15 May 2012

YA Book Review: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

Release Date: 12 June 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Get a copy! Amazon | Chosen Ones

Goodreads description:
What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
My Thoughts...
In a literature landscape inundated with dystopian stories, it takes a special story to shine among the bestsellers and the hype. For me, Chosen Ones is a story that I believe holds its own and shines with its beautiful writing and unique take on genetic engineering and the future we could someday encounter.

It was madness. Sitting there in that room, so close to music. If this was a test, I was going to fail. I couldn't help it. I would rather receive another slash mark than give up touching the keys. I would volunteer to work below for every minute of my sentence if I could play just one song.
-p18, eARC
The world that Ms. Truitt presents is dark and seemingly hopeless.  The violent displays of power put on my the Chosen and the tyranny and oppression forced upon the Naturals is dark and disturbing while being utterly engrossing.  So many things are denied to the people of the community that it is heart-breaking.  I think what really broke my heart is the most of them knew what they were missing--the taking away of music and literature wasn't a historical phenomenon but something that they had experienced in their lifetime so that they still knew what it was like to play an instrument or read a great book.  It added a layer of emotional depth to the story that I felt like I could connect with--I could imagine what it would feel like to be taught to play the piano at a young age and then have all music ripped out from under me.
I stared longingly at the books. I could feel something working its way through me that I couldn't identify.  Whatever I was feeling, it wsa seductive, willing me to surrender.
-p33, eARC
Tess, our main character, was someone who I connected with on a really deep, personal level.  She's locked out emotions because her past has taught her that they lead to heartbreak and destruction--nothing good can come of love.  But despite her emotional lockdown, she clearly has a deep-seated love (even if she wouldn't call it that) of music and books, evident in the the above passages.  When she meets James, its like all of the emotions that she's been trying to stuff down come to the surface because being with him allows her to once again connect with these things she loved...and to begin to open herself up to other emotional possibilities.
Sure, it's terrible. The whole system. But the funny thing about mankind is we have a natural need--a natural will to live. So many of us would rather have a life of nothingness than risk not living at all.
-p58, eARC
Not everyone will find this world and its inhabitants as engaging as I did--that's just the nature and joy of reading! However, I think that many readers will find themselves pulled in and unable to stop turning the pages until the very end. The language and descriptions struck me as spot-on beautiful.  There are moments where I felt like perhaps the author was telling (vs. showing) a bit too much, but it in no way detracted from my personal enjoyment of this novel. Chosen Ones is the start to what I'm sure is going to be a great series.


Victoria Scott said...

Great review. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the way you pull quotes for your reviews. So cool! 

Jessi said...

Thanks! There were so many good ones in this book that I had trouble sticking with just a few! 

And someday I'll be pulling quotes from your book, too! :D!

Bethdaw said...

I think I might add this one to the TBR. It sounds really good! Great review!

Beth ^_^

The bookish brunette said...

Oooh I really didn't think I'd be into The Chosen Ones... But after reading your review I do believe I must rethink that!!! And I love the cover! Lol

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Wow! I think I would like this one. I can't imagine what it would feel like to have books and music torn away.. heartbreaking. This sounds like an emotional roller coaster ride. Thanks for sharing, Jess. I agree with your thoughts on my Insurgent review. Yes Tris was definitely suffering from PTSD, but I missed the Tris and Four I loved so much from Digergent. Insurgent was a thrilling read but didn't quite live up to Divergent.

Jessi said...

Yeah, the idea of losing books and music was probably one of the most heartbreaking things about this world for me. I just couldn't imagine that and it was a point where I really connected with the main character. :)


I am going to be reading this one soon. I was going to read it a few months ago, but then since it go t changed to June release I decided to wait. It sounds really fantastic. 

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Oh my gosh, your review completely excited me about this one.  I think this will be my next dystopian read.  I've added it to my list.

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