The Chosen One: A Novel

The Chosen One: A Novel

by Carol Lynch Williams
4.2 130

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The Chosen One 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 130 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
WOW! That's the first word that came to mind as I turned the final page of THE CHOSEN ONE. I sat contemplating what I had just finished and had to process everything that Kyra had been through. Meet Kyra Carlson. She is the second daughter to one of her father's three wives. She has been brought up in the Chosen One compound. Life wasn't always so strict. But when Prophet Childs takes over the lead, he takes tighter control. A fence is placed around the grounds. Women can no longer leave as easily. Reading is forbidden. Women and children must be obedient. One night, Prophet Childs and three of his Apostles come knocking on Krya's trailer. The whole family is there for the visit. In stunned silence, Kyra hears the words that she has been Chosen. She is to become the seventh wife of her Uncle Hyrum. Kyra is only thirteen. Her older sister, Emily, isn't right in the head, so no one is surprised that Emily hasn't been chosen. But it is shocking to be so young and to then have to wed her own uncle. It's just wrong. Even Kyra's father is flabbergasted at the pronouncement. The wedding is to be in four weeks. Kyra is a rebel at the compound. She sneaks off to meet the weekly bookmobile on the main road. She keeps her library book hidden in the branches of a tree. She also secretly meets up with Joshua. He vows that if given the chance, he will choose Kyra for his wife. Once Kyra hears the news that she is to wed, she does all she can to convince her family not to make it happen. But everyone is scared of the society they live in and know that going against Prophet Childs' wishes will make life worse for her entire family. Kyra knows that marrying Uncle Hyrum is wrong. She doesn't accept the rules of the Chosen Ones. But she is torn. She knows she should run away before the wedding. But that will bring troubles to her family. How can she possibly leave her family? How can she possibly leave Joshua? Where would she go? THE CHOSEN ONE may not be for everyone. The story is powerful and will leave you feeling angry and disgusted. But it will also leave you amazed at the power of the human spirit and what can be overcome. The story is definitely controversial, and those with strong religious views will more than likely be deeply disturbed by the life that Kyra has been brought up in. But if you can get beyond the religious context, the story will leave you breathless as you cheer and pray for Kyra to do what must be done. Though Kyra is a thirteen-year-old girl, the subject matter of THE CHOSEN ONE may not be appropriate for younger readers. Though there is no actual sex within the story, the subject matter is quite obvious and referenced throughout the entire book.
A_Good_Addiction More than 1 year ago
Powerful, gutting, and twisted, The Chosen One is a no holds barred look into a polygamist community. This is one of the first books I've read in a good while that has really tangled my emotions, shifting the way I think of things. As someone not raised in such a society, my initial thoughts were disgust. With even the first introduction of not only Kyra's father's three wives but also the long list of children he's fathered between them, my own perceptions were narrowed and repulsed. As the book progresses, however, Williams does an astounding job casting Kyra's entire family into a sympathetic light. There is a very stark contrast between Richard, her father, and his brother Hyrum. While Richard takes a very loving route, even in discipline and keeping his wives and children obedient, Hyrum is very much on the tough love, physical side. Williams doesn't keep this cloaked, adding in a few wrenching scenes that really bring out this difference. Despite being a part of this community and having three wives, Richard is a great father and a kind man. He loves his wives and his children, and he is abiding by the rules and beliefs set forth by the same community he was raised in. Kyra is an uncommon character because of the community she was raised in, mature past her chronological age as a result. At thirteen, she's helped raise her full and half siblings, been raised to know she will one day be chosen and placed with a man as one of his wives, and is heavily relied on by her mothers. Though she has one older sister, Emily isn't mentally on the same level as the others, rendering Kyra as the oldest girl. The responsibilities because of it come off easily, creating a strong sense of the world she lives in. She is strong willed and determined but very calculating; perceptive and intelligent but still rash in some of her decisions. Her struggle with her devotion to her family and her unwillingness to be married to her sixty year old uncle is a poignant, captivating, and visceral one. The intense love she feels towards her father, her birth mother, and her siblings comes through as one of the most notable elements of the story. Marrying anyone, not just her uncle, means leaving her family. Though the girls are married off young in her community, there is still that childlike part of Kyra who wants to stay with her sister and best friend. She can't imagine being away from her mother, leaving everything she's known for years. Her responsibilities will be massively shifted, her entire world and daily routines altered to cater to her new husband. There is a bold mix of rebellious and obedient in Kyra, rooted in her family ties. Threats against her family hold potential to bind her, tie her down and resign her to the future she doesn't want. It is incredibly difficult to read her entire struggle, along with the reactions of her family. The community, as a whole, is a very different one, run by one person given power through birth. The Prophet Childs is the one to deem Kyra as the seventh wife of Hyrum, and he uses brute strength and violence throughout the community to force obedience. Many scenes in this book are brutal and rough to read, made harder by the general feelings most readers will have going into this book because of their own opinions and world views. It is very difficult to swallow and accept this way of life without ever having been immersed in it.
KLBCHOICES More than 1 year ago
Thirteen year old Kyra Leigh Carlson lives in the Compound, a chain link fence separating her from the rest of the world. Her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters; Laura is the sister she's closest to. Kyra likes a boy named, Joshua. She likes to read. And she likes to spend time alone in a Russian olive tree. She's at peace when she's high up in that tree - a hiding place she's never shared with anyone - and she finds a bit of freedom on the days she secretly visits the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to borrow books she's forbidden to read. But she wants to escape the life she's being forced to live; especially after she finds out she's expected to marry her father's sixty year old brother. Will she be able to think of a way out? Kyra was a strong girl. She spoke up when adults wouldn't and that was a good thing, but she was so brainwashed that she blamed herself for things that weren't her fault. Poor sweet Kyra thought every little act would send her to hell because that was what she was taught by men who called themselves Apostles of the Lord. These men misinterpreted the Bible to suit their own way, controlling everyone around them. Women were belittled and treated as if their lives meant nothing, children were abused and people were killed. God's is love; I didn't see any. I shook my head with disbelief as I read this story and I was so disgusted by these old men who were making young girls their wives. They acted as if their rules and regulations were keeping Satan out of the compound but they were doing his work, so he was there. The Chosen One was a fast-paced, page-turner and I really enjoyed the author's writing style; parts of the story - when Kyra was speaking - were poetic.
ShortStuff More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my all time favorties. I would sit up for hours to read it. If you just put on your favorite tunes on soft and sit back in your chair and read this you will literally not be able to put this book down. The suspense never lets you down. There is always a surprise right around the corner. A truly shocking and heartwarming story. I found myself feeling the emotions of the character as if i was almost in the story too. All i have to say is GET IT!
piratesweetie More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. It was an emotional rollercoaster. I loved it. If you enjoy quality reading this book is for you. It really touched my heart--and hopefully it will do the same for you. Happy reading.
Olivia Elba More than 1 year ago
Just finished readin this book, probaly the best book i have read! I usally dont like to read, but i saw the pink in the cover and it caught my eye. This book is so sad, but agaim happy. Happy ending and i was sad when i finished it. MUST READ!
KCathie More than 1 year ago
This book was good exceppt i didnt expect it to end how it ended otherwise it would have been good.i cant believe they were making her marry her uncle that sixty something knowing she loved another guy READ IT to find out what really happens, its a heartbreaking story
Sianne_Rice More than 1 year ago
I expected a full sized book. It's 105 pages, and though the writing is good, it's pretty blah. A lot of teenage complaining about boys and family, then some action. Then it suddenly gets good, and made me cry for about 10 pages. And then the ending came, and it was a horrible ending. Read it if you're looking for a quick light read but not if you want to learn anything about the FLDS culture, this is a watered down version.
Helen Duckworth More than 1 year ago
this book is amazing i couldnt put it down. the book was so good you just kept turning the pages. it made me cry, laugh, and broke my heart and put it back together again.
Aik More than 1 year ago
This book is simply amazing! I've not read a book with such a plausible, realistic storyline and gripping characters for quite some time. The Chosen One tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who lives in an isolated place where the community practices polygamy. Kyra's love for books other than the Bible makes her feel sinful as the Prophet Childs says that those are the words of the devil. When the prophet proclaims that he has a vision from God, Kyra's life is about to change drastically, and her fate is sealed once and for all, because she has been "chosen" to marry her 60-year-old uncle, and to become his seventh wife in less than a month. Being a strong-willed and determined young girl, Kyra resists this marriage and thinks about the possibilities of getting a taste of freedom by trying to escape. Will she succeed in escaping the religious cult that has been controlling her ever since she was born? Kyra is a wonderful character and I really admire her courage and willpower. She is the perfect protagonist for The Chosen One. She has to make a difficult choice : to stay with her family and wed her abusive uncle, or pursue freedom with the possibility of facing a death sentence. This book brings up a few social issues which are worthy to be discussed about. First of all, there is this personal freedom issue. Doesn't everyone deserves the freedom of choosing whom to marry and how they should live their lives? It is extremely unfair for the girls in Kyra's community to be coerced to marry old men and become "baby-making machines". Any girl who tries to defy a marriage instructed by the Prophet will be mercilessly beaten up or killed with a rifle gun. Each of us know that religions are meant to teach us to be good and virtuous. However, in this story, Prophet Childs uses his authority and social rank to rule over The Chosen Ones. He feeds himself with power by making others' lives hard in God's name. He always ends every word of his own by saying, " This is God's will." Another thing is, the people in the community has little knowledge of what is happening around them as Prophet Childs has already banned all kinds of reading materials except the Bible. I believe this enables the prophet to remain in control of the whole society effortlessly and maintain his holiness. How can one who seeks power, money and fame by exploiting God's name be a prophet? Kyra's heartbreaking account made me sad, angry and sympathetic at the same time. I cried for her tragic experiences and personal loss. My heart was literary in my throat when Kyra is hunted down by the God Squad. I'm in awe by her extraordinary valor and inner strength. In a few words, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams is a remarkable, thought-provoking and gripping novel. No one should ever miss this book.
JessicaDay More than 1 year ago
What a scary, freaky, chilling book! The Chosen One scared me down to my bones! It was totally freaky and messed up! And I loved every single part of it! The main character Kyra is 13 yet she is very mature and about to be married off to her Uncle. She is more mature then most of us out there. She has 3 mothers and 20 siblings. The Prophet tells her she has been chosen for her uncle. To resist the Prophet is to die and have everyone around you punished. Can Kyra run away and take a chance?
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Kyra is a normal teen in many ways. She likes to read, she helps out with her family, and she has a crush on a boy who lives just down the street. Unlike most teens, Kyra lives in a polygamous sect where she is forbidden to read books from outside the compound, she has three mothers and many siblings, and she has just been informed that she will become the seventh wife of her 60-year-old uncle. Only thirteen years old, Kyra must decide if she will defy the Prophet and go against everything she has grown up to believe, or if she will take her place in her society where personal choice is frowned upon and the Prophet rules the lives of all his followers. The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams provides a fascinating glimpse into life inside a secretive society that keeps its members under control in part by limiting their knowledge of the outside world. From Kyra's perspective we see the unwelcome aspects of this community, which include unquestioning adherence to a Prophet you suspect is motivated more by earthly concerns than heavenly ones. But we also see the benefits to be had by living in a close community with many adults and children around to provide love and support. Kyra questions the decision made for her in part because she has been secretly and quietly rebelling all along. She wanders outside the compound frequently, and she regularly visits a mobile library she discovered parked by the side of the road on one of her wandering days. Reading has opened her mind to the possibility of living in a world very different from her own, but can she live in a world that does not include everyone she loves? And like most girls her age, she does love her father and mothers, who are ineffectual at resisting the Prophet's will. The Chosen One will keep you turning pages as you follow Kyra through her dilemma into a surprising ending. I recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls in high school.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This book is hard for me to review, but considering it was difficult to read (emotionally, the writing was nice and simple prose) I'm not surprised by this. I'm sure it wasn't the easy book to write. This is the first book I've read from Williams, so I didn't know what to expect. I was not disappointed. The storyline is nicely done. While the ending does leave you with questions, it doesn't take away from the overall story. The Chosen One is a powerful little book. The story will leave you sad, angry, and disgusted. The things that Kyra and all of the other Chosen Ones have had to endure are unimaginable. It will also give you hope, though. Hope that people can overcome the wrongs that have been done to them. Rating 3.5/5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im giving it three stars because the ending had to many loose ends. It just left to many things open for me. Other than that it was an excellent read. It will make you cry or atleast think bout crying. The author really catches the internal turmoil people who have been indoctrinated by fear and guilt.
AbbyWI More than 1 year ago
I checked this book out in my school library and read it in two hours- I could not put it down! That is the one negative thing about this book= it is very short so it will definitely not take most people more than a day or two to read. It is exciting and addicting. It willl have you on the edge of your seat desperate for Kyra's escape the entire time. Kyra's life in this polygamist cult seems entirely wrong at first. However, one of the things I liked about this book is that as you see how much she loves her family and how her father is a truly good man, Kyra's conflict becomes more and more realistic and difficult. Definitely read this book- it won't take you long and it is very powerful.
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! Williams took on (and conquered) the daunting task of putting a sympathetic face on the sometimes reprehensible (certainly in this book) practice of polygamy. And she does this in a YA novel, to boot. So, Kyra is born within a polygamous sect, but has dreams of the outside world thanks to the Mobile Library on Wheels that gives her a tenuous connection to another lifestyle. When her dirty-old-man-uncle comes a-calling for her thirteen-year-old hand, she knows she needs to find a way out. This isn't Big Love we're talking about here people, or Sister Wives. This tale is more like a storyline you would see with the were-panthers of True Blood. The Prophet (the group's leader) has slowly eroded away the colony's freedoms (like reading any book but the Bible) and has a standing, armed God Squad to keep people in line. Murder happens just often enough to keep everyone towing the line for God. What I found immensely compelling about The Chosen One wasn't the big developments, but the small moments. I wanted Kyra to hightail it out of there ASAP, but I slowly understood why she kept choosing to stay despite everything. Her family (all three Mothers, multiple siblings and Dad) are there. They are a different family, but they are hers and they love each other deeply. Yes, her parents made horrible choices that subsequently led to her present circumstances, but they adore her, their family and their community. Williams has created a beautiful tale that sheds light on the underground world of polygamous sects. Kyra is a strong, young heroine you want to hug, take in, root for and protect. She is simply amazing.
Stephanie-Cullen More than 1 year ago
deeply moving and heart wrenching. an AMAZING book. i would recomed it to everyone!
BEE_81 More than 1 year ago
Great book!! I could not put it down and had to know what was going to be happening next.
Hopeless-Runner More than 1 year ago
Amazing! You never wanna set it down cause you so badly wanna knw "what will happen next?" Your drawn in be this different relgion and the whole time your screaming"NO! Don't let it happen!" I read it so fast and suggest it to everyone. It was simply breath taking.
emmyroserox More than 1 year ago
I read this book over the summer... and I never read over the summer! The imagery, emotions, and plot are golden. The author has a very intriguing writing style. I let 4 of my friends read it and all of them loved it. Forbiden love, adventure, and vivid characters made it addicting. I'm really scared of isolation and to read about a polygamist community was extremely interesting. You will love this book!! I can't wait to reread it.
sal13 More than 1 year ago
this was a really good book i would recommend it to anyone
Jadesbooks More than 1 year ago
I started this book and finished it the next night...I was just drawn into the plot so quickly that the only thing that stopped me from reading it straight through is having to go to work, and I left the book at the house on purpose. This is a story about a young girl in a polygamist group called The Chosen Ones, and she has been chosen to marry her Uncle, which she finds horrible and so does her Father. She is also a little on the wild side for the community, she sneaks out to read books and she has dreams of marrying someone she chooses. This is a very moving story about her struggle against the community and how she tries to break free and live. I think I cried for the last 20 pages of this book, it was so good. This is something that I could see myself buying for my friends and passing on to others to read.
kritzy More than 1 year ago
The Chosen One deals with the topic of a Polygamous community. I was surprised by the devotion the religion's participants showed, despite the cruel punishments Prophet Childs (think priest, minister, someone who works through the ways of the lord) induced and the restrictions he put on their lives. Everything he did or said was supported by his supposed position as God's right hand man. Sentencing a young girl to a beating because she fell in love with a boy he didn't choose for her? God bids it done. Crazy! But, I really, really got into this book, even though it isn't my usual flavor. I had it read in one sitting, in part because of the story's short length and the writer's ability to craft an engaging story. While I would only recommend it to mature teens 13+, I didn't find the material all too disturbing. There's violence, but it wasn't written out in such a way that it's horrific and very descriptive. And there was no sexual material, whatsoever.
CherylynneWB More than 1 year ago
13-year-old Kyra has been raised in a polygamous community with her three mothers and twenty (soon to be twenty-two) siblings. But she has a number of sins on her conscience, including reading forbidden books (which is all books but the Bible), secret, unchaperoned meetings with a boy, and even idle thoughts of killing their Prophet. This, she believes, is the reason God is punishing her. Her punishment? The Prophet has had a revelation: Kyra is to marry her sixty-year-old uncle, an apostle and a cruel man who already has six wives. And the more she resists, the more violence and persecution comes upon her, her family, and all those she cares about. Horrifying. Chilling. Brilliant. There is not a single word wasted or out of place. The prose is as perfect as the concertos that Kyra loves to play on the piano. Carol Lynch Williams opens the door to a dystopia that exists within our own society. With such a huge cast of characters, it seems inevitable that a few will be left two-dimensional--but they aren't. Even when the villians are at their worst, we believe that they think they are the hero of their own story. And because of the loving family Kyra is born into, we are able to see why this kind of society has been able to function, as well as being able to see how things are changing, and why a new regime would cause a sudden onslaught of rebellion. Certain aspects of the novel are absolutely horrifying. For instance, the God Squad, a task force in charge of ensuring that everyone is behaving properly, is as terrifying as the Spanish Inquisition. Written in present tense, this gripping story makes you feel as though you are there, watching every moment as it unfolds. And it makes you desperate to get to the next page. I began reading just before getting ready for bed, and I literally had to have my husband read it out loud to me while brushing my teeth, because I couldn't bear to put it down for that long. I had to continue reading until it was finished. These characters get under your skin, into your head, and refuse to let go. Even after I finished the novel, I tossed and turned for hours wondering about what happened next. I know I am one of many that hopes for a sequel. One word of warning: This is very much a young adult book. It may be short and relatively easy to read, but the emotional impact may be too intense for children. But for those that are able to handle this emotional ride, it will be well worth it. Carol Lynch Williams manages to drag us through the depths of hells and yet somehow--somehow--leaves us believing in heaven.
KelbiT More than 1 year ago
What a great book! Kyra is a mature thirteen year old who is about to be forced into a marriage with her uncle. She never really questions her life on the polygamist compound, but as the story progresses, she realizes she is changing, or rather, her lifestyle is changing her. She has various secrets such as a crush on a boy, reading books, and wishing the Prophet dead. When she finds that she has been Chosen as her uncle's seventh wife, she feels this is a punishment for her secret "sins". Kyra is faced with different situations that cause her to question what is more important: her family, or her own freedom? Can Kyra leave her favorite sister Laura, her secret love Joshua, or even her loving Father just to avoid a marriage to Uncle Hyrum? This book was a page-turner and I couldn't put it down! The heartache and treachery of polygamist cults was made evident to me throughout the book. I definitely give it two thumbs up.