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The Chosen One: A Novel Audiobook, by Carol Lynch Williams Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Carol Lynch Williams Narrator: Jenna Lamia Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781427207074
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,585 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father's three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don't count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Lamia's] powerful performance of THE CHOSEN ONE brings its 13-year-old protagonist to vivid life. AudioFile

  • With dramatic pauses and emotive voice, Jenna Lamia delivers a captivating read, making the listener yearn for more. Parents' Choice Awards, Parents' Choice 2009 Recommended Award Winner
  • Narrator Jenna Lamia brings passion and dignity to Kyra, her sisters, and even the strict elders who want all the girls for themselves...Lamia's voices sounds believably young and brings surprising gravity to this ripped-from-the-headlines story. AudioFile
  • Jenna Lamia strikes just the right note between innocence and a growing sense of rebellion in her characterization of Kyra... Kirkus Reviews
  • Narrator Jenna Lamia's searing, poignant performance will stay with listeners long after the book ends as she draws listeners in and never lets go, making them feel as if Kyra is living with them as they hear her story...Outstanding. Sound Commentary
  • From the opening of The Chosen One, the audiobook for which she won her recent Audie, listeners will identify with Jenna's well-rounded portrayal of the protagonist, Kyra, a young woman trapped in a cult. AudioFile
  • Jenna Lamia...does a pitch-perfect version of Kyra. Kidlit.com
  • Jenna Lamia's vocal interpretation pitches just the right tone for a dutiful but independent 13-year-old chafing against the rules that allow her no privacy – a conflict any teenager can understand. Newsday
  • The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams captivated me frm the moment I started listening to it. If you have tweens or teens in your house, the audiobook would be a perfect way to while away a few hours on a roadtrip, or to enjoy as a family in the evenings as an alternative to the boob tube. 5minutesforbooks.com
  • The reading of the unabridged audiobook by Jenna Lamia is dramatically right. Metapsychology
  • No doubt about it, THE CHOSEN ONE is one of the best books of the year! I couldn't put it down. Carol Lynch Williams grabs you with her literary talents and never lets you go. Kyra still haunts me. I'll be talking about this book in workshops all year long. M. Jerry Weis, Distinguished Service Professor, New Jersey City University, and past president of ALAN
  • Kyra reminds me of my high school classmate in Utah who married her sister's husband and descended into a netherworld of poverty, abuse, and humiliation. Carol Lynch Williams' remarkable story of Kyra's fight to free herself from a culture that degrades and dehumanizes women is really a story of the triumph of the human spirit. This book matters! Sandra Dallas, author of Prayers for Sale

  • An unsettling and courageous story about one girl who sacrifices everything familiar in her search for freedom--physical freedom and, more importantly, freedom of the heart and mind. Though the book is chilling from page one, Carol Lynch Williams' economic and poetic use of language makes this potentially sensational story somehow beautiful, compassionate, and full of hope in the midst of tremendous loss. This is not a black and white exposé of cults, but a complex exploration of the ties that bind us to places and people that hurt us, the wrenching decisions we sometimes must make in order to survive, and the saving power of the truth, no matter how difficult it may be to bear. Sara Zarr, author of the 2007 National Book Award Finalist Story of a Girl
  • A timely story . . . A poetic, penetrating, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring read. Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Tantalize and Eternal
  • Skilled writing, a narrator you root for, and [a] compelling glimpse into a secret world. Deb Caletti, author of the National Book Award finalist Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
  • An absolute page-turner. Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production (School Library Journal blog)
  • Imagine Anna Quindlen or Sue Miller turning her attention to writing a young adult novel. . . . Be forewarned: This book is a compulsive read. Audrey Couloumbis, author of the Newbery Honor Book Getting Near to Baby
  • Jenna Lamia brings the perfect tone and emotions to thirteen-year-old Kyra and enables the listeners to hear her adness, anger, and love for her family. Forever a Young Adult
  • …this is a heart pounder, and readers will be held, especially as the danger escalates. Williams' portrayals of the family are sharp, but what's most interesting about this book is how the yearnings and fears of a character so far from what most YAs know will still seem familiar and close. Booklist
  • The Chosen One makes the heart race, the teeth grind, and the brow bead up in sweat. Carol Lynch Williams presents a first-person narrative that gallops just behind--or perhaps in advance of--contemporary headlines about the manipulation of the innocent. I could choose no other book or newspaper until I had finished the final page. Gregory Maguire, the New York Times bestselling author of Wicked and A Lion Among Men
  • A powerful and heartbreaking novel of love and hope. One girl's poignant journey as she struggles to find herself and, ultimately, the truth. Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead
  • Carol Lynch Williams' chilling novel of life in a polygamous sect is both harrowing in its unsparing realism and hopeful in its reaffirmation of the power that books and reading have to change and redeem lives at risk. An important book, sure to provoke spirited discussion. Michael Cart, Booklist columnist and former president, Young Adult Library Services Association
  • Powerful and unforgettable, The Chosen One will break your heart because its story is all too real. David Ebershoff, the New York Times bestselling author of The 19th Wife
  • Truly thought provoking, heartfelt and just a plain old good read about a culture and religion that we know very little about these days except through the media. An Na, author of A Step From Heaven, winner of the 2002 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
  • The Chosen One is absolutely riveting and perfectly formed. I had planned to read just a few pages one evening before bed, and I ended up staying awake until four in the morning to finish it! It's a wonderful book. Cynthia Kadohata, winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira
  • In this extraordinary story, Carol Lynch Williams probes the deepest wells of the heart. Against the intertwining prism of faith and love she gives us Kyra, a young woman who meets head-on the power of both to simultaneously buoy and corrupt the human spirit. The Chosen One is brave, its plumb is true, it's a masterpiece. Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath, Finalist for the 2008 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
  • “Powerful and unforgettable…will break your hear.“

    David Ebershoff, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Extraordinary…brave…a masterpiece.”

    Kathi Appelt, author of the National Book Award finalist

  • “A powerful and heartbreaking novel of love and hope. One girl’s poignant journey as she struggles to find herself and, ultimately, the truth.”

    Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author

  • Winner of Parents' Choice Award Winner, 2009
  • Among longlisted titles for YALSA Amazing Audiobooks, 2010
  • Among longlisted titles for ALSC Notable Children's Recordings, 2010
  • Winner of Audie Award Winner, 2010

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikky | 2/19/2014

    " This book was very heart breaking, its about cults. definitely a most read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 2/6/2014

    " Awesome book! I was riveted to every page! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 2/1/2014

    " 3.5 stars. An engrossing story, but I was really bothered by the ending ((view spoiler)[ relating to Patrick) (hide spoiler)]. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenifer | 1/20/2014

    " So sad. So sickening. I am amazed at what people do to children - girls - in the name of God. I just can't really read this stuff anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josi | 1/15/2014

    " While this is Young Adult book, I felt it was written on more of an adult level--it was very mature writing, not necessarily in content, but in word choice and usage. I liked it more than my teenager did, who reads a lot of YA. Very well done, however, both story and writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 1/11/2014

    " This made me cry to cause they were so mean, but i love it regardless! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea | 1/6/2014

    " An engrossing story. I hope to God that this kind of thing isn't actually happening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scottie | 1/4/2014

    " Gives one something to think about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tomandlaura | 10/25/2013

    " I really liked this book at first but the ending was terrible...seemed rushed and frankly, stupid. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 9/30/2013

    " My 13 year old daughter got this book from her English teacher. It is a first person narrative straight out of past tragic headlines. I think it is a worthwhile read for any young adult, and an eyeopener for all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marty | 5/14/2013

    " ok, but not amazing. It was riviting, I did wish it was written a bit better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joi | 4/25/2013

    " The Choosen one is a suspenseful page turner you that you will devourer in one sitting it is definitely a 4 star read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Doro | 2/11/2013

    " Interesting idea, but rushed resolution and poor character development. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasey | 1/5/2013

    " This was a tale of a young girl growing up in a polygamist compound. She is told she must marry her much older uncle. Leading up to this time she has found books from the outside world and realizes there is more to life than what she has been taught. She has to make some pretty difficult choices. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sabrina | 11/5/2012

    " What an amazing story. I didn't see it coming. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lady | 6/2/2012

    " Wow loved this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kayla | 5/27/2012

    " Pretty interesting; a really quick read. I really hope what went on in the book is fiction and not really happening to families all the time because it was really sad. I can't imagine living life without choices and in fear. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 4/18/2012

    " This is the first fictional book about polygamy I've ever read. Though incredibly short, it was a pretty good read. The prose was a little too flowery for me sometimes, but the plot made up for it. I wish we had gotten a little bit more closure at the end, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 12/30/2011

    " i thoroughly enjoyed this book. Quite enlightening as to how other communities choose to live. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea | 6/29/2011

    " An engrossing story. I hope to God that this kind of thing isn't actually happening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 6/25/2011

    " I would like to give this one 3.5 stars, but since it's not an option I rounded up. :o) I know this is a work of fiction, but in the back of my mind I know that some of these details may be reality in certain extreme communities. My heart definitely broke at points in the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annettelang12 | 6/20/2011

    " I thought this was a fast paced book - I liked the girl's perspective of growing up in a religous community. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 6/17/2011

    " A very quick read...I finished this in one day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 6/14/2011

    " I read this book in just a few hours. I couldn't put it down. It's about a young polygamist girl who is commanded to marry her uncle and become his 7th wife. Very heart-breaking and filled with emotion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 6/10/2011

    " It was very good book and a definite page-turner. At parts it is disturbing, and once I actually put down the book and cried, but it was important because it showed part of the society in which Kyra grew up. I would recommend this book to anyone in high school or older for its intense content. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 6/7/2011

    " Hard to put down. Intriguing story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karyn | 6/6/2011

    " Loved it! I read the whole thing in a few hours-I definitely recommend this one!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mrs. | 6/3/2011

    " The Chosen One will have you crying, cringing, and cheering for Krya. One of the only books to truly make my heart race and my adrenaline pump. A worthy read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaylee | 6/2/2011

    " This book was a little slow at the beginning. Once you get a little over halfway through, it's hard to put down! The whole book was pretty sad. The ending was bittersweet. I was so happy she finally escaped and was free, but I was so sad she would never see her family again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/31/2011

    " This was a really interesting book. It really opened my eyes about the lives of people in religious cults and was enjoyable. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed however and I would have rathered it was more in-depth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/30/2011

    " While it has been two years since I read this book I still remember that I read it in two hours. I could not put it down. "

About the Author

Carol Lynch Williams is an award-winning novelist with an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She has won the prestigious PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. The Chosen One was named one of the ALA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and Best Books for Young Adult Readers and was featured on numerous lists of recommended YA fiction. Her other novels include Never That Far, Messenger, Glimpse, Miles from Ordinary, The Haven, Waiting, and the Just in Time series.

About the Narrator

Jenna Lamia is an actress and award-winning audiobook narrator. She has won the prestigious Audie Award, as well as more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her narration of The Book of Polly was named a 2018 Outstanding Audiobook Narration by RUSA. She narrated Mary E. Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which won a YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults award, and Carol Lynch Williams’ The Chosen One, for which she received the 2010 Audie Award for Best Female Solo Narration. She has appeared on and off-Broadway, and her acting credits include appearances on Oz, Law & Order: SVU, and NYPD Blue. She has attended Amherst College, New York University, and the Sorbonne in Paris.