Title: The Choosing
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Published by: Tyndale House Publishers (2015)
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Summary from Goodreads:
“Not to be Chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making.”
Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.
But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within.
Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.
Ah, a breath of fresh air—it’s been forever since I read a good Christian dystopian, and this one fit the bill. It was clean and sweet and written beautifully, with solid characters and a strong plotline.
However, having said these things, I also am confused as to how I feel about this book. First of all, Isaac Knight? I HATED HIM WITH PASSION. I DESPISED HIM. He played such a crucial role in the plot, too, that I had a good time hating him.
Going off this: the Christian themes. Alright, so when I started reading this book and got into Isaac Knight’s first sections, my thought process became: okay, so either this is going to be a complete heresy against Christianity, or it’s going to turn around and blow my mind.
Unfortunately, it did neither. While I assert that the Christian themes were strong, they will still be unnoticeable to anyone not looking for them. I wish there had been a stronger message! I’m still not sure who Aaron’s supposed to be, I’m still not sure what the basic message or takeaway is, and I’m still not sure what Isaac Knight is supposed to represent.
Having said this, I read a review that suggested the idea that this is an interpretation of the Old Testament times—with the church that turned away and the prophets that called them back. I wish this theory fit better, because then it would most definitely blow my mind. But a lot still doesn’t match up. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be more clear when I finish the trilogy.
Okay, done with that tangent. The setting was real and alive, and unique, too. Nothing absolutely spectacular but let’s just say it’s a lot better than its fellow YA dystopian books. It was very descriptive and full of life. The characters were real, full of emotion and tangibility, and it was easy to get to know them, care for them, relate to them, want to keep reading about them (all except Isaac Knight of course). Carrington was such a great lead for this; you don’t find a lot of strong characters like her in this genre and that was fantastic. Larkin was a little harder to get to know, and Remko, I feel, didn’t get his launch till the end, but once he did launch I loved his character. Aaron is confusing, but he has potential.
The romance. OKAY. **Spoiler Alert!!!** I’m very, very pleased with Rachelle Dekker because there’s no love triangle and the love between her and Remko is legit and real and heading to marriage--I’m incredibly pleased because I started the second book, and her and Remko are MARRIED. And have a KID. Almost NO YA authors will do that. Why would you when you can drag out their love story into a three-book series full of drawn-out scenes and pointless suspense detailing in equal quantity both how unsure they are of one another and how much they want to be together? Dekker let the romance be apart of the story, but didn’t let it take over. And that I LOVED.
Anyhow, I’m very intrigued to see where the story goes in the next few books. I’d love to hear opinions on the Christian aspects portrayed-or-not-portrayed in the Choosing if you have any thoughts. 4.5 stars.