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.show more