2016 Christy Award Winner! (Young Adult category)2016 Christy Award Finalist (First novel category)Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing forher Choosing ceremonyto end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.
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By Rachelle Dekker
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Rachelle Dekker
All rights reserved.
Carrington felt as though she'd collided with a moving train.
The room around her echoed with sweet laughter and flirtation. Handsome men softly led blushing young ladies around the dance floor while other girls looked on from corners, smiling with gleeful exuberance, all of them too consumed with their personal victories to notice the dread filling Carrington's face.
She should run. Maybe she could get away before they came for her. But how many girls had successfully escaped from the Authority? None.
Her hands trembled at her sides as bits of reality began to crash against the inside of her skull.
How could things have gone so wrong? This was not supposed to happen to her.
Panic pricked at her legs, and that voice of self-preservation shouted at her to stop standing there like a corpse and move.
Carrington turned toward the massive Capitol Building doors and saw the horde of City Watch guards enter. Silently they spread out across the room and headed for Carrington and the other girls who stood in fearful recognition.
The guards' black uniforms fit their forms tightly enough to punctuate how impossible it would be to overpower them. Their faces were fixed in stern focus on the task of collecting the Unchosen and escorting them to the Exiting Room.
Fear filled Carrington's chest like a balloon. Sweat bled through the skin on her forehead. The room felt as if it were being pumped full of hot air that wilted her lungs. This wasn't right; this wasn't the plan. She should be looking on others with pity, not feeling it for herself. All the hours spent; all the learning and dreaming and wishing. Her entire childhood had been consumed by one singular thought, preparing for a single moment. This wasn't right.
Before Carrington could form another thought, a CityWatch guard was standing inches from her. He stretched out his arm in the direction he wanted her to move. Still dumbstruck by her situation, she hesitated. His brow folded, his soulless eyes narrowed to slits, and the corner of his mouth began to twitch. He thought she was being defiant.
Carrington swallowed her panic and found her feet. Her legs felt like gelatin and the ground swayed beneath her. It was impossible to ignore the slight glances from girls she knew, girls she had grown up with, girls from her practicing classes, girls now standing beside the men who had chosen them.
The Exiting Room was through a large set of mahogany double doors along the far east side of the Grand Capitol Ballroom. There were at least thirty other girls moving throughout the room, each one with a CityWatch escort.
Carrington kept her eyes on the marble floor, studying the shimmer of her red ball gown reflecting in the polished shine. How many hours had she spent dreaming about wearing this dress? This gown had represented a perfect moment. Now it would remind her of how worthless she really was.
As she passed through the doorway into the Exiting Room, a shudder crawled down Carrington's back. Surely there had been a mistake. If she could just have a couple more minutes ... he would be there; he would choose her. She turned to rush back into the room that held all her hopes and dreams and watched as two guards pushed the doors closed. The sound echoed to the ceiling above her, and she fought to keep from collapsing.
Carrington heard whimpers from the girls around her as the reality of where they were spread through the group like a contagion. The realization that everything they had worked for since the moment they understood their purpose was gone. They were nothing without that purpose.
As was customary, the families of the girls were brought in for their good-byes. They had only a few moments before the CityWatch would round the girls up and transport them by train across the river to live and serve as Authority Workers. As "Lints." They would no longer be daughters or sisters, no longer attached to the families that had raised them, no longer a part of the world they had known. Now they would submit to the Authority, receive a low-level trade, and remain loyal to that trade until death. This was the law, given to them by God, set into motion by the Holy Robert Carson many years ago during the Time of Ruin.
Carrington closed her eyes and tried to focus on the pounding of her heart. She had been taught since childhood that everyone had a place, everyone was called to serve, and all were summoned by God to obey the laws of the Veritas. She'd hoped for a different future, prayed for a different path, but this road was now hers to walk. She could not change it. She opened her eyes and hoped that a small sense of comfort would begin to ease through her clenched muscles, but it didn't.
A small hand tugged on the side of Carrington's dress and she glanced down to see a familiar pair of deep-set blue eyes. She forced a grin and was greeted with a crooked smile. Tears welled along her bottom eyelids and she choked back the swell of emotion.
"Did you get picked?" he asked.
Carrington softly lowered herself to his level so she could look into her baby brother's eyes. She gently ran her fingers through his golden hair and it flowed across them like silk, thin and soft like her own. He looked very much like her—round face, tiny nose, unwanted scattered freckles that still looked adorable at his age—all but his striking blue eyes. Those he had gotten from their mother.
No. The word sat in her mouth like a foul taste. Even at four years old, Warren would understand that this was not the desired outcome. She leaned forward and placed a kiss on his forehead. Fighting back another round of tears, she stood and was confronted by her mother's glare.
Some mothers were embracing their daughters, spending their last moments together reassuring them that even from afar they would always have their mothers' love. Carrington knew that she would not be granted this kind of comfort from the woman before her.
She could see the disapproval twisted in the angry lines around her mother's mouth. Cold eyes bored into Carrington with utter disappointment, casting a chill through the blood in her veins. She balled her fists tightly at her sides, her pale skin now ghostly white.
Her mother drew closer, grabbed for Warren, and pulled him away from his sister. The boy's small face changed; he knew something was wrong. He clutched the side of his mother's dress with tiny, fearful hands.
"One thing, Carrington; only one thing was required of you." Her mother's voice was harsh and tight. "After everything I have done for you, how could you fail me so gravely?"
The strength to hold back her tears was fading as her mother's words crashed against her like physical blows.
"How is it possible you were not chosen? Girls half your worth were chosen while you just stood around and watched like a fool."
"Mother, I tried."
"Well, clearly you didn't try hard enough or we would not be standing here!"
"Vena," a comforting voice interjected.
Carrington's father appeared like blanketing warmth. He laid his hand on his wife's shoulder in a firm but loving grasp that seemed to defuse her momentarily. Then he stepped around her toward Carrington.
The urge to throw herself into his arms was overwhelming, but Carrington knew she would crumple into a ball of hysterics if she did. His eyes were green like hers. His face and hands had aged beyond his years from working long, hard hours in the Cattle Lands, but his smile was youthful, and the sight of it amplified what she was losing.
He gently pushed a loose strand of hair from Carrington's face and placed a warm kiss on her cheek.
"Remember, we all have our place," he said quietly.
Her mother let out an aggravated huff.
"This is not supposed to be her place, Seth. She was supposed to be chosen."
Tears gathered in her mother's eyes, but Carrington knew her mother was crying for herself, for the way people would look at her now that her only daughter was an Unchosen. It was a mother's duty to raise daughters whom men would be proud to take as wives. And the truth was, she had failed as much as Carrington.
She wished her mother could cry for her, mourn this day as it would be the last they had together; yet it was foolish to think her mother could be anything other than who she was.
"But she wasn't chosen, Vena," her father said. "So this is her place now."
A loudspeaker creaked to life overhead and the room fell to a hush.
"Good evening. This is Ian Carson, Authority President. I want to greet each of you as you make the transition from being children to assuming your roles as contributing members of society. Though this day may be clouded with grief, you must remember that we all have a place and a purpose. You are still a significant part of our growing city. Remember what the book of Veritas says: 'A man's heart plans his way, but God directs his steps.' On behalf of the Authority, I wish you well in your new responsibilities. As God set forth the law, so the law must be obeyed."
The room echoed in unison as the girls all recited the phrase as familiar to them as their own names. "As God set forth the law, so the law must be obeyed."
"The train has now arrived. The CityWatch will escort you to the platform. Please conclude your farewells and make your way to the exit. Authority Workers, may you take pride in your service," Ian said before another screech bounced around the room and then fell silent.
To the right, several guards pulled open another large set of double doors that let in the chilled night air. Carrington could see the side of a steel train car, and a pit formed in her stomach. This was it.
She dropped to her knees and pulled her little brother to her chest. She wasn't sure if he completely understood what was happening or if the entire situation was just too overwhelming, but tiny tears streaked the sides of his face.
She squeezed him until she thought he might pop and then pulled away, took his face in her hands, and pressed the end of her nose to his. "I love you, Warren. Never forget that."
A small whimper left his lips, and tears rushed down Carrington's cheeks. Her chest cramped with pain and she struggled to breathe.
"Assemble," a guard yelled from across the room.
Carrington stood and stared as the CityWatch guided girls quickly into a line to head toward the train.
Her father leaned over and hugged her tightly. She could feel the dampness from his chin on the top of her head.
Once separated from her father, she turned to face her mother. The woman was rigid and aloof, but she reached out and wiped the tears from Carrington's face. "Be good," she said, and her voice quivered with a hint of emotion.
"It's time to go," a guard said.
Carrington hadn't noticed him approach. She nodded and moved with the man. A hand reached out and grabbed hers and she spun back around. Warren held her hand tightly, his eyes wide with fear.
"Stay," he said.
"I can't, Warren. But don't worry. Everything will be fine."
"Now," the guard said.
Carrington yanked her hand away and watched her brother erupt into wails of confusion. Raging sadness threatened her balance, but she managed to remain steady as she followed the guard away from her family.
"Carrington!" Warren yelled.
She didn't dare turn around for fear that her legs would stop working.
She could hear her mother and father trying to console the child as she stepped onto the train platform. Drawing one last breath of the air that held freedom, Carrington moved onto the train filled with weeping girls. Even as the CityWatch guard slammed the door shut she could still hear the heart-wrenching cries of the little boy she'd never get to watch grow up.
Excerpted from The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker. Copyright © 2015 Rachelle Dekker. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a beautiful story of love and redemption!
I am finding it difficult to write a review without giving too much of the story away! This book is filled with so many aspects that left my mind reeling, my heart aching, and my stomach churning. But through it all, the message is clear. The Father has chosen us, chosen me. I am beautiful, I have worth. There is freedom in the truth. With multiple viewpoints and storylines to follow, this book is intense and pretty heavy at times. But LIFE and TRUTH bleed through in even the most dreadful moments. Rachelle has created a brilliant dystopian world with intriguing characters. Reading this book kept me up late and had me biting my nails. I even had a dream or two about the story. It gets inside your head for sure! Watching Carrington develop and grow and become a seer of truth was beautiful. The Choosing is the first book of a series and definitely leaves you wanting more. However, it does end with a fairly satisfying conclusion...for now. I enjoyed Rachelle Dekker's debut novel and look forward to continuing this series. I received The Choosing as a gift. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
I usually don't read dysyopian fiction and I must admit that I found 'The Choosing" to be both intriguing and thought provoking. In the year 2257 Carrington Hale is living in a society where religious dictators establish the rules and you are "chosen' to be free and powerful or you are left to a life of serving others and being in bondage. Carrington is not chosen and this is her journey. The author shows this young woman's struggles and her victory and stresses that in God's eyes no one is considered imperfect. He loves us unconditionally. I can see this book as being one that will appeal to many age groups and it is very apparent that Rachelle Dekker has inherited her father's writing talent. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
A very thought provoking dystopian novel! I connected immediately with both Carrington Hale and Remko Brant, the two main characters. I was heart-broken many times throughout the book because of what these two sweet individuals were going through. The hopelessness of their situations was palpable. My interest was caught by the reality of how Carrington was affected by the things that she had been told her whole life. There are many things that we say without thinking about how they will affect the person hearing them. This story really brought my attention to how a person’s whole demeanor and outlook on life can be formed by negative comments. An underlying story is the mystery of the Lints who are being murdered. There are glimpses into the twisted mind of the killer at a number of points in the book. I was very interested in finding out who the killer was. I was definitely rooting for his capture and the safety of the Lints to be restored. They have so much hardship already. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Being Chosen is Everything ... So when Carrington is passed over, her whole world comes crashing down. Her mother, her father, her little brother...gone. Now Carrington is a Lint - a girl who wasn't chosen forced to work the rest of her life and follow the Authority. It's a nightmare and when rumors of rebellion being to circulate, all of Carrington's beliefs are rattled. When she goes to see the mysterious Aaron speak, her beliefs become more than rattled. Join Carrington as she discovers she has always been chosen. It just looks different than what the world says. ♥♥♥ This book was really, really good! Rachelle took a cue from her father and wrote a world in which perspective is skewed from right and wrong and it take the reader to discpher what that is! It strats right at the Choosing Ceremony. That was a little confusing, but I soon understood what was happening. Talk about depressing! The poor girls who weren't choosing are never allowed to marry, are forced to work in slummy gross places and are now labeled Lints! I loved how the figure of Aaron was symbolic to Christ and how he chooses each and every person! He loves us all even when we can't love ourselves and it was truly wonderfully written that way! The whole deal with the stuttering guard, Renko, Carrington and Issac was so frustratingly wonderful! I won't get into it (Spoilers!) but let's just say I was on the edge of my seat many, many times! The only thing about this book I disliked was how it made me super moody! If what you read affects your moods, thoughts etc. I would shy away from this novel. It is super depressing for a good chunk of it! I give this book 4/5! Well done Mrs Dekker! Can't wait for book two! I was given this book for my honest review from the Book Club Network.
I would hope that our world does not get this bad in 200 years. Why would we want our lives to go so backward. This would be a horrible world to live in but this is a wonderfully written story. Maybe Carrington is lucky to not be picked in the first place. I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series very soon. I received this book from Tyndale for a fair and honest opinion.
In my mind The Choosing is one part Matched meets one part Ted Dekker, meets one part crime drama, meets one part YA Dystopia. I know, that's a lot of parts but I feel like that was the different waves of thought I had for this book. I'll start off by saying I wasn't sure what to expect. Per usual, I didn't read the back cover or blurbs about the book. I knew it was dystopian and I knew it dealt with identity, but that was about it. I dove in with anticipation and a little bit of wariness, unsure of what I'd find coming from such high expectations of Ted Dekker's writing and what I'd heard others say about the book. To start off, I initially got a good feeling for the world. Ok, I thought, this could be interesting. I'm always curious to see how other authors create their dystopian worlds. But, the more I got into the book the less I discovered about the world. I am a huge fan of rich description and I didn't really find that here. I need something to help shape my mental images of the world and characters and, though I had some clues, I wished for a more. For total immersion. Carrington Hale (first off, awesome name--and while we're on that subject, awesome names in general!) was a mellow chracter to me. I understood her plight and felt sorry for her at times, but I felt as if I couldn't get a firm grasp on who she was beneath the fact that she wasn't chosen. Granted, that's a large part of the book, but it felt a little like I wanted to shout at her and say do something. She was not brought into sharp contrast to me and instead kind of floated through the book and her relationships. Speaking of relationships, I really liked Remko! I won't spoil anything, but, though he doesn't say much, he was a firmer character to me. Though I would have loved to see even more of him! As for the plot, I would say it was interesting yet understandable. That's where the Ted Dekker/Crime Show feelings came in. The villain was very "Dekker" in my opinion (not that this is a bad thing). I can appreciate a really bad guy doing bad things. Not that it was too graphic, but part of me always wishes for more from villains. They are often times too weak to really be "bad" and then you have to wonder, why were we scared in the first place? I digress... The romance was...eh. I mean, the parts where the romance was described were great but the foundation to it was slightly contrived in my opinion. I personally didn't feel like they were on the page together enough to make it believable. The rest of the cast of characters was well chosen (no pun intended)--with exception to Carrington's family. I just really didn't get a read on them aside from mom=bad and dad=nice, but both very weak in their roles. I did like Aaron's character (again, he felt very Ted Dekker-ish if I can use that as a descriptor). Obviously, I approve of Aaron's message and the way in which it's delivered was...interesting. All in all, I'd have to say this book didn't wow me. I was easily distracted from it and wished there had been...more. More action, more compelling plot movement, more emotion, more feeling, more tension. Oh, and less name usage--maybe I'm just being nitpicky but I felt as if there was an overabundance of first name's used throughout the novel which made the writing feel stiff and choppy in points. I will say I am interested in reading the second book because I'd like to see what Rachelle decides to do with the series. If you like YA Dystopian and are looking for
Rachelle Dekker's debut novel, The Choosing, is powerful! Of dystopian genre, the story grips the reader right from the beginning and is 'edge of the seat' to the end. In a futuristic world with authoritarian leaders, chosen people and those relegated to menial places in society, love, hate, truth and lies, The Choosing is full of action and mystery, hope and despair. What makes one worthy, is it your place in society as the authorities proclaim or does worth come from within, knowing who you are? Dekker shares Biblical truths in an amazing story that generates profound probing of one's heart. Her characters arouse the reader's emotions--you love them or you dislike them intensely. A beautiful young woman, ripped from her family, a young man with a stutter, a leader who has huge, ugly secrets, a rebel leader and a somewhat fierce commander of the city with a heart--each bringing depth to the story and helping to remind the reader some truths are really lies and how can the truth be discerned. Dekker adds a list of characters and a list of discussion questions. With The Choosing being book 1 in the Seer Novels, readers know the story doesn't end and anticipation is great! I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review. I have posted reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deepershopping.com, Christianbook.com, Booksamillion.com, Bookfun.org, and GoodReads.
I've been a long time fan of Ted Dekker, so when I first heard his oldest daughter Rachelle had written her first novel, I knew I had to read it. The year is 2257. So it's not my normal genre that I read but I quickly got sucked into the plot and read the whole thing in two days! The world has experienced a "ruining" which sounds sort of like an end to "normal" society. The city that Carrington lives in is ruled by a group of men called The Authority. She is a young girl that has been brought up to believe that all laws put forth by The Authority must be obeyed. When a girl turns 17, she is herded in like cattle for The Choosing. Men are able to look the girls over and choose a wife. If the girl is not chosen she is considered "worthless" and becomes a "Lint". Forever to live the rest of her life as a worker, living in a dorm, never to marry and never to see her family again. CityWatch guards are men that decide to live their life protecting the city and its occupants, never to marry and have families. These citizens live by the rules of The Authority, who lead by a "calling of god" from a book the "Veritas". Which is a very loose version of the Bible. When some are drawn outside the city limits, which is forbidden, to hear a different version of God and are caught, they are imprisioned. Carrington is pulled toward what she hears about this different version of God, and how He considers her beautiful, loved, not worthless, but created by him. There is conflict when she is pulled from the ranks of the Lints, after not being chosen, to marry an Authority, Isaac, Keeper of the Veritas. Does Isaac truly care for Carrington, or is he pure evil itself? Rachelle keeps you guessing about what is going to happen next. With a great imagination, she draws you into the story, and in my case, keeps me reading into the wee hours of the morning. I will certainly be looking for the sequel coming in March, 2016. I received this book from Bookfun for my honest opinion, which I have given.
This was a wonderful book! Rachelle Dekker definitely has the talent gene that her father, Ted Dekker, has. I was so engrossed in this book that I started to think it was really happening! I had to remind myself that this is fiction…this isn’t true! Carrington Hale has come to the age of the Choosing. She felt she would definitely be chosen and thus live a deeply fulfilling life. However, things don’t go as she planned. Life just starts spiraling downward for Carrington. Then she is offered a chance at the life she has always dreamed of. However, is it really worth the price she may have to pay? There is mystery and romance in this novel. There are a few little twists that you don’t see coming. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. Rachelle Dekker is an author that is going places! I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
A friend asked me recently if I ever savored a book by leaving it on a table just to look at before reading it. Immediately a mental image of The Choosing on my nightstand popped into my mind. I had rushed right out to by it the first week it was available, not waiting for a reduced e-book sales campaign. Then it sat, calling to me, until I had time to truly immerse myself in its pages. I was not disappointed, not in the least, in spite of how I had built up the possibilities of this book in my mind. Throughout reading The Choosing I was anxious to review it, to pass the word on to my fellow readers about the depth of this story and the talent of this author. However, when it came time to sit and share my thoughts, I procrastinated. Why? I just didn’t feel like there was any way my words could do this tale justice. So I am just going to simply share a brief description to help the readers decide if this book is for them, and welcome those who choose to join the journey. Rachelle Dekker’s debut novel falls within the dystopian genre. Washington D.C. is occupied by a group of people who were fortunate enough to survive immunizations which proved to be deadly for many. The Authority is in control of individual destinies, determining one’s place in society. Young women have once chance at being selected for marriage, not to be chosen would yield a cruel fate of their own making. Carrington Hale’s mother had prepared her for her Choosing Ceremony her whole life. She was confident in the outcome. How could things go so horribly wrong? Young men are placed in occupations for which The Authority finds them best suited. Remko had always been satisfied with his solitary life as a City Watch guard; that is, until he met Carrington. Then there is Aaron, a speaker of truth or a leader of rebellion, or both? The ideas he promotes are unsettling. Is there something more, Someone more, who determines individual worth, Someone greater than The Authority? What sacrifices are necessary to find the answer to those questions? What sacrifices are our protagonists, their friends, their family willing to make? I invite you to join me on the journey, the journey of seers.
Walk with Carrington in a time where deep in society everything is shifting and her choices help determine the outcome: Carrington had worked her entire life to be perfect for her coming out, a ceremony where men ended up choosing her friends but overlooking her. The ceremony was her worst nightmare and ended disasterously! She was ripped from her dear father, her bitter mother’s parting words and her little brother, Warren’s cries. She is a Lint now, the workers who dress identically in grey—the invisible class. Years earlier an pandemic had killed most of the population. Leaders rallied the survivors to Washington DC and reset society with new rules for success. As Carrington’s eyes begin to open to seeing the world from a completely different perspective, she is at the bottom working in putrid processed waste. Her dreams of marriage are over. In desperation she is talked into leaving the city illegally to attend a secret meeting with a radical leader who challenges everything society stands for, everything Carrington has always believed to be accurate. Lint women are being brutally murdered. CityWatch is quietly hunting a serial killer. Evil stalks at night and hides behind a socially acceptable face. Remko, a CityWatch guard, knows he will never marry. His role is to protect society and find this killer—nothing more. The problem is this gorgeous woman keeps crossing his path and what is a man to do? Isaac says and does all of the right things. Everyone highly respects him and his position in society. But, who is the man behind the exemplary religious public persona? Carrington is about to find out in a precedent-setting second Choosing ceremony. Carrington must decide: choose society’s affirmation or choose to uncover truth by valuing every life. Walk with Carrington as she comes of age in a time where deep in society everything is shifting and Carrington is a key part of determining the outcome. I received a complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers and The Book Club Network at bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.
Let me start by stating that this is the first dystopian period novel I have read. My genre preference is Historical Fiction. With that being said, I am pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this wonderful debut novel by Rachelle Dekker. Wow! She pulled me into the story, and made me feel as the characters did. I loved the character development with each being very different and distinct. The primary premise of the book is futuristic attempts at utopia by an Authority Council running the city and making decisions for everyone. Girls age 17 and up have spent their lives planning and training to be chosen by a man for marriage and a family. If they aren’t chosen, they get the short end of the stick and are sentenced to a lifetime of menial labor with no opportunity to marry, raise a family, or even continue contact with the family they came from. Unfortunately, it is allegorical with the world, who only values people based on worldly standards and not God’s standards. Then fortunately, the message is brought across that God chooses us before we are born. He loves us as we are. He sent His Son, while we were yet sinners. This message never grows old. If you like dystopian novels including mystery, romance, sacrifice, and grace, you should adore this book. I give 5 stars to books that I hope to read again. This is definitely one of those. Great work, Ms. Dekker. I’m looking forward to your next novel. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
This is a tough review to write. Rachelle Dekker chose to use a name that invites you to a certain feeling, expectation and world. It's difficult to leave your bias at the door. You are left to wonder if that's how she wanted you to feel. I went into The Choosing struggling a bit. Will she have her own unique voice? Why not choose a pen name? All these questions flying through my head, tripping me up. Several of my friends discussed it with me. Opinions and preferences differed. Finally I jumped in. Doing my best to leave my thoughts behind me. I had a rough start of it, I will admit. The writing seemed halting and it took effort to dive in. Is this me? Is it the writing, or even something as small as the tense it's written in? Ignoring all my quandaries, I continued to read. Finally about half way through I was hooked. I now realize I was hooked by the potential of the story, rather than the reality of what I eventually read. The ability to predict outcomes is something I can never do, yet I found my guesses coming true on the page. There were also a few curves, I found interesting, so it is not all easy reading. In fact, once the story started flowing and more was understood, I became very angry at the direction the villain was moving. As well as cheering and smiling for the good guys. For that I am glad and further encouraged that there is more to Rachelle than just one good book. Let's talk characters. Rachelle did a rather good job in that department. I found myself eventually rooting for Carrington -the main character- and a few others. I would struggle with them, feel the connections and the hope or be rocked with confusion and despair. While not heavily invested in the story I was interested in the people. That combined with a stronger or more riveting story line and I would be raving! As it stands I am just recommending to a certain audience. The Choosing is a book with a mission to make a point, and it's a good point! There is an audience that needs to hear this message. People who struggle with their worth in life or their identity would greatly benefit. Though I would describe this book as good, I can also say that I am excited to see what is done in the next book. I hope she doesn't hold back or use caution. The point could have been made just as well had there been a riveting story. Rachelle does have her own voice. If that is a concern for you, you can let that one go. If you don't want a book that keeps you up all night, biting your nails, then chances are good you would enjoy this one! I do want to see more from Rachelle Dekker. I am excited for the opportunity to watch her story bloom. I think she has what it takes.
"Truth Six: Not to be chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making." You are nothing. The statements stuck on repeat and Carrington couldn't turn them off - because they were true, because she was nothing. This was of her own making. As her mother reminded her before she left, she was not chosen. She is nothing. Carrington Hale, thought despite all her efforts and that of her mother, that she would be chosen. That even right now, she would be with a man who would choose her as his future wife and the mother of their children, instead of where she is right now. Stripped of everything she was before arriving at the Stacks, her new home and wearing the new label of Lint. One who now serves the rest of the city doing whatever trade she would be assigned. She couldn't go back. She would have to accept her new fate. She must remember "As God set forth the law, so the law must be obeyed." This is her new life. In the debut novel from author Rachel Dekker, The Choosing is a Christian dystopian novel that combines what I would call a cross between The Divergent Series and The Hunger Games, but with a definite Christian twist. This is one series you won't want to miss and you are immediately hooked from page one. Girls that are 17 find themselves preparing for what is called the Choosing Ceremony. They have planned for this moment their entire lives. Hoping to catch one man's eye since women were seen as having to submit to man's authority and thus to serve in the capacity of starting a home and family by being chosen! For Carrington Hale, she was at the top of her class and never for one minute did her family ever dream that she wouldn't. Now faced with no longer being able to see or visit with her family, she has been relegated to dwell as a Lint in one of many assigned trades that serve the Capital. It is the last place any one would want to live. Lints are the lowest form of citizen in the city and no one was allowed to interact with them. Issac Knight is known as the Authority, the ruling class that sets the example of law and order for those that live in the city. Since the Ruining, he has been able to create a way of life that everyone in the city deems is appropriated following the examples laid out in the book of Veritas. His word is law and anyone who conflicts with the laws are punished. No one dares question the Authority as that is how they have all managed to survive. Now with his wife passing away, he hopes to convince the Council that he should take another wife, since he has no son to pass along his position as heir. Will Carrington get another chance at redemption or will this be a fate worse than death? I received The Choosing by Rachel Dekker as a self purchase from Tyndale House Publishers and received no monetary compensation for a favorable review. All I know after reading this one, is Ted Dekker has competition in his daughter's amazing ability to pull on the heart strings of what every woman faces, the need for affirmation of our self worth. I absolutely LOVE the science fiction flair that she incorporates this theme that Carrington struggles with in resolving who she really is outside from what others believe she is. The twist to this one is one you won't want to miss as someone is killing Lints in hopes of redeeming them to holiness from the level that have fallen as societies lowest form of life, while another named Aaron is convincing them that there is another way outside of what the Authority deems is righteous and true. I literally inhaled this novel in one sitting because it is that engaging and one that provides such interaction with the reader, you have to keep going to see how it will all play out. The only downside is the sequel to this isn't available until spring of 2016. This is the first novel in the Seer series and one this reader will definitely be waiting for. 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion!!!
This was a tricky one for me. I have never read one of Ted Dekker’s books – I couldn’t get past the covers, so I was hesitant to even consider his daughter’s book. However, I am very glad that I did! …and that isn’t even the reason this was one of the most difficult books I have ever reviewed! The Choosing is one of those books that will grab hold of you and refuse to let you go until it’s finished with you! And the main focus of the story is something that I have had difficulty with ALL my life! Looking at pictures of Rachelle Dekker, it is difficult to believe she could know anything about having a low self-worth… but if she never experienced it, she clearly did her research well. And in reading other reviews, I’m not sure everyone who read the book has truly gotten the point… clearly they have never dealt with low self-worth (or they’re just trying to mask that they have) but as someone who has been there for much of her life, I can tell you that she hit the mark squarely! And… if you’ve never dealt with low self-worth, it’s a fantastic post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel that will really grab your attention! Don’t miss it! Review © JCMorrows 2015
Rachelle Dekker's Debut Dystopian Novel Holds Its Own! When Rachelle Dekker's author bio begins, "The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker ..." you may think it will be a struggle for Rachelle to step out of her famous father's shadow --especially when writing in the same genre: speculative fiction. However, Rachelle's debut dystopian holds its own with an intriguing world, relatable characters, a powerful message, and a feeling of suspense that easily rivals more seasoned authors. Dystopians are all the rage. It can be seen not just in the general market, but in Christian Speculative Fiction as well: novels from Bonnie Calhoun's Stone Braide Chonicles, Lisa T. Bergren's Remnants Series, and Jill Williamson's Safe Lands Trilogy all released last year. I have a mixed experience with dystopians --I loved Susan Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy, but have to force myself to finish Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy. Along with the intriguing premise, The Choosing's gorgeous book cover, with the dichotomy of the mirrored or reflected imagery convinced me to give it a shot --and as I like to say, there can never be enough Christian Speculative Fiction. This is definitely one of the best of the genre to be released this year! "What if your identity is a lie?" Carrington Hale is faced with a difficult question and her journey, her struggle to figure out what is really true throughout the novel is believable. As someone who will mentally berate myself when I make mistakes or do something dumb, for me, the messages of The Choosing was such a reminder of God's love and who I am in Christ. However, I think the Choosing would be well received in the general dystopian market as well. A Christian worldview can be seen in the novel and in their world (many of the characters believe in God and their holy book, Veritas has passages almost reminiscent of Bible), but it isn’t proselytizing. Many of my favorite parts of the novel revolve around Aaron: "I know this world has led you to believe that your worth is measurable. Life had always told that lie --that you have to work for love or change to be accepted. But the truth is different" (381). Besides the themes of identity and self-worth, the dystopian world that Rachelle has created also touches on the dangers of legalism and what can happen when a society perverts the Scriptures. The discussion questions included in the back of the novel can help readers unpack and think about such topics. Part dystopian, part mystery, part romance: I can't wait for what's next! [Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.]
I have to admit when I received this book I was a little nervous about reading it. Ted Dekker’s books are great and I was concerned I would be disappointed. I wasn’t! Rachelle drew me in from the beginning and I was hooked until the last page. The Choosing leaves a good impression on the reader and makes you want more. She has stepped out of her father’s shadow and is creating an amazing one of her own. The writing in The Choosing is excellent. Rachelle uses such detailed descriptions you feel as if you are right there with the characters. Where some dystopian novels feel disjointed and are hard to follow, The Choosing flowed well and was easy to understand. I loved how Rachelle addresses the issue of worthlessness in her novel. Most everyone has dealt with this issue at some point in their life and she does a marvelous job of pointing to who we should be getting our self-worth from: God. Where most dystopian novels leave you feeling bleak, The Choosing leaves you feeling hope. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. After reading many dystopian novels, this one was new and had a refreshing take. Thank you to Tyndale Publishers for a free copy of The Choosing in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.
I really liked “The Choosing” by Rachelle Dekker! From the beginning it grabs you instantly into Carrington’s world and what she is going through. The book does, however, slow down its pace considerably, but I wouldn’t say this was a bad thing (at least for me). It felt like I was going on a casual walk and having the chance to comprehend the characters and the different situations/emotions that Carrington was going through. Many of the emotions and thoughts that Carrington was struggling with I could easily relate too. I have more than once found myself looking to others and the world to give me my worth rather the looking to God. I loved how Rachelle used the character Aaron to show Carrington how beautiful she is and that she has already been chosen. I loved it even more so when she finally believed it! I do want to mention that the bad guy in this story literally gave me the chills! I secretly wanted to hurry up and flip the pages because that guy is crazy! This was a great dystopian that I found can apply to our own lives today and one I recommend. I know that I am looking forward to book two because that ending was awesome (even if I was worried about how everything would play out)! *(I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.)*