Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Paperback $9.99 (400 pages, ENTANGLED)
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Life 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?
Author Site: tiffanytruitt.wordpress.com
Frustrating Flaws Flatten this Debut (4 stars)
At sixteen-years-old Tess has seen her father taken away, watched her mother lose all desire for anything but alcohol, and her sister die for love. In a world where women can no longer bring forth children science has found a way to create the ultimate breed of warrior, the Chosen Ones. Now children are no longer born, they're grown in labs to protect what's left of the human race, but from whom? Are the naturals their own worst enemy? The eldest daughter of each family must spend three years serving at the academies where the Chosen Ones are grown and trained and with her sister dead Tess must take her place.
At Templeton the secrets of the CHOSEN ONES begin to catch Tess' attention even as she tries not to draw theirs. Could the boys created to save the human race have a darker purpose? What happens when men are given the power to play God? Can Tess survive the secrets that have sent so many to their death?
A thin thread of romance gives this dystopian debut something to keep readers going through an adventure into a futuristic world that's peppered with angst. When love and marriage no longer produce the next generation what good are they? When your government plays God how much control will they take? There's some serious meat to the plot and world building of Chosen Ones that fans of the genre will be sure to enjoy.
While not unlikable, CHOSEN ONES, does suffer from some flaws that made it a difficult read. Dystopian world building requires a lot of questioning details and frequently I found it unraveled into territories where it wasn't making sense. Like DELIRIUM, which I found I was unable to suspend disbelief on enough to like, there's a lot of telling the reader how the government is in control but very little showing. What little does get shown only stirs up more questions as to how they've reached the point they are in control. Then, tossed into the mix seemingly haphazardly, is the fact that the Chosen Ones are each possessed of essentially supernatural abilities. For the sake of spoiler-avoidance I won't share but in a world where the natural born people live like prisoners or peasants why aren't the Chosen Ones growing food or building proper housing?
What made it enjoyable for me was James. I don't want to expound too much but sometimes I connect better with the 'hero' of a romantic story and he was definitely one of those. Tess can be a bit bratty and even a little selfish, but their growing relationship makes for some really interesting growth for them both.
Overall, it's actually a pretty enjoyable story, I'll definitely be reading the sequels. Lots of moral dilemnas, a decent dystopian plot, but (and I do feel guilty saying this) I feel it would have benefited from stronger editing. If you liked Lauren Olivier's DELIRIUM I think you'll love CHOSEN ONES. They had similar complications for me as a reader and I was in the minority in my disliking of it. Hate love triangles? They seem to be in every young adult romantic novel these days and without that complication, this is the perfect YA romance for you.
Diana at Nightly Reading
Donna/Book Passion for Life
Notes: ARC received via publisher.