The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen OneFinished 12-1-11, rating 5/5, YA, 213 pages, pub. 2009

Okay. It’s not just the planning to kill Prophet Childs. There’s more.  There’s lots more.

Squished between my sisters I try not to think of my sins but they are all in me.  I know they are here.

First, there are the books.

Section One

Kyra is a 13-year-old girl living on a compound in Utah among the Chosen.  She has 20 siblings with two more on the way and three mothers.  Her father is a good man who treats his wives and children strictly but with moderate punishment.  That’s not so among the other men on the compound.  When Kyra’s family was visited by the Prophet Childs they were all stunned to discover that Kyra was a Chosen One, scheduled to marry Apostle Hyrum, her uncle, and become his 7th wife.

Father kisses both of us on the tops of our heads.  He holds us secure.  But his holding me like this is a lie.  He can’t do anything to save me.  And he’s my father.

Aren’t fathers supposed to save their daughters?

Section 3

Kyra loves her family and can’t imagine life without them, but she does manage to escape the compound once a week to hop on the book mobile.  In books she discovers new worlds, worlds that lead her to believe that escape is possible, but not without a terrible cost.  She is also in love with a boy her age and the two of them try to convince the Prophet to change his mind with disastrous results.

This book blew me away.  I was angry, horrified, sad, scared and enlightened.  I was shocked by the violence, it took me by surprise.  I don’t read a lot of YA and this may be my first book about polygamy and I’m glad that the States challenge made me pick this one up, because I never would have otherwise.  This was a short read and I wish it had been longer to address what happened after the end of the novel.  I was amazed at how the thoughts of this teen were so close to the thoughts of any teen.  Williams captured Kyra’s voice perfectly.    I hope to check out more by Williams even though it’s not my normal genre.

There were some unbelievable scenes but none of them took away from my overall enjoyment of the book.  It was compelling  and I loved it.

I checked this book out of the library (Thanks for the suggestion, Sheree)

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