Monday, May 11, 2009

Review: The Chosen One & Giveaway

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever. -- St. Martin's Griffin

I can't remember where I first heard about THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams, but I just knew I had to read it. I have been on a pretty big YA kick lately and am truly loving all the amazing books in this genre. Plus, I admit that the story about a young girl who lives on a polygamist compound does fascinate me -- I am a big fan of the HBO series Big Love. The multitudes of praise for this book are beyond positive. Having said all that, I couldn't wait to read this book; and once I started it, I couldn't put it down -- I actually read it in one sitting. I thought this book was just terrific! I have a feeling that it's going to be one of those books that everyone is talking about.

There are so many terrific things to say about this novel. The storyline is definitely intriguing, and there's a little bit of everything in this book (including lots of action and suspense which I wasn't really expecting.) I am absolutely fascinated by the entire polygamist lifestyle and especially interested in the life these girls and women have on these compounds. As I read this book, I found myself often time shocked; but more than that, I was outraged by their treatment. The abuse, both mental and physical, that the children in this book experienced was horrific.

While I found the story just amazing, I also think I enjoyed this novel so much because of the character of Kyra. She was an amazing choice of narrator for this book, and I loved all of her insights and perceptions about her life. I also liked that Kyra had a love of books (what reader can't relate to that feeling) , and she was passionate enough about her desire to read that she often times sacrificed her well-being just to be able to visit a library and check out a book. In addition, I was just blown away by her inner strength -- she had her own ideas about what was right and she wasn't afraid to share her opinions with authority figures. She knew she was different from her other family members and children on the compound, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the author portrayed Kyra's internal struggle with this conflict.

I think young girls are going to absolutely love this book. I know I would have been very interested in learning about Kyra's life because it was so totally different than anything I had ever experienced. Even though Kyra's parents, home life, schooling, etc. are very unique to her situation, I think young girls are still going to find themselves relating to her character. While Kyra's problems are hopefully unique to her situation, her feelings and insecurities are common themes to all young women. Many girls will relate to her fear of disappointing of parents and her feelings of not belonging. I also think girls will definitely enjoy the forbidden love angle and the exciting end to the story.

I was also extremely impressed with Ms. Lynch Williams writing. The story captured my attention from the start, and I just couldn't wait to see how Kyra's story ends (although I'm still wondering that myself.) The author did a wonderful job of creating and developing memorable characters, and I thought she captured the thoughts and actions of a young teen girl perfectly. And I absolutely thought Kyra's voice was spot on! I was also impressed with the amount of research that she conducted while writing THE CHOSEN ONE. I would love to read more by this author if this novel is any indication!

As you can clearly see, I highly recommend this book to both teens and adults alike. In fact, I think it would make an excellent book for your next book club meeting. I wish the girls in our Mother-Daughter book club were the target age for this novel because I would be insisting that we all read it and discuss the serious issues in this story. However, it's going to be a few more years until they are ready for this book since they are only nine and ten years old. I was fortunate enough to receive a discussion guide brochure with my ARC copy, but I haven't been able to find the questions yet on-line (as soon as I do, I will set up a link.) There are just so many fascinating topics to discuss in this book including polygamy, family relationships, parent/child relationships, differences between the sexes, physical and mental abuse, etc. I guarantee that you could talk about the characters and their actions for hours.

I know there is a lot of buzz out there for this book, and I'm thrilled to say that I have two ARC copies (courtesy of St. Martin's) to share with two very lucky readers. These ARCs even have a CD sampler from the audio book. For one entry, please leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me why you want to read this book. To double or triple your chances, you can blog or tweet about this contest with a link back to this post. The contest is open until Tuesday, May 26th at 11:59 p.m. I will announce the winners on the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

99 comments:

trishalynn0708 said...

What an amazing sounding book! I want to read this book because I also have been interested in the polygamist compound and what these woman/young girls go through in their life.
Thank you for the chance
my e-mail is
lovestoread0708 (at) yahoo (dot) com

trishalynn0708 said...

I also just did a tweet about it :)

I am also having a book giveaway on my blog. It is my first giveaway! I Hope you check it out!

http://twitter.com/trishalynn0708

bermudaonion said...

I am fascinated about the whole polygamist lifestyle too. Last summer, I read lots of books about it. I've read lots of great reviews of this book. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Beth F said...

Sounds fascinating. I'm also a fan of Big Love! Don't enter me in the giveaway, I'm feeling overwhelmed with books at the moment. But thanks for the great review, and I'm going to keep this one on my wish list.

Jennsbookshelf said...

Sounds like a great book! There's lots of buzz on the twitterverse about it. Please enter me!

jenlaw77ATearthlink.net

I tweeted about it!
http://twitter.com/jennsbookshelf/status/1762650471

Kitten22 said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

I'm a fan of Big Love also and would love a chance to read a related book.

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Kitten22 said...

I tweeted about this!

http://twitter.com/BookingKitten22

BookCrossingKitten22[at]gmail[dot]com

Prisca said...

Sounds fabulous! I can't resist fiction about polygamy (The 19th Wife) so I'm really interested in reading this one as well. This might well tide me over until Big Love starts up again. ;)

Michelle said...

I too watch and enjoy Big Love and this book sounds like a great perspective from a young girl in a similar situation. I'd love to enter myself at galleysmith@gmail.com.

I'll also tweet for you http://twitter.com/galleysmith

avisannschild said...

I'm also a Big Love fan and read (and loved) The 19th Wife, so I'm curious to read this book too. It sounds great!

shereadsandreads(at)gmail(dot)com

NotNessie said...

I'd like to read this because I recently read Stolen Innocence which is a similar story, only true.

gypsyrover21(at)yahoo(dot)ca

Staci said...

Your review was excellent. I'm posting mine later this week. Don't enter me, I already have a copy.

bridget3420 said...

I want to read this book because my husband's mother tried to raise him in this type of environment. She moved my husband and his brother and sister to Utah. Luckily my husband is a one woman kind of man or else I'd have to kick his booty.

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

I posted this link on my sidebar:

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

Kim said...

I'd love to be entered in the contest to win The Chosen One! I read a review somewhere else on it as well and have had it on my TBR list for a week or so.

Thanks!
Kim

teabird said...

I'm fascinated by polygamy (and I love the tv series Big Love ) - thanks for the opportunity!

teabird 17 AT yahoo dot com

ANovelMenagerie said...

I'm going to be reading this one! I'm excited now!

Bridget said...

Hi! Just posted this on Win A Book.

Rachel said...

This book sounds great!

Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

Annie said...

I can't myself imagine having a husband picked for me and at such a young age.

I'd love to win and read this book!


Thanks


nancyrobster@gmail.com

Annie said...

Tweeted


http://twitter.com/greeeneyedwhwom/status/1766520524


Thanks


nancyrobster@gmail.com

Ashley said...

Please enter me, thanks!
booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

I've heard so many good things about this book, and can't wait to read it!

mindy said...

sounds sensational thanks for the giveaway

jemscout425 said...

love to add this to my summer reading
pksanddancer@yahoo.com

nightdweller20 said...

I've always wondered about the polygamist lifestyle, so reading this book would be a window of opportunity.

jaam121388 at yahoo dot com

Bree said...

As a future teacher, I'm always looking for good/current YA books to read and this is a fascinating topic. Please enter me.
thethingsweread@gmail.com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This is a very interesting subject to me since we live so near to one of these polygamous communities. Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I've been on a big YA kick too and have heard great things about this one too. I really enjoy books about the polygamist lifestyle too.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Stacie said...

I am definately interested in reading this book and I think it is great that it is written for the YA reader. I have read a few books in the polygomy theme and have been fascinated. Sign me up please! Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

Sandra K321 said...

I just read your description of the plot and the storyline sounds interesting and the characterization of Kyra sounds like it is well done.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

scottsgal said...

That culture is so different from my lifestyle - I bet it's a fascinating book to read

msboatgal at aol.com

Marie said...

I would love to read this, it sounds really intriquing.

marielay@gmail.com

purplg8r said...

This way of life is so different from the life I was brought up in. I would love to read about it!

purplg8r@aol.com

purplg8r said...

And I blogged about the contest here

Jessica said...

This sounds fabulous! I grew up very near a large polygamist sect and it has always fascinated me. Please pick me!
livingthesilverdream@gmail.com

Valorie said...

I would love to read it because of my family's Mormon tradition and history of polygamy. It has always been something familiar to me in old stories and family historys. You should see my crazy family tree!

I also blogged: http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/05/11/book-giveaways-0511-0517/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Belinda M said...

It sounds like a really great book and it would round up my summer reading pile very nicely. I would love to curl up on my chair outside with this one

"Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:
CoolCanucks.ca"

Stephanie said...

Wow, this book sounds so interesting. I'll tweet about it now!!

Chris said...

I'd love to read this book because I am fascinated by stories set in communities like these. And I've been hearing a lot about it and want to know how it ends!

danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

northernmama-northerngirl said...

Sounds like a great incite into the lives of women and children who live in polygamist societies such as these! It would be a compelling read! I'd love to win.
northern_mama@yahoo.ca

jwx4 said...

I'd like to win because I'd love to read this book. It looks like a great read.
jwx4(at)yahoo(dot)com

kathy said...

This sounds like a great read and I too have become more interested lately in what are listed as YA novels- may be it's b/c mine are all getting to that high school age I'm more drawn to what might be influencing them and their peers. Please enter me in your contest. Thank yoy.

Karlie said...

This would definitely be a topic that I haven't read about before. Please enter me.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of this book, but it looks FANTASTIC. Just the type o reading I like. Thanks for the contest!

hillary1128@yahoo.com

Vera said...

I've been dying to read this book since I heard about it on Amazon Omnivaracious (not sure how to spell that!)

vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

I found out about this contest on Twitter, and I now tweeted myself! My user name is verka6811

vvperesk@gmail.com

Jen - devourer of books said...

I've heard a ton of great buzz about this book (plus I trust your opinion) so I'm dying to read it. Plus, like you, I've been reading a lot of great YA stuff lately. Not to mention this would be a great companion to Lost Boy which I should be receiving soon which is a memoir about a young boy kicked out of his polygamist compound.

I tweeted the giveaway (http://twitter.com/DevourerofBooks/statuses/1774007314) and will come back and leave you a link after I blog about it this weekend.

devourers.books(at)gmail.com

Marie said...

I, too, am fascinated about the polygamist lifestyle. I'd love to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks.

mparke[at]mts[dot]net

Amber said...

This sounds like very deep and intense themes for a YA novel. I review YA for teensreadtoo, so naturally I would love to win this!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

mom2anutball said...

Im also interested in polygamist lifestyles, for some reason, I cant seem to read enough about it. Im a big fan of Big Love too! hawkgirl_16 {at} hotmail {dot} com

Holly said...

The polygamist life has always fascinated me, and you don't see many books from the teen perspective. I'd love to win!

je2kids AT yahoo DOT com

Natalie said...

i'm adding this to my list of books to read, and telling my sisters and mom about it!

i'd love to win it! thanks for the chance! (natalie.mclaury@gmail.com)

LittleEagle said...

Sounds like a great read. sharonaquilino(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cheryl said...

Your review has me intrigued & I definitely want to read it now!!!

S. Krishna said...

No need to enter me, but I've got a review copy of this one on the way and can't wait to read it! Thanks for the review!

Jo-Jo said...

I want to read this because as I recently started watching Big Love, I find that I want to learn more about how these people think.

joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Deborah said...

I've often wondered how the young lady in a poly community looks at her future, and how hard it must be to reconcile faith with what can only be a fearsome reality. I think this book explores those issues and so I'd like to read it. asthenight at gmail dot com

Jayme said...

cults and compounds fascinate me deeply. sounds like a great read

jaymewhitson AT gmail DOT com

wendy said...

I am a " Big Love" lover as well, and have always been fascinated with the whole polygamy lifestyle, so I would love to read this book.

madamerkf at aol dot com

Dar said...

I'd love to enter for this one Julie. Thanks!
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Belinda said...

I've always wondered why women allow themselves to be in a relationship like this and how they expect their daughters to do the same thing. Maybe this book will shed a little light on that culture.
Thanks!
1bmore @ gmail . com

Susan said...

Even though I'm LDS, and I HATE that polygamy is what most people think of when they hear the word "Mormon," I still think this book sounds interesting. Please just remember that polygamists are fringe groups who have broken off from the mainstream church. Modern Mormons are NOT polygamists. Okay, now that that's cleared up ... Thanks for another great giveaway, Julie!

quelleheure4 said...

This sounds completely fascinating! It would be a thought provoking book and I appreciate that very much. I would LOVE to read it.
quelleheure4[at]gmail{dot}com

quelleheure4 said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/quelleheure4/status/1785413037

susan said...

bIG love is a great show, and I would love to read this book. thanks

samf36 said...

This wouldbe a good book to read then share with my daughter and have a discussion about it.

S.M.D. said...

Oh, I'd love to be entered for this! Thanks.

My email is arconna @ yahoo dot com

I tweeted this contest here: http://twitter.com/shaunduke/statuses/1786883967

I blogged about it here: http://wisb.blogspot.com/2009/05/sff-links-may-wont-leave-me-alone.html

Thanks again!

Erika Lynn said...

this book sounds fascinating and original and all the reviews have been so good

sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

Jessica said...

I'd love to read this book because I am fascinated by a way of life so different from my own. Kyra's story sounds great!

jnaomicline at yahoo dot com

Nicole said...

I want to read this book because I read anything having to do with polygamy. I'm also a huge fan of Big Love!!

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Anna said...

This one sounds interesting. I, too, find polygamy a fascinating topic. I posted the giveaway in my sidebar.

--Anna
diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com
Diary of an Eccentric

heatherzilla said...

The reason I want to read the book is because it is different than my own life. It sounds fascinating.
heathererwin(at)hotmail(dot)com

Deedles said...

I want to read this because it sounds like an interesting read.

Jo-Jo said...

I also blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Wanda said...

I sure would love to win this one!

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this. I am always looking for new authors and I know I havent read anything by this one.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Blogged it!
http://www.devourerofbooks.com/2009/05/this-weeks-links-8/

Carrie K. said...

I'm a closet watcher of Big Love - the whole polygamist culture is fascinating to me. I'd love to read this one!

I blogged about it, too:

http://booksandmovies.colvilleblogger.com/2009/05/16/bookish-links-for-saturday-may-16-2009/

Jessica Kennedy said...

I'm interested in this book because it's centered around a topic that I have not read or even seen much about.

I posted this on my sidebar.

LuAnn said...

This book sounds fascinating. I'd love to learn more about the polygamist mentality and this sounds like a good book to do just that.

reading_frenzy@yahoo.com

minishoes1 said...

I have been wanting to read this for a long time! I bet it's one of those books where I stay up all night reading it! Thanks jacquecurl1@gmail.com

remarker said...

My daughter watched a show about a polygamist family and found it confusing. I think this could be a really great follow up for her to read.

Sarah Z said...

I really want to read this because you said it has a little bit of everything (suspense, drama, etc) and I like books like that!
Thanks
Sarah
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

Marie Burton said...

There has been a lot of buzz on this one! I definitely want to read this one, and read about what is going on with these people in my country!
marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

Kristina said...

I'd love to get a copy of this!!

luckistarr4 AT gmail DOT com

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Don't enter me but I just wanted to say what a great review. I just heard Carol Lynch Williams speak and she was fantastic! I loved this book.

BonnieBelle said...

I want to read this book because I live in Texas, and after the recent compound raids, I've been very interested in the lives of those women and their children. I'd love to read this story.

bl.norman29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

janetfaye said...

I am a fan of Big Love and I would like to read this.

Thank you!

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

Debbie said...

I would love to read this book. I have a 14yo daughter who I am just getting interested in reading and I think she would love this book also. Thanks!

Debbie said...

Oh - email - dcf_beth at verizon dot com

Thanks!
Debbie

Anonymous said...

Mary
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Hi there:) I'd love to win this because it sounds very interesting and insightful as to the 'mindset' of polygamist communities.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

This book sounds interesting and maybe my daughter and I could read it together.

Please enter me.

Dottie :)

gymmom_027@yahoo.com

Mishia said...

I'd love to read this book because it gives insight to what really goes on.

Katie said...

Enter me! This sounds different than anything I've ever read before. The premise looks really interesting and I can't wait to read it!

bball11kt@sbcglobal.net

Alexa said...

Enter me please! This book sounds very interesting. I like how it is original and like any of the other books I've read.

lovinfitch@aol.com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I would love to read this books because the polygamist lifestyle really interests me as well and it would be great to "see" it through a kid's eyes. :)

Thanks for the shot.

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Misusedinnocence said...

I'm always looking for new books to read.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Rebecca :) said...

I would love a chance to read this one! Thank you!

mycreativeimagination at yahoo

Paradox said...

I would like to read The Chosen One because I am always interested in books that involve polygamous or religious/cult communities.

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com