The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams captivated me from the moment I started listening to it. For one thing, the topic — that of a fundamentalist polygamist religious cult — is curious and interesting. But I think that what made this story ring true was the grace and delicacy with which the author handled this topic. Yes — they are different — odd, and most-certainly off-track, but the story reinforces our similarities in the midst of our very-apparent differences. Regardless of what kind of community we live in parents want to nurture and protect our children, and teenagers struggle with obedience and rebellion, and ultimately they have to learn to make their own decisions.
Yes, Kyra’s decision which fuels her rebellion and questioning of her parents’ values is different from ours. Kyra has been told that she has been chosen (for marriage) as a sixth wife to her father’s brother. He’s her uncle, and he’s over 60. Kyra won’t do it, and because of the extreme circumstances (Kyra’s youth, being not-quite 14, and the fact that it’s a close relative), her parents don’t think that she should have to do it either.
The story unfolds beautifully, showing just how similar and how very different Kyra is from other teens. We don’t know until the very end what choice Kyra will make or how she will make it.
The second reason that I loved it is simple: the writing was beautiful. I think that juvenile literature affords the writer some poetic license that authors of adult fiction are sometimes afraid to employ. For example:
“Mmmm,” I say, breathing deep and closing my eyes. It smells so good to be by myself here (page 6, about her secret place hidden under a tree).
I hide near their chicken coop, the smells so thick I could have hurled them at someone (page 29).
Okay, so there’s lots of smelling (and lots of hiding as it seems), but it’s descriptive, don’t you agree?
A third reason that I especially enjoyed this book was that the audio performance as read by Jenna Lamia was really excellent. For me the audiobook is a completely different genre and offers the best of both worlds in a media experience — the beauty of an unadulterated book, and yet the fine production of a great play or movie.
This is a great story that is sure to appeal to tweens and teens, but honestly, it’s a story that adult readers will enjoy as well. If you have tweens and teens in your house*, the audiobook would be a perfect way to while away a few hours on a roadtrip, or to enjoy as a family in the evenings as an alternative to the boob tube. Audiobooks can be pricey, but Amazon has partnered with audible in some way and now offers great prices on the download.
Especially if you have some road trips in your future, now might be a great time to try out a few months of an audible.com membership as well. The Chosen One is available there as well, and you could get it as your first download.
Read all sorts of praise for The Chosen One, download a discussion guide, or listen to an excerpt of the excellent audio narration by Jenna Lamia at Macmillan.com.
*Content — I wasn’t sure what she’d think, but I decided to let my 5th grader Amanda listen to it as well. Before she listened, we talked about cults and misplaced religious faith. I was worried about that topic until I thought of the type of content she had tackled in books this year such as Uglies and the Hunger Games. There is a fair amount of yearning and burning (in fact, Amanda says that there’s lots of yearning), within the context of Kyra’s unrequieted love interest. You can make your own decisions about the appropriateness of it for your children, but it seems to be working for Amanda.
If you’d like to win this audiobook from MacMillian Audio, leave a comment here. We have three copies of the CDs that can be sent to any U.S. or Canadian shipping address.
Click on the banner above to enter our other Summer Fun Giveaways. All winners will be announced on June 11.
This book has been catching my eye, and I’m always looking for the next great audiobook – so this giveaway is perfect. Thanks so much!
Janet F says
I would love to listen to the book.
janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com
Just Mom says
I love audiobooks!
I don’t want to win (my car is old enough to only have a cassette player). I just wanted to remind readers that your local library most likely has a collection of audiobooks on tape and CD (and digital download in many cases), that you can borrow for free!
This looks great! Please enter me!
Ashley Madden says
I saw this a few weeks back, and I think it looks pretty great!
I think this would be an interesting “listen”.
Mozi Esmes Mommy says
Looks like a captivating book…
I just received this book in the mail today from a fellow blogger. I can’t wait to read it!
We are constantly on the lookout for audiobooks!
Carrie K. says
I would love to win this on audiobook! Thanks for the giveaway.
Looks like a fun book – always listening to books in the car
Shelly Burns says
I would love to win this! I commute 45 min to work and use audiobooks when I commute.
shelcows AT gmail DOT com
This has been getting fantatic reviews and I love having audios to listen to in the car. Please enter me!
Mary Ann says
I would love to listen to this book. I’m a librarian at a middle school, and this sounds fascinating. I especially love having audiobooks as options for kids – listening to a book can really draw you into that world.
I’ve posted about your giveaway on Twitter as well.
Jenn S. says
Sounds like it would be great to listen to.
I am a total sucker for audiobooks! And I’ve heard nothing but great things about this one. I’d love to win!
Nicole C. says
I would love to have this audio book!! I’ve been dying to read this because I am fascinated with books dealing with this subject matter!!
This sounds pretty interesting!
Michael Capp says
I’d love to win!
DeeAnn S says
I have a few audio books on tape and love them. It’s easy to listen while preparing dinner, cleaning or other tasks. I also like listening while crafting. This is a story that I would enjoy. Thanks.
jan koontz says
i sure wish to win this prize
Linda Peters says
would love to read this, thanks
Tracey Byram says
This sounds like a very interesting subject.
Joanne Schultz says
ooh this book sounds great! I’d love to win it and listen to it on my next long trip!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Sounds fascinating. Thanks for the opp!
Ann Fantom says
I’d like to listen to this audiobook. Please enter me in your giveaway
susan varney says
i live to listen to them this way wonderful [email protected]
Maria Delgado says
I have never heard of this, but am very interested!
Kathy D says
I love audio books……….
Kathy D says
barbara wright says
This sounds great! I love audiobooks!
Thanks for the chance! 🙂
Rebecca Graham says
I love listening to audio books while driving on long trips.
Carol Lawrence says
Ithink my grandaughter Kayla is mature enough to listen to this off-beat subject matter.
I like audiobooks, thanks.
Cynthia C says
Looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the chance.
M. Day says
Sign me up please!
I love to be ‘read to.’ Please sign me up to win!
Karen B says
This would be a great introdution to audio books for me.
Angela J says
Ellen C. says
What a great prize. Thanks for the chance.
Renee C. says
I am always looking for audiobooks for my parents. My mother’s vision is failing and my father has never been a reader but they have loved their audiobooks. It is almost as if it has opened up a new world to them. I think they would enjoy this one.
karen k says
I would love to listen to this book. thanks for the opportunity.
jane jakins says
the chosen one
Christina Brunetti says
I would love to read this.
Adrian Lamont says
This is really cool, please count me in.
Erika Elizabeth Meyer says
Sounds great! (Pun intended)
Thanks for the opportunity 🙂
I would absolutely love to win this audiobook. It sounds like a great story, one which several family members would enjoy — and it’s an audio book. Yippee. (I’ve always wondered if you ever had auciobooks to review and giveaway, but was to shy to ask if you ever got them). Since I’m fairly new at finding your site, I wasn’t sure yet.