The Choosing Book Review -

Book Review: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

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―to 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. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet 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.”

The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker Review

AUTHOR: RACHELLE DEKKER

GENRE: YA CHRISTIAN DYSTOPIAN

AGE LEVEL: 14+

RATING: 4/5

Content: CLEAN – Some kissing, violence, mentions of alcohol and smoking.

In the future, a deadly virus has wiped out most of the population. From the ashes, The Authority rose. They provided safety and order for their citizens.

All they demanded in return was absolute control.

Every person has a purpose in this society. Men are assigned jobs. Women have two options: they’re either chosen to be someone’s wife or they’re sent to the Stacks to work as Lints.

Carrington Hale trained her entire life to become someone’s wife. With great scores, impeccable manners, and beauty, she was sure she would be chosen. She was wrong.

Becoming a Lint derailed her entire identity. Not only is she forced to work a disgusting job for the rest of her life, but she’s told that she’s unworthy. That she is the only one to blame for her situation.

One night, in an act of desperate rebellion, she travels outside the city walls to listen to a heretic. A heretic that tells her that she was born beautiful and worthy of love. Born chosen.  When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arises that allows her an opportunity to be chosen again, Carrington must decide if her worth is in how the Authority defines her or what this mysterious man says.

The Choosing is a rare Christian dystopian novel that touches on a fantastic message that girls NEED to hear these days, but it presents it in a chilling dystopian setting that grips you. It features a lot of elements typical in a dystopian novel (a walled city, authoritarian government, advanced technology) but the warped religion made it interesting. Add a random serial killer and a sweet romance and you have a good book. 

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What I Loved:

The City

Before the outbreak, the city was known as Washington DC. Diving into a future that included former national landmarks was fun. The city also produces a sense of finality and loneliness that’s hard to describe. When you’re a Lint or a City Watchman, you’re also forced to live in either the Stacks (pre-virus apartments) or barracks. You’re still within walking distance from downtown, but you’re not allowed to interact with anyone else from the rest of society.

So basically, you live amongst them but completely separate. This made my heart ache for Carrington and Remko. 

The Message

You’re beautiful and worthy and chosen from birth.

Oh my stars but young women NEED to hear this message. I think The Choosing did a beautiful job of taking a flaw from our own culture and tackling it in a fun way. How many times do we define ourselves but what our society thinks of us? Says we should be? Too often. I ached when Carrington as she struggled with self-loathing and a complete lack of individuality. I also loved watching her grow into herself and begin to stand against what others said about her.

Carrington and Remko

I like unique romances. And there’s nothing more unique than a brain-washed girl with zero self-esteem and a handsome guy with a debilitating speech impediment. I love how sweet their relationship was and how they communicated without even speaking. 

What I Didn’t Love

Struggled to Connect  

Sometimes I struggled to connect with Carrington. I loved the side-characters (especially the ones that DIED, grr) but Carrington was a toughie. While we do get into her head and feel her emotions (I ACHED for her at times), it was hard for me to identify with her personality. 

Keep in mind, of course, that she’s been brainwashed her entire life. Her survival was literally dependent on how well-behaved she was. 

Dream Moments

So…I don’t want to spoil ANYTHING, but towards the end we have a series of dream sequences where Carrington is somewhat unconscious. During these dream moments Carrington comes to some pretty big conclusions and “finds her courage”. I think this is where I really struggled. I would have loved to see these conversations with the particular character she chatted with in real life. So, when the big, major battle arrived, she would have gone through that character change already.

Carrington and Remko

Wait, what? Didn’t I say I loved them. Well, yes…in some respects.

In others I really wanted to go deeper and see more with their relationship. It’s difficult for them to actually talk, given their circumstances and speech impediments, but I still would have loved to see more scenes where their love deepened. Hopefully in book two this is exactly what we’ll see.

Would I Recommend?

Uh, yeah. This is a great book. The Choosing is relevant, fun, and I am interested in seeing where the rest of the series goes. If you loved Divergent but you’re looking for a more Christian message, I think you’re really going to like The Choosing. 

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