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young adult book reviews & more

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com/2009/05/forest-of-hands-and-teeth-by-carrie.htmlThe Chosen OneThirteen-year-old Kyra has never really questioned the polygamous and isolated community she’s grown up in. She isn’t bothered by the facts that her father has multiple wives, she has twenty and counting siblings, or the compound is essentially ruled by a religious fanatic. Sure, she occasionally defies some of her community’s laws when she sneaks away to read forbidden books borrowed from the Mobile Library on Wheels or spend time with the forbidden boy she loves. And everything is going just find until Prophet Childs announces that Kyra is to become the seventh wife to her sixty-year-old Uncle Hyrum. That’s when Kyra’s world starts to fail her, when she starts to wonder if it’s really by God’s direction that such a young girl as she would be forced to marry a cruel man more than four times her age who she doesn’t love in the least, when she starts to realize that the outside world might not be as Satan-filled as she’s been taught to believe. That’s why Kyra is forced to choose between the only world and family she’s ever known and the possibility of a different and freer life outside.

The Chosen One is a gripping and moving tale about culture and individual beliefs. Williams provides a realistic if horrifying depiction of a religious and polygamous society in which the individual is always expected to do right and every infraction calls for severe punishment. It is a single minded community which survives by instilling that train of thought in each and every one of its members, at the expense of personal freedom. Probably the hardest part of this novel for me to read was the inferior image of all women and the expectation for girls as young as fourteen to start pumping out babies, because this subjugation of females into commodities is wrong and the thought of girls younger than me being forcibly paired with old men is truly disgusting. However gruesome and brutal Kyra’s situation may seem, it’s important to remember that this is all Kyra has ever known, thus complicating her seemingly easy decision between staying and leaving. Williams portrays this crucial separation of unwavering belief in what one is told and the beginnings of independence of thought through Kyra’s emotional and scarily realistic struggles. Readers will genuinely care about Kyra and root for her happiness and freedom and well as be shocked by her harrowing tale. The Chosen One is a powerful story that will make readers more self examining and open minded.

This unforgettable novel will be enjoyed by those who liked The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Shift by Charlotte Agell. Williams skilled writing proves her to be a worthy author to watch.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from Amazon Vine

3 munch(es) :

Lenore said...

You might like to read the 19th Wife too. I read it last year and it also about polygamy.

Janssen said...

I would really like to read this - I haven't read any of the recent polygamy books but this one sounds like it would be worth reading!

Insert Book Title said...

I really want to read this one!

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