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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?
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.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.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.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.