Chosen OneTitle: The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
ISBN: 9780312555115
Pages: 213 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, c2009.

“Mother Claire married Father when she was fourteen and he was seventeen.
Mother Victoria married Father when she was thirteen and he was nineteen.
Mother Sarah married Father when she was thirteen and he was twenty-one.
And now me. Me. Marrying my uncle who must be sixty, at least.” (26)

Almost fourteen-year-old Kyra Leigh Carlson lives with her father, 20 brothers and sisters, and three mothers on the compound of the Chosen Ones. While she disobeys the rules when she sneaks away to borrow forbidden books from the book mobile, she’s fairly happy. She hopes that one day she will be Chosen by Joshua Johnson, whom she sneaks out at night to meet in the shadows. Instead, she receives word from the Prophet Childs that God has proclaimed she marry her uncle and become his seventh wife. Carol Lynch Williams spins a dramatic story of betrayal and escape in The Chosen One as Kyra realizes what her life could be outside the compound.

While some sections, like when Kyra is being chased by the compound police, are compelling and engaging, I couldn’t really get engrossed in the book. I couldn’t get past the issue of polygamy, even though it was portrayed as a religious. A book mobile driver plays a key role in Kyra’s enlightment and chance at freedom, but the indifference and acceptance by Kyra’s family members is maddening to at least this reader. I saw all the characters as weak and underdeveloped. Although there is some real relevance, considering the raids that took place on polygamous compounds like the one portrayed in the book, I think most teens are too removed from the situations portrayed to sympathize with Kyra. This book would be a hard sell/recommendation for teens.

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