Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Title: The Chosen One 
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: YA (contemporary)
Why I read it/how I found it: Written by one of my professors

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.
Yes, my professor wrote this book. And she doesn't know about this blog, so this isn't going to be a review to get an A from her (though I certainly wouldn't turn it down ;). However, I was actually unsure about reading a book by my teacher, because what if I didn't like it? How could I take advice from someone who I didn't see merit in their work? 
Well, thankfully, I didn't need to worry about that, because I read this book in three hours. The premise of it hooked me. Her fate to marry her uncle...ugh. I didn't even want to think about it, but I just couldn't. Kyra's personality fit well into what she had to do. If she would even think about escaping, she had to have a powerful personality, which she did.
I also think that Carol gave justice to this community. Not to the Prophet or Kyra's uncle, but to her father and mothers. Overall, they seem happy with their life up until Kyra's engagement. Kyra's father and three wives aren't portrayed in a horrifying manner, although there is certainly some tension between the wives,  instead the horror is focused on the young girls being married to older men, the young men being chased out for threatening the elder men with competition.
Plus, great writing! Always wonderful to read refreshing prose. 
Other information: Carol Lynch Williams can be found blogging here.


  1. You may be interested in the nonfiction book Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. It's about Mormon Fundamentalists who practice polygamy, it's also about a murder trial that took place in the 80s. What happens in the book you described is similar to what is happening all of the country with the fundamentalists.

  2. Sounds like such an engaging book! I have to check it out. How awesome that your professor wrote it!

  3. This sounds like a really interesting read.

  4. Wow, this sounds interesting. Somebody mentioned recently about there not being YA books about this community and voila, here one is.

  5. Wow. Marrying her Uncle. :(

    But it does really intrigue me...I might have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

  6. This sounds awesome. I'll have to check it out. I'm looking for a new book to read/own.

    When I saw the title, I kinda rolled my eyes and thought, "yet another book about a girl with some kind of magical abilities who will save the world (insert yawn)." But to see it's a contemporary and has nothing to do with magic and saving the world, I'm excited. :)

  7. Sounds really interesting. And that's awesome that she's your professor. :)