Chosen Ones (Paperback)
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DescriptionLife is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
- Published: 03 July 2012
- Format: Paperback 400 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781620610008 ISBN 10: 1620610000
- Sales rank: 117,267
Reviews for Chosen Ones
You NEED to experience this book for yourself
THIS BOOK WRECKED MY HEART. I was torn between wanting to pet it lovingly, and throwing it against my bedroom wall. The angst, the pain, the forbidden pleasures, the longing for simple joys..Chosen Ones expressed each of those to a heart, my heart, that wouldn't stop breaking for the world and characters within it. The ideas were somewhat far-fetched, but by no means impossible. It's one of those books you really need to experience for yourself.
Tess is serving her punishment. A punishment for a sister that Tess saw as weak, and selfish, even in her dying moments. She reports for duty at Templeton, a training and creation facility of the Chosen Ones-artificial males created to compensate for what "naturals" are lacking in large amounts: the strength, courage, and ruthless attitude needed to fight a war that no one feels the need to fight in anymore. The Chosen Ones are physically flawless, and possess talents that surpass belief. They have been created for one single purpose: to destroy. Tess is indifferent to it all, at least on the surface-she takes to her work cleaning up after the Chosen Ones with a stoicity that she's spent years building. But there are limits, and Tess is realizing exactly what hers are. To make matters completely worse, she finds herself frustratingly curious about a particular Chosen One, James, who seems to have broken every belief she had about what these artificial beings were about.
I want to tell you that this is a romance story at it's core, but it's not, and I couldn't thank the author more for that. I'll admit, I took one look at the cover, read the synopsis, and completely set myself up to read something corny and underdeveloped. I love being wrong when it comes to books. Chosen Ones was darker, and more complex, than I had expected. From the very first scene, after my heart broke, I realized that this book probably had a lot more ways in which to destroy it further. It felt like one ragged, and raw, pain after the other. To be honest, I felt, and reacted, the way I typically do when I read Holocaust accounts/storylines. Chosen Ones is in no way related, but the way in which Tiffany Truitt crafted her moments of torment, I completely forgot I was reading a YA book. She truly has a gift for words.
Tess was exactly the character I wanted her to be, and progressed in a way that made sense. She grew up as someone strong, and impenetrable, but her position at Templeton allowed us to travel the diverse range of her character, and the fact that her heart only held so much pain, until it all spilled out into a world that destroyed everything she ever cared about. It was beautiful, in an anguished way, to be able to see her make discoveries about things that her government, her leaders, made her believe to be truth. To see her come into her own, and bring her inner feelings to the surface.
James, on the other hand, was a little harder to digest. I loved the idea of his character, and my heart was definitely beating faster when he and Tess were in the same room, but I just felt like there wasn't enough development for him. I almost wanted a complete side story entitled: "How James Spent His Days: From Creation to Meeting Tess." I wanted to be inside of his brain, and I wanted Tess to be able to bring even more out of him every time they spoke. I wanted to know the exact moment he realized he was different from his peers-the other boys that held their violent life purpose with pride. Aside from that, I pretty much lived for dialogue between the two. I completely fell for what they built slowly, together.
Chosen Ones was a story of struggle. It had me questioning the fate of my own world, and the many ways that could lead us to an extreme that mirrors the world in this book. It spoke loudly about issues, and situations, that are alive, and abundant, all over the world: the oppression of women, the lust for power and control, the desire to be physically perfect..
I was in awe of the writing and thought process behind this book, and though it may be hard for some readers to get through, the gruesome subject matter is worth the insight you gain from it.
Recommended for: Fans of dystopians, romance and controversial subject matters. by Reeka
Review from Esther's Ever After
Chosen Ones is a rather ambitious book as it seeks to tackle a number of questions and ideas, while introducing readers to an unfamiliar, disturbing future world. This is an ugly, bitter place to live in, particularly for women. And in this setting, Tiffany sets out to explore some fascinating concepts.
But I found the book to be perhaps TOO ambitious, so that it fell short for me as the first book in a series. I had really hoped for a stronger presentation in regards to themes and dangerous adventure, and found it lacking in a few too many areas and its strengths didn't make that up for me.
Reasons to Read:
1.An incredibly twisted, unique post-apocalyptic world:
The setting of Chosen Ones truly horrified me, as it was supposed to. It's in the midst of complete transformation, as "real" humans are gradually dying off with no means to reproduce, and have become inferior to the "new and improved" humans (a.k.a. chosen ones) who are essentially manufactured people, created by scientists and extremely advanced technology. Books like these are everywhere, but this is a world that I found to stand out among the rest as a very unique (and scary) idea. And because women are unable to reproduce, intimacy of any form between males and females is looked down upon and almost shunned to an extent. So the girls (like Tessa) seem to be fairly naive, which leads to some really creepy and disturbing moments.
2.Challening ideas and thoughts:
There are so many struggles within this world, and I was pleased to find that many of them are ideological struggles. It's a battle of IDEAS primarily, and I can tell that Tiffany is very intelligently trying to present some thoughtful questions and to challenge her readers. Humanity versus science. Creator versus the created. Freedom versus choice. What does faith mean? How do you challenge the norms and those in power? How far are you willing to go to fight for what you believe in? These are just as applicable to us even now, and there are no easy answers.
But this is what I mean by the book really being too ambitious; there was so much potential with where this book could have gone, and I didn't feel that it got there. It seemed like we were trying to have this strong, opinionated and thoughtful book with questioning ideas, and adventure and drama, and some good, tragic romance. And while trying to cover all these bases, I ended up feel like each area was lacking.
I had a very hard time following most of what was happening in Chosen Ones. The world was so far off and so detailed (yet riddled with secrets) that it was hard to follow what was happening and why it was happening. And nobody really seemed to question any of this; it's glossed over that, in Tessa's lifetime, women were suddenly unable to reproduce anymore. They just stopped. And I'm not clear on this, but it doesn't appear to be a generational thing either and yet no one really questions it. No one seems to find it suspicious or beyond odd- they just accept it and realize that life sucks, and so during Tessa's lifetime women are suddenly blamed for everything. There are a lot of IDEAS but they come across so forcefully instead of being subtlely woven within the story itself. And it seemed like the setting and character were being used as tools to promote an idea, rather than show the implications and results of an idea.
My friend Christa @ Hooked on Books wrote a very thoughtful blog post discussing why it seems that in future worlds, most books seem to feature a society that looks down on and even hates women. I'm sure for most it's a plot device to feature strong, brave heroines but I had a hard time buying into this idea that within the span of 12 years, women went from having children, and families were there, to suddenly being unable to reproduce and so they're taught that they're weak and emotional and will all seduce men if they're not careful and die because they'll end up pregnant. And birth control is black market, apparently. I just couldn't follow this without more background information, and I'm fairly certain we're being set up for a big reveal later on in the series. But it doesn't make sense for this book.
The other problem I had wtih this book were the characters. It seemed like there were so many, and they weren't very well fleshed out so I kept forgetting who a person was when a name was mentioned. The story itself is really about Tessa, and it seemed like the secondary characters were there as decoration more than anything. And the dynamics between them reminded me far too much of The Hunger Games in a number of ways. The story itself is drastically different, but the relationships in it? Definitely more than a few similarities. You have a cold and jaded heroine, who distances herself from just about everyone (who is also very important for the political struggle, for some reason). A younger sister she, at times, feels the need to protect from this ugly world (now, that one's usually a given in any sibling relationship). Two boys the heroine is close to - one a childhood friend with a strong desire to fight back agains the establishment, at just about any cost, and a new one who wants to protect her. Plus, a dead father and a useless mother. And I likely wouldn't have picked up on this at all, except that there's a scene where Tessa is watching another character be punished for a crime and she ends up screaming out that she volunteers to take on some of said punishment. That part really reminded me of the Reaping. But the character dynamics just weren't strong enough to make me really care. Without understanding Tessa's motivation, she's just a very aloof character that I couldn't connect with or understand why she acted in certain ways.
The book is also pretty heavy on the romance, which I didn't entirely buy into. It's far too on and off, and Tessa is such reacts so immaturely and just doesn't learn from the past at all. It felt a little too rushed and chaotic for someone as cynical and cautious as Tessa. And the story really does revolve around the love story. But I do have to say there are a couple of really sweet, totally moving scenes between the two characters. VERY touching moments at times, that I couldn't help but love a little bit. So much swoon!
There are some pretty great twists by the end too, although the action was completely ignored unfortunately. But I predict more great twists and reveals in the later books.
But ultimately, I found myself far too frustrated with the majority of the story. I was hoping for there to be something to shine through, but ended up left with very little to show for itself.
E-galley received from publisher for review. by Brenna Staats
Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
World war 4 has decimated the United States. Tess lives in a compound in the West with a group of naturals. The Easterners and Westerners are constantly at war due to disagreements in the way to re-establish the country. Women can no longer have children and men are being killed at war. The government begin a Council of Creators to build a new race who will live on when the human race has died out. They are physically stronger and faster than humans (naturals), and they are trained to fight against the Easterners. They are only creating men, no women.
When the oldest girl in each family reaches the age of 16, she must go to work at Templeton, the training centre of the Chosen Ones, as a slave for three years. When Tess' older sister Emma dies in childbirth, Tess must take her place.
Tess has had a hard, sad life. She watched her father be taken away by Chosen Ones and he never returned. Her mother was an alcoholic who killed herself. Her childhood friend Henry, stopped talking to her one day and she doesn't know why. Now she only has her younger sister Louisa, who she was never really close to, and Robert, Emma's husband, who she can barely stand to look at.
Tess has always stuck to the rules of the Council and plans to never fall in love. She buries her emotions deep and doesn't show her feelings on the outside. But everything changes when she goes to Templeton. She discovers that the Chosen Ones have everything. They are treated like Gods compared to the naturals, who have lost almost everything; books, music and education. The naturals food is rationed. Tess can't remember the last time she had butter and at Templeton she is serving foods she has never even heard of, along with champagne.
She has always been taught that the Chosen Ones are there to protect the naturals but she realises that this is not the case. The Chosen Ones are taught to hate the naturals and they see them as being beneath them. Life is dangerous for the girls at Templeton. Tess meets James and discovers he is different to the others. They share a love of music and books and spend a lot of time together. But they must be careful not to show their feelings in front of anyone else.
Tess feels that she can't just stand by and watch what the Council are doing. There must be someone or something who can help them. When Tess' life is in danger, she discovers the Resistance.
The ending of this book shattered my heart and I am really anxious for the next instalment.
I really, really liked this. It has to be my favourite dystopian. It is so well written and easy to read even though there is a lot of information involved. Tiffany did a great job at the world building, I could totally envision it. Tess is given letters that her dad had written to her when she was a little girl. Through these, her dad gives us an insight into what was going on with the Council and that he was against it.
This is a fantastic story of discord, courage and love in the face of adversity. I strongly recommend it.
"The female is dangerous because of her natural tendency to embrace humans emotional side and her ability to elicit and encourage sexual activity."..."Sex equates full and utter dependence on someone else both physically and emotionally. There is brutal war going on right outside our home; we can't afford to be distracted." by Suzanne Finnegan