CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS, a four-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition and winner of Nebraska’s Golden Sower Award, grew up in Florida but now lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and helped develop the conference on Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers at Brigham Young University.
Title: The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+
Publication Date: May 12, 2009
My Edition: ARC
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 17/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.
I really didn't know what to expect from this book. I hadn't heard of it before. But it sounded interesting enough. The only thing that I was unsure about from it was the age of Kyra. From what I've read, I had never read a single book where an author illustrates a thirteen year old like they really are. Carol Lynch Williams is the only author I know to be able to illustrate a thirteen year old correctly. So that automatically made it good in my book.
Kyra was a wonderful character. I loved seeing everything through her eyes. I felt what she felt. I felt her struggle with the need to runaway but also the need to want to stay with her family. She was a great character. The other characters didn't really feel alive to be. They were there, but they didn't feel there.
Williams writing was fantastic. She's a great writer.The novel was original and entertaining. The book was good. But, I don't know, it just didn't give me any 'wow' factor. I enjoy it, yes. But I still felt it wasn't anything spectacular. But nonetheless, I highly recommend it for a quick and easy read.
1. Do you see yourself writing from a teen male perspective at any point?
I did once before (in my novel My Angelica), but I am better at girls because I am a girl, had a sister (no brothers), mostly female cousins, two aunts that I associated with, great aunts (seven or eight of them), and then I birthed five daughters from my body (one pregnancy at a time). I’m all about girls!
2.You're a writer, so it's only natural that you will get ideas for potential novels, where do you store these thoughts? Do you use little pieces of them in your novels?
When I’m working on an idea and another pops in my head I will sometimes start that new idea, get the emotion part of it on the page (the spark that made me want to write that particular piece) and then I’ll just save it in a file till I can get to it. Sometimes I do think I have two different novel ideas and it turns out that the two actually do go together.
3.How do you pick your characters names?
I use people I know. My girls names are in my books, or derivatives of their names. I use my good friends. I’ve used my enemies names (for the bad guys!). If you know a writer, watch out! You might end up in their book. I also look through the phone book. Or when I meet people, if I like their names, I borrow them for a acahracter.
4.What three words would you use to describe The Chosen One?
Family, love, choice.
5.What challenges, if any, did you face writing for young adults?
I feel pretty young in my head. Maybe my challenge is that most my readers are probably a good deal smarter than I am.