Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

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Chosen Ones
Tiffany Truitt
Series: The Lost Souls, #1
Release date: June 12th, 2012
by Entangled Publishing


What if you were mankind’s last chance at survival?

Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

Life is bleak, but uncomplicated for Tess as she follows the rigid rules of her dystopian society, until the day she begins work at Templeton, the training facility for newly created Chosen Ones. There, she meets James, a Chosen One whose odd love of music and reading rivals only her own. The attraction between the two is immediate in its intensity—and overwhelming in its danger.

But there is more to the goings-on at Templeton than Tess ever knew, and as the veil is lifted from her eyes, she uncovers a dark underground movement bent not on taking down the Chosen Ones, but the Council itself. Will Tess be able to stand up to those who would oppress her, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

*A copy was provided by Entangled Publishing for review purposes*

Chosen Ones brings us into a dark, dreary future where humans are near extinction, and these perfectly crafted humans, genetically enhanced for war and protection, have all the power. Almost.

When you create a dystopian or post-apocalyptic future, details, explanation, showing AND telling, can make a big different to allow readers to suspend disbelief. I found the future of the world in Chosen Ones imaginative and alarmingly foreseeable. However, I found myself a bit dissatisfied with the lack of elaborations when it came to actually showing us this unique world. We’re told about the strict government control, about the compounds, about the constricted living choices, but we don’t actually experience a lot of this with instances. Although I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s not a well-built world, it’s just not emphasized by letting us see the bleakness of the current living situations – only by the small bubble of Tess’s perspective. We’re also left wondering until almost the end about this apparent difficulty to have babies. Reading the synopsis afterwards, I think it’s meant to give a heads up on it being a “mysterious lost ability to bring forth life”, so from one who hadn’t read this synopsis in months, I was left confounded as to why or how her pregnant sister had died, let alone why there was talk of extinction. Despite these qualms, what we do encounter is brutal, it’s haunting, and it involves clear helplessness that left me terrifyingly entranced.

Chosen Ones is one of those post-apocalyptic stories that has romance at its core. Growing up in a society where emotions are seen as a sign of weakness, reproduction means death, thus falling in love is foolish – Tess never realized what falling in love meant. Meeting James – a beautiful, but surprisingly flawed, and remarkably human Chosen One – shows her what she’s missing. While I recognize the romance as a tad insta-lovey and predictable, I would never have thought that I would find it so appealing. I always fall pray to cases of forbidden love: Feeling the longing for, yet impossibility, of a happy ending grips me emotionally. It also helps when the male character is likeable – kind, sweet, but with a dark edge. Besides, even though it begins quickly, their relationship growth is realistically filled with ups and downs that leave us emotionally frayed.

The roller coaster ride is not unique to the romance; we’re also taken on quite the exceptional ride inside a plot that is brimming with unforeseeable turns. Although the pacing at the start is light, but steady, the second half of the book is exhilarating. Just when you think everything is gonna be settled for a bit… BAM. Instead of becoming overwhelming as I’ve seen happen, in this case, it’s very well balanced with just the right amount of intense excitement layered with sweet moments. Another aspect I found enticing, and an effective way to give us glimpses into the inner workings without impeding the flow of the story, – in fact it encourages it – is the inclusion of the letters written by Tess’s father. The emotions in those written words are prominent, setting the right mood by showing us the gravity of the situation.

No one and nothing can be trusted in Tiffany Truitt’s Chosen Ones. Betrayals, lies, cruelty, matched with a sexy, lustful romance – you can find it all inside this gorgeous cover. 

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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33 Responses to “Review: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt”

  1. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    I’ve been dying to read this one for a long time! The dystopian world sounds very unique. I’m glad it is well explained. I do prefer to feel it more but as long as it is explained I can roll with it. I also have a weak spot for a forbidden romance. I’m not into insta-love at all but as long as the relationship continues to grow with ups and downs I do enjoy it. It really is a case to case with me. I’m also all for emotional read with exhilarating twists and turns so I’m super excited to get my hands one this. Plus pretty cover! LOL

  2. Suzanne @ Paranormal Book Fan

    Glad you liked this one Giselle, I really liked it too. I think, like you, I have a thing for forbidden romance. I really enjoyed it in this one even though it was a bit insta lovey. I also thought it was very well done with Tess’s dads letters giving us some of the back story. Awesome review 🙂

  3. Nick

    I just got this one today and I’m glad you enjoyed it so much although a few things left you a little dissatisfied.
    The lack of detail on the setting is a huge turn off for me when I read a dystopian book. It’s a great thing that the world is unique and imaginative. I’m getting tired of seeing the same thing over and over again in dystopian novels. :/
    I don’t know how I would feel about the instant love, but your review has me thinking that I might actually enjoy it.
    Great review, Giselle. 😀
    Can’t wait to read it and compare notes with you! 😉

  4. Amy

    Awesome review!!! I am so glad that you enjoyed this one. I was pretty sure you would. I thought that this was very well written and like you said, very balanced. Not overwhelming when it gets going. I think this series is going to be fantastic!! And I love the forbidden romance thing. I am a total sucker for it. 😉

  5. Rachel Naddeo

    Amazing review! I’ve been thinking about buying this one and couldn’t help but check out your review. And what can I say? I think I’m buying it right now! I love dystopian novels but sometimes I just think they are too repetitive, yet this one sounds really interesting even more because of the unexpected twists you mentioned and because of the forbidden romance (who doesn’t enjoy those?).

    Thanks for sharing and I’ll certainly have this one on my shelf soon 🙂

    Rachel @ Books to Consider

  6. Nicola

    Awesome review, Giselle! I’ve been pondering whether I should read this one and I think I really will have to give it a try!

  7. Christina

    Cool! I think I saw a terrible review of this, so I was not sure whether I would read it, but your review has it back up for consideration. Also, lustful romance? Hell yeah!

  8. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I am disappointed that the world building isn’t as strong as it could have been. It’s especially important to me in dystopian (and fantasy) novels, and I’ve read too many romance-centric novels recently. However, if it’s that appealing I just may read this one when I find the time 🙂

  9. Shooting Stars Mag

    You know, I don’t think I’ve read the summary for this one before. I have seen the lovely cover though. Sounds like an intriguing read! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I’m glad the slight insta-love worked in this case. Sometimes it really does! It just seems to be overused often.


  10. Sam

    Great review Giselle! I found it to be an okay read overall – mainly because of the typical romance and info-dumping. I’m glad to hear you found it appealing though. James was a sweet character wasn’t he? I wouldn’t mind reading about him again. 🙂

  11. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    This one sounds really good. I’ve been having some trouble with dystopian lately because there isn;t enough information into why the world became that way but this one sounds like it has that. I’ll be checking it out. Great review!

  12. Lexie

    Fantastic review! Yeah, while this world sounds very dark and compelling, it’s always a bit of a letdown when the world-building is lacking. In a dystopian or post-apocalyptic, that’s a bit of a must. Buuuut awesome pacing and great romance definitely make this worth a read. I’ll have to pick up a copy. 😀

  13. kimbacaffeinate

    Great review cupcake, while i was a little disheartened by the no-show world-building the rest of your review assures I will keep this on my to buy list! Thanks Giselle- have a great weekend.

  14. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Ooh, alarmingly foreseeable future? *shudder* It’s always so creepy when authors do that–and I love it! Forbidden romance is always good, too. Gah! You’ve added another one to my wishlist!

  15. Vegan YA Nerds

    This sounds quite good, Giselle! I like that while the love was instant, their feelings then grow at a decent pace, not too quickly! And this definitely does sound like a plausible way for our world to end up.

  16. Camille Picott

    I’m always bummed out when we don’t get to fully “experience” a world like this. But even when the worldbuilding isn’t 100%, good characters can carry a story. The ones in this story sound good. Nice review!

  17. Jac

    I am intrigued by the romance in Chosen Ones, I have been so let down my contemporary romance reads lately that I feel like this could pull me out of that slump! (And the cover is just gorgeous.)

    I also love that it sounds like it’s a more realistic post-apocalyptic world. This is something that really pulls me in.

    Thanks for getting me excited for this one 🙂
    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  18. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    You know, you make a really good point. Dystopians that are not so far fetched def have a creepy factor for me. I have read a few books that seemed like such an awful world and I could see how it could come to be. And that is just freaky!

    Thanks for the great review Giselle. I wasn’t sure about the book, but now I think i would like to check it out.

  19. Shortskie

    Great review, Giselle. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book but I just can’t help but want to read it now. And the cover is just completely beautiful! Glad you enjoyed it and I hope yo get my hands on a copy of this one soon enough! 😀

  20. Candace

    This is one I’m really looking forward to reading. The instant love makes me wary, but I too tend to fall for the forbidden romance. Thanks for the great review! I cant wait to read it!