September 1, 2010

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Powerful. Magnetic. I was sucked into this book and immersed in Kyra's world.

Pure and raw emotions seeped from the pages. I could put myself right into Kyra's shoes. And I know I would have made the same choices as Kyra. I was a very rebellious youth. If I wanted to run away from the life I had as a teenager, I definitely would have wanted to run away from Kyra's situation.

I mean, who marries their uncle? And a child bride at that. They get rid of the boys so all the young girls can marry the old men. Disgusting. It's just like a boys club where they get to make the rules up as they go and claim "God told me it was to be." I call bulls__!

I do not claim to know much about Mormons and I know that this book is about a sect that is isolated and is not a reflection on the true Mormon religion. I wonder how those who are Mormons feel about these cults that are out there and giving their religion a bad name. I am sure it is no different than any religion and their extremists, but they must have something to say. If you want to comment on this, I would love to read your opinion.

Carol Lynch Williams is a masterful writer. She really put me into the world of a 13-year-old girl who grows up in a polygamist compound where people are known as "The Chosen Ones" and the leader is the "Prophet." I felt angry that this is a fictional story but based on real-life events. It is a violation of the people's human rights to force them into marriage- especially incestuous marriage to your 60-year-old uncle who already has six wives. As I desire to become a sociologist, I look at this situation as a social problem. Because Kyra's situation is not an isolated one. This happens over and over again. What can we do to help these children? And who has the right to be the judge over what is a human right and what isn't? It's a complicated matter when it comes to human rights. But I know that this book stirred in me a desire to help those who want their freedom from a religious compound, such as the one Kyra grew up in.

Amazing book, very well-told, with an important message and well fleshed-out characters makes this a book I highly recommend!

BOOK #: 53
RATING: 4.5 Stars
FOR CHALLENGES: YA Reading, New Authors, RYOB, TwentyTen Challenge
GENRE: YA Fiction
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's (c) 2009
FORMAT/PAGES: Paperback/213
HEY, FCC!: I won this book from Black Eyed Susan last year.


  1. I read this quite a while ago, and I can still remember how frustrated I was with the culture that would support such horrifying practices. I keep reading FDLS/Mormon sect books even though I always get angry while reading...

  2. I've had this one on my TBR pile for a long time. I've heard such good things about it but haven't yet taken the opportunity to pick it up to read. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. How do they get rid of the boys? Kick them out of the sect? Or something more sinister?

  4. What's particularly interesting in this church/cult dynamic is that these cults are not like Mormon fundamentalists so much as offshoots, because at one point the Mormon church did have polygamy as part of their divine law. These groups splintered off when they abolished it. So while the one set has gotten more extreme and ostricized in our world, the other has roots in the same faith. It's not like one is a more extreme brand of the other, which is what fundamentalists in many religions are. This is more like the splitting of a church over a conflict of ideas.

  5. This sounds like an unforgettable novel. And how can one NOT call bullsh** when "God's orders" coincide with someone's desires -- including him getting young wives and lots and sex? :-(

  6. Trisha- I can totally understand your reaction!

    Michelle- I hope you get to it one day!

    Charley- In this particular book it is kind of both.

    Amanda- Interesting thanks for sharing that.

    Stephanie- EXACTLY.

  7. I love this review. You've definitely imparted how deeply this book affected you!

  8. Interesting. I've had this on my TBR list after reading The 19th Wife. It sounds like an interesting read.


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