Saturday, January 21, 2017

book review: the chosen one #rileyreads

I am in THE BEST book club ever, only because we actually meet every month...haha! I tried starting my own book club and we just could never find a good time to meet. So I quit my own book club and have been in Bon's Book Club for about six months. I have read some good books in that time, my favorite being The Nightingale. 
In preparation for our 2017 schedule, we got together for dinner and each one of us brought three book suggestions for our assigned month. Then the group voted on which book to read out of the three! It was seriously so hard to narrow down my picks to just three. It was also hard to pick just one of everyone else's options. There are so many good books in the world. My three that I brought were.....
  •  The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell.  My favorite book that I think every human should read. 
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi 
  •  The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The group tied between the last two books so I picked The Chosen One because I had heard it led to good discussion.
The Chosen One is about a young girl, Kyra, who lives in a polygamist community. She very generally likes her life, but she does break the rules because she has a secret boyfriend, hates the prophet and she also visits this library on wheels every week. Everything seems somewhat okay for a little bit. Then, the Prophet of her community decides she must marry her sixty year old Uncle, a man who already has six wives.  The story is about Kyra dealing with that.
So I read this book in about an hour. It's a super quick read, which was actually pretty disappointing to me because I felt like it could have gone in depth about so many different things. It ended so abruptly which made it kind of unsatisfying. I also felt like it was doing the story a disservice by making it for young adults. It could have been a lot more powerful if it was lengthier and more for an adult audience. I didn't enjoy the author's writing, either. I wasn't sure who her audience was and she left gaping holes in the different character's backgrounds.
I was also pretty surprised reading it, I knew it would be sad but it's way more devastating than I thought, for more reasons than just the fact that a little girl who hasn't even gotten her period yet is forced to be an incestous bride. 
I liked that there is a huge underlying theme of how power corrupts, but it isn't super obvious which makes it really powerful. I would love to teach this book to my students because there is a lot there in terms of themes, character development, symbolism, etc. 
Overall though, I was fairly disappointed in this book as a book club book. I think the selection of non-fiction books about polygamy are much more interesting. However, I think it was a good read if you don't need to analyze it afterwards.
3/5 stars
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