Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Release Date/Version: May 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 213
Age Group: Young Adult

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.

The Chosen One didn't meet my expectations. That being said, the book wasn't terrible. It just wasn't great. Kyra's tough journey held me all throughout the book, but I was equally turned away by some of the other characters and the pace of the book. I felt for Kyra and her need to run, as well as her wish to stay with her family. I absolutely despised some of the other characters, like her uncle and the Prophet, for obvious reasons. What they did to everyone was so cruel and unnecessary that it made the book hard to read. There were, however, some genuine, caring characters in this book that I really enjoyed.

One of my problems with this book was the pace. The climax took too long to reach, and once you got there, there was only about 15 pages left in the book. Basically, the exciting part wasn't long enough and all of the events leading up to it took too long. I felt that story never reached a complete end. You never found out what happened to the other characters and I was really looking forward to the other characters' endings. The ending seemed too rushed, like the author had to meet a deadline. The Chosen One was just depressing. One of the characters I really enjoyed wasn't seen again after about 2/3 of the way through. I was especially mad about what happen to them. It made it seem as if all hope was gone for Kyra.

Now don't get me wrong, there were things wrong with this book, but there were also good things. I enjoyed Kyra, Joshua, Patrick, and Kyra's father. I thought I would especially dislike her father because he had three wives, but he really is a good person. The Chosen One offered romance and action, and although it could be a little slow, the main premise kept me reading.

Overall: Kyra's journey is a tough one to read about, but it was a though provoking story with some great characters.

My advice: Borrow this book from the library or a friend. For me, it's not worth spending the money on a new hardcover book.


  1. Nice, honest review. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book. It's in my TBR pile so I'll have to see what I think myself..

  2. Hi Book Owl,

    Well, until now I thought I was the only one who wasn't wildly impressed with this book. Like you, I liked Kyra but there were other issues with the writing that bothered me. How could we not be sympathetic for the character? For me, that was the dominating factor here. And that wasn't enough to carry the novel.

    I write at Black-Eyed Susan's. You'll find some YA blogs there. I'm an adult so my blog is not purely YA.

    Looking forward to reading more of your reviews.

  3. Thanks, Kelsey. Definitely give it a try. You might end up enjoying it.

    Thanks for stopping by Susan. You can call me McKenzie. :) I completely agree with your opinion of The Chosen One. It's hard not to be sympathetic, but that's not enough to make a good book. I'll be sure to check out the blog.

  4. I really enjoyed your review of this book! I have yet to read it, but I remember that when it came out everyone was raving about it. One of these days I will pick that book up... :)

    Oh, and I came here because your awesome mom posted about it at the PaperbackSwap YA discussion forum, and because I remembered your name from commenting on my reviews. Welcome to blogging, and looking forward to your future posts!

  5. Thanks Steph Su. :) Yay for my mom. haha

    Yeah, it is a pretty heavy subject JuJu


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