  May 12, 2009

Page Count:  224

Genre:  Young Adult Fiction

My Rating:  5/5

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 Ironton County 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.

This book has been getting a TON of buzz.  I mean, it was released less than a month ago and already it feels like everyone has read it and is raving about it.  So, of course when I saw it just sitting all lonely on the library shelf, not only was I shocked that there was no waiting list but I also had to take it home immediately.  And, obviously I had to start reading as soon as I got back to the house.  And, obviously I didn’t stop until I turned the final page.  Let me tell you, The Chosen One really is every bit as good as everyone says that it is.

I really can’t put my finger on what, exactly, makes the book so fantastic.  Perhaps how current the subject matter is – polygamy has been hugely in the news in the last couple of years, and several books have been written by women who have escaped their polygamist husbands and lived to talk about it.  Perhaps it’s also how believable, how realistic Kyra is – while reading the book, you easily forget that this is a work of fiction, and not one of the tell-all memoirs I just described.  Perhaps it could also be that the book is sort of written like a car crash – it’s so bad, so scary, you can see what’s coming, but you can’t tear your eyes away for even a second.

Whatever the reason(s), The Chosen One is truly a fabulous book.  It’s a book that you will find near impossible to put down.  It’s a book that you will want to run out and tell all your friends about.  And it’s a book that will shock you and make you cry tears of both sadness and relief.  Some YA books are really best read by teens, but not this one – it is best enjoyed by all.  I don’t care who you are, The Chosen One is not to be missed.

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