The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

When 13-year old Kyra is told that she must marry her 60-year old uncle, because God has said so, she is horrified.  Kyra, her three mothers, twenty siblings, and her father live in the Compound where the Prophet controls their lives through “visions” from God.  Members of a polygamous group, they live in the desert 50 miles from the nearest town.  In the past, the people were permitted to visit the town any time they wished.  But since the new prophet has come into power, the group has become more and more sequestered from the rest of the world; Satan’s world.  Violence and a distorted religious world view rule the world of the polygamists.  Books have been banned and burned.  Young adults who break the rules are severely punished and put on display as examples.  Women have no rights, other than to marry the men chosen for them and bear children.  

For a long time, Kyra has been clandestinely sneaking off the compound, meeting the local bookmobile.  Through the magic of the books that are banned on the Compound, she has entered new worlds and opened up her own.  When she falls in love with a boy on the Compound, her world is turned upside-down.  Which world is right?  The one in her books or the one on the Compound?  Can she marry her uncle to save her father and the rest of her family from ruin and punishment? When she makes her decision, the repercussions may be fatal.  For Kyra, her family, and those who want to help her.  

This is a compelling, powerful, chilling, and unforgettable book.  Carol Lynch Williams pulls you into Kyra’s world, as frightening and tragic as it is.  The climax will have you turning the pages as fast as you can while at the same time wanting to throw the book across the room.  Like a car wreck that you can’t turn away from, this book will enthrall you and horrify you at once.  Kyra is a strong girl fighting against the tides of religion, faith, love, and hatred.  Her strength of spirit is inspiring.

This is a book that will inspire conversations.  Some of them may be uncomfortable, but encourage them.  This is a book that will make its readers think.  Think about faith. About love.  About truth.  About life.  I know this book will fly off the shelves.  Its mix of romance, action, and even what some would call realistic horror (unfortunately), will grip students.  Available in May, I can not recommend Carol Lynch Williams’ The Chosen One enough. If you can get your hands on an ARC, do it! This one is not to be missed.  The only aspect of the book I was unhappy with was the ending.  Why?  Because it ended!  I wanted to continue reading about Kyra and her resiliency.  So Ms. Williams?  Keep writing!

12 Responses

  1. Sounds like a great read- Thanks!

  2. […] got an ARC of Carol Lynch Williams’s The Chosen One, and here is a glowy review from Sarah at The Reading Zone. I’m planning on reading this alongside Ellen Hopkins’s Burned. I’m thinking that […]

  3. This book was absolutely amazing! I loved it. I am 17 and I love reading books that portray teenage life and this book did just that. I love Kira’s story and it is a story that will always be inside my head, true or not it was still touching. There really are girls out there that do go through this everyday and there is polygamy in the US so its right here under our nose but we never really think about it the way it is portrayed in this book. This is going down as one of my favorites! =)

  4. Wow. Quite the review. I can’t wait to read this one.


  5. I got an early addition of this book and it is a must read for any one. I really couldn’t put it down until a little while ago to read if anyone else has gotten a copy. This book will be your favorite of all time. At times it sad, dramatic, thrilling, dangerous, sweet, or just plain wrong. I honestly think this book is better than Twilight and I am a big fan. When you start to read you will love the way Carol writes. It is very frustrating at times when you just want to scream at the Prophet or even Kyra’s father. If you are someone who has enough free time to read a whole book in a weekend than you will love this book that will make you want more!

  6. This book is so good. i loved it. it makes you not want to put the book down. and when your done reading, you just want to read more. hopefully she makes book two!

  7. this book was so amzing, i read it so may times, i just love it.

  8. As a 13 year old I found this book to be amazing. I read the whole book in about two days, I just couldn’t put it down! I loved all of the book but the ending. I feel the ending wasn’t very good, it would be better if there was a sequel because to me the book just kinda ended. I really want to know what happened with Josh. If there was a sequel I would want there to be more about Kyra and Josh’s love. Overall I thought it was a very emotional/fantastic book. (I still find it sad that things like what happened in this book still happen in the world)

  9. hey im currently reding this for a summer report and i was wondering if you could help out i need an example of slang/jargon from this book the chosen one but i cant seem to find any can u help *thanks

  10. I’m reading it right now…I decided to google it to see what I got. Its really good.

  11. is this a really good book?

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