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The Chosen One | Carol Lynch Williams | Review

"I'd kill him first for me," I say into her cheek, my lips still resting there, my eyes closed. "And then I"d kill him for you. Then I"d kill him for the rest of our sisters. And our mothers. And the other women here..."

The Chosen One is a novel about a thirteen-year-old girl called Kira who's raised in a polygamist cult. Kira has three secrets: She reads forbidden books, she has secret meetings with a boy from school called Joshua and sometimes she wants to kill the prophet. But except from those secrets she doesn't question her family's lifestyle, not even the fact that her father has three wives or that she has twenty brothers and sisters. But one day everything changes. That's the day she gets the news that she's chosen to marry her sixty-year-old uncle and become his seventh wife. Now Kira is forced to make a difficult choice, but can she ever leave the only family she has ever known?

First of all there's one thing I would like to get out of my mind. I've read a lot of reviews claiming that Kira's story isn't believable. That the polygamist cult portrayed in this book is an exaggeration compared to existing cults. But I think it's important to keep in mind that this book isn't about an existing polygamist cult, this is fiction. Sure, the cult Kira is raised in is in many ways inspired by existing ones but this book never claims to be a true story. That being said I'm not an expert on polygamist cults so I don't know in which extent Kira's cult is similar to any of the existing ones but I still think The Chosen One is a book that tells an interesting story.

With it's 213 pages The Chosen One is a pretty quick read and I read the book in only two sittings. But Kira's story is still a story that's going to intrigue, fascinate and disgust you, so I wouldn't call it and easy read. I have to say that I really enjoyed Carol Lynch William's writing style. I also really liked the fact that the cult Kira is raised in isn't purely portrayed in a bad way.The love that the members of Kira's family has for each other feels strong and believable even if you as a reader can question many of their choices. You still really feel for them and in some cases even understand them, and that gives this book a lot more depth and makes it easier to relate to.

Overall I did really find this to be a good and fascinating read but I still really struggled with the rating. I guess my biggest problem with the book was that everything happened really fast in the end. I might be that simple that story suffers a bit from it's short length because I really got the feeling that everything happened in the last 30 pages and that made me feel a bit overwhelmed in the end. But apart from that I think The Chosen One is a really good read and I would especially recommend it for younger readers. So in the end I decided that The Chosen One deserves 4/5 stars.

This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.

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