Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Book review #33
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Rating: Five stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least 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 the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-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.! I literally feel nauseous, in a good way if that's even possible. The Chosen One was one of the most interesting books I've ever read. A few days later and I'm still amazed just thinking about it. I was let into a whole different world, so different than most of us are used to. It was somewhat disgusting, heartbreaking, and honestly inspirational.

Thirteen year old Kyra is content with her life in the community. She does what she's supposed to except from the sneaking library books, seeing a boy after dark, and wishing the prophet was dead. Kyra just continues on with her regular life until the prophet makes a special visit to their place claiming he had a vision she was saved by becoming her sixty year old uncle's seventh wife. Kyra can't stand the thought of marrying her old creepy uncle! She doesn't even like him, let alone love him. Kyra must choose between her family and her own sanity.

Kyra, first off, I'm so proud of this girl! She's so brave and outspoken. I feel like if I was living in the community, I would have had the same feelings as her. Most people in the community would have accepted marrying their nasty uncle, but Kyra has other plans. Uncle Hyrum, I can't even barely bear to write about. This character is burned into my mind, and not in a good way-at all. He really is creepy and disgusting. Violence is his only answer to discipline, even on poor babies. Every time he tried to touch Kyra, I would literally cringe.  I couldn't believe he wanted, no insisted, on the marriage. As for the prophet, I think I may even hate him more than Uncle Hyrum. I couldn't believe people actually had to look up to him and follow him. Joshua was so sweet, he brought more of the normal to the book. Lastly, Patrick was one of my favorite characters. As the only contact outside of the community, and the driver of the library on wheels, he became Kyra's good friend.

The community was extraordinary. Almost everything was considered a sin. Women weren't allowed to show skin. Books were banned and considered the words of the devil. There weren't even mirrors allowed! According to them, you had to have three wives to go to heaven and kids were born almost every minute. And of course a female couldn't even gaze upon a boy.

One of my favorite parts of  the book was the role books played. Kyra would sneak books from the library on wheels, located outside the community-where she snuck out to. She would run back with books and hide them under the tree where she would escape into the wonderful world of reading. It helped her feel better about life. Could anyone imagine not being allowed to read?

The scenes and descriptions were so powerful. They were kind of disturbing to a point. The beatings were horrifying and made me want to curl up into a ball crying my eyes out. The preachings were just crazy and don't get me started on the scenes with Uncle Hyrum. The book got crazier as it went along. I thought I had gone through the worst, but boy was I wrong. This is a definite one-sitting read, or as my sister Sophia described, a not move a muscle for two hours read.

The Chosen One is so unique and extraordinary. My heard broke into a million pieces. Tears flowing down my face for so many different reasons.  This will leave you thinking. Thinking about all the other places out there, about the world we live in, and how lucky we truly are. This is a book everyone should read. Please, I'm almost begging you, pick this one up! You won't be disappointed.


Jessica said...

Oh man, this is one of my favorite books that came out last year. I loved it, but it is HARD to read.

PolishOutlander said...

This was quite the read. I loved how the simplistic writing still made your heart wrench. What an amazing story.

Jo said...

Great review! I ordered this for my library's collection, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet (it's always checked out!). But I'll definitely make an effort to grab it next time it's in.

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Emidy said...

Great, great review! I really enjoy disturbing books. Not in a weird way, but because of the power they have over you. I'll be checking this one out for sure!

demmi said...

I read this book awhile ago and did not realize it was for YA until I was half way done with it. So it is even a good book for older people to enjoy

Sunnysmileqt said...

Isn't this a great book! I was just blown away by the story line in this one, and I've recommended it to everyone I know. So glad you enjoyed it too!

Kelly said...

This sounds like a really interesting book, I'm going to add it to my wishlist! :)

Steph said...

This sounds like a heartbreaking book, but I want to read it, especially after reading your review.

Audrey; (AyC) said...

I didn't really have the same reaction as you :o I thought it was a good book, but no tears.. this was an awesome review though, I'm glad you enjoyed it!