First of all I want to say a big thank you to Jenny from the amazing blog Wondrous Reads. Seriously, check out her blog! I wouldn't have even had this book to review if it wasn't for Jenny. I won a competition on Wondrous Reads with the prize being a copy of "The Chosen One". I'd heard great things about "The Chosen One" and was really excited to read it. The second point I want to make is an apology for being away. I have a habit of blogging a lot, then leaving for months, then returning again. For that, I apologise. Thirdly, I will be setting up another blog, but there wll be more details on that in another post. Onwards with the review.
For those of you haven't heard of this book or don't know what it's about, here is the blurb:
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in her isolated community without ever questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters; without ever questioning the strict rules imposed by 'the Prophet' who leads them.
But now Kyra has started keeping secrets. She reads books that are forbidden and sneaks away to meet Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself, instead of having a husband chosen for her.
Kyra knows that it's only a matter of time before her two secret loves are discovered. And when the Prophet decrees that she is to become the seventh wife of her sixty-year-old uncle, Kyra is forced to make a desperate choice. But saving herself means endangering everyone she's ever cared for.
How far should she go for freedom?
The subject mater is what initially attracted me to this book. It had also received quite favourable reviews from other bloggers. I found the idea of a cult quite intriguing. I have rarely come across cults in the news and have never read books on them before. Therefore, I found this book informative as well as enjoyable.
Kyra is a strong character that I admire. I was impressed that growing up in a cult hadn't affected her psychologically. She had a strong sense of right and wrong and longed for freedom. In many ways, all she really wanted was equality. Kyra's secret love, Joshua, is mentioned quite a few times in the book. He seems to really care for Kyra in a way more than a simple teenage romance. Joshua comes across as a decent guy and I found myself rooting for him and Kyra throughout the book.
The cult itself made me so angry. It was a polygamist cult (the men were encouraged to have many wives). If memory serves me correctly, they were told they had to have at least three wives to pass in to the gates of heaven. The men get to choose their wives. They are not allowed to read literature other than that given out by the Prophet. Men and women can not have a casual relationship. You do not disobey the Prophet. Women couldn't go in to a neighbouring town by themselves. Kyra grew up having to follow these rules and saw the injustice of it all.
Kyra's real problems arise when she is 'chosen' by a man i.e. she has to become their wife. Kyra is in love and can't stand the thought of marrying another man. She tries to get out of the marriage through various methods. I won't say how because that would completely ruin the plot. The plot itself is intriguing and I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to know what would happen to Kyra. I loved Kyra as a character. She is strong but wants to protect her family. In the end, she has to make a difficult choice.
Overall, this book was heartbreaking. I felt so much empathy for Kyra who continuously had to make difficult decisions. I felt sorry for the world she was born in to and the life she experienced. I feel that you can really connect with Kyra on an emotional level. This book deserves all the favourable reviews it has received and more.