Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Chosen One by Carole Lynch Williams

There's so much hype around this new YA novel that I was afraid to read it. But it's about a facet of American culture I have a particularly hard time understanding (an isolated polygamist, separatist, male dominated theocracy) and so I felt like I had to, if for no other reason then simply so that I would maybe start to understand a culture like that just a little bit more.
The back of the book promises a compelling coming of age story, and that it is. But it did not quite live up to my hopes for it, for a couple major reasons.

While the voice was incredibly engaging, it did not provide the depth that I was hoping for when addressing the topic at hand, and while the voice suited the character well it did not help the story (if that makes sense). More importantly, however, I was troubled by the characterization of the "bad" characters; they were so two-dimensional that it was impossible to empathize with them in any way. They were one step short of stroking long-haired cats while cackling. And I was really hoping to get more insight about a part of society I blatantly do not understand.

I say this having read it in its entirety in 2 hours, so it's not that it was uninteresting or unreadable... I just was hoping for something much stronger from a book with so much support. I felt like it was a much more superficial effort than what I was expecting.

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