Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Beautiful Cover, Story with Great Potential
on April 7, 2012
In Chosen by Sarah Swan, Tracy Bachman decides to transfer to a boarding school halfway across the country during her sophomore year. The school is located on a remote island. Despite its breathtaking scenery, there is something strange about the island and the friends she is making. Tracy eventually discovers that she shares more with these strange friends than she ever could have imagined and lives become endangered because of that bond. A little romance weaved in and you have the potential for a very fun and engaging fantasy novel.
Sadly, I didn't feel that this was the case with Chosen and my review definitely mirrors what a lot of other reviewers have said...but I'll get to that later. I'd really, really like to cover the positives because there were definitely some worth mentioning and I'd like to make that the focus because it really was a good book overall.
First of all, the cover is amazing. Very beautiful and rather indicative of the book's contents. So, from the outside, the book is definitely appealing. The story, in and of itself, has so much potential. A very original premise and it could have been such a great read!
Unfortunately, I felt that the book really fell flat on its full potential. I felt like the beginning dragged - a lot. The first chapter was so boring that I almost gave up. But then I tried again. It would take four total tries to actually get to a place that I felt like the book was even remotely interesting. By that time, I was about 35% into the book.
Even as I advanced further into the book, my interest would pique and then wane. But there were parts that excited me, intrigued me and made me want to read more. But as I read, I noticed the story would pick up, get me interested and then I would feel like I had just dropped out of another world and back into sitting at home reading a book that I didn't really enjoy. Overall, I never really felt like I was fully invested in the story, the characters or the plot. But I kept pushing through. I really wanted to give this book a chance because it really did sound interesting in the description. Sadly, by the end of the book, I was a little disappointed. Yet, at the same time, I don't regret reading it. Why?
I really do think that Chosen has the makings of a good book. The premise is absolutely amazing. The characters are likable and the idea is wonderfully unique. The characters had believable flaws and it made them at believable. And it IS a good story, but I felt like I got dropped a lot.
I almost feel like the book could have had more impact, had it been written in third person rather than first. While first person is definitely insightful into the mind of the protagonist, it is also the hardest to write and you can really get a better overall story a lot of the time by writing the story from third person instead. I feel like it would have made some of the other characters more real and may have even added more character to the story itself.
I was really sad that the suspense was taken away early in the book. I would have loved to have seen the bad guy drawn out, over time, throughout the book. I think it would have given me more of a reason to keep reading but by revealing him so early, I felt like the suspense was gone.
Speaking of suspense, there were many, many, many opportunities for the writer to build up that plot line and the situations were intriguing and had so much potential. But so many times, the mountain just dissipated instead of peaking. It was very disheartening because I would have liked to have had more insight and understanding and seen that peak in such a great story. Granted, some of it may be in the second story, but giving at least more insight, thought, leaving a sense of continued conflict in there might have given me more desire to turn the page.
Overall, I think that Sarah is highly talented and has a LOT of potential as a writer and I felt the story, itself, had sooo much potential. Her vocabulary is exemplary and her style and imagination are wonderful. I would love to see more from this author and hope that maybe the writing will get better with time or that more will be done in the next installment to make it more interesting.
I am going to keep my eye on the author and hope for the very best because I can definitely see a lot of potential here!