Title: The Choosing
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Series: Seer #1
Audience: Young Adult
~ MY REVIEW ~
I'm really torn as I try to gather my thoughts together and write a review for The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker. My rating is uncertain. I sorta desire to give it four stars ... but just can't. Because some parts I hated enough that I can't wholly give it a "really liked". (Hint: if I would have known the author was Ted Dekker's daughter, I might not have read this book. Creepiness and sick-minded villains are NOT my thing).
Set in a dystopian world, this story is about a young woman, Carrington, who doesn't question what she's told. If she's told she's worthless - she's worthless. Nothing - she's nothing. Sent to live the future she spent her life working to avoid, Carrington is lower than she ever thought she'd be. But after meeting a bubbly fellow Lint, a kindhearted guard, and a rebellious but intriguing speaker, can she be convinced there's hope beyond what she's imagined? Or will she calmly resign herself to living a nightmare?
First off, the dystopian aspect. *sighs with pleasure* That is the sole reason I picked this book up, because I saw it was Christian dystopian. I have fallen in love with that genre for some reason or another; and I trust that it being written from a Christian perspective will give it hope and good endings (something the mainstream dystopian novels don't seem to favor). So. I loved the dystopian world of The Choosing almost as soon as I started reading. Some parts of it reminded me of the world of Divergent by Veronica Roth; but even so, it was uniquely its own. Very well done, I thought. I thoroughly enjoyed that.
And there was hope! I LOVED the book's ending sooo much! That was beautiful! ^_^ Now if only the next books (or at least the last book of the series) will end good too! *clasps hands together hopefully*
It wasn't very much focused on romance, although there was one involved. It turned out to be very sweet, and I was totally loving the couple by the end of the book. (Such a sweet guy, peoples! He's a gem. So protective and kind!) I did notice that some other reviewers were saying the romance was a little rushed, or the instant love type deal. I can see that. But, it was still really cute! I'm so wishing bunches of happiness on Carrington and her man! <3
Now to the more iffy stuff.
I want to touch on the faith aspect of The Choosing real quick. First off, it was really disturbing how a oppressive government (and not to mention, a demented bad guy) were so into talking about God, and His will, and even had this book that sounded something like the Bible. There were some discussion questions at the end of the book that talked about how some people will twist Scripture verses to suit their own evil agendas. So that helped it make sense to me. But still, it was disturbing. I was SO ANGRY at times how evil men would try to use the precious and holy name of our God and be like, "Oh yeah, this is his will!" when they were doing cruel or horrifying and evil things. *nearly boils over while reliving the emotions brought forth by such scenes*
*Ahem* Now as for the good people. There were these secret meetings (which kind of made me think of the "scandalous" Revival meetings back in the 1600s or early 1700s perhaps). And there was this preacher sort of guy named Aaron. And, in the story, he's supposed to be speaking Truth. He never said 'God', but he did talk about the Father. Same difference; but it was just weird how the bad guys always went on and on about God. Anyway, the message of The Choosing is that of finding your true worth, overcoming insecurity. So Aaron often spoke of things like that. To be honest, some of it slightly confused me, when he was talking about the power within oneself and all that. Huh? But most times, he sort of brought it around to the fact that we are chosen by the Father, and that is why we are beautiful, loved, and chosen. It's a poignant and beautiful message overall; it's just that some parts of the book made it feel like a worldly pep talk rather than truly finding your worth in Jesus Christ. But once again, the discussion questions at the end of the book made me feel better about it all - understand more what Rachelle Dekker was trying to get across.
So all in all, that was fine. I'm curious to see how the next book will continue this. How Carrington will grow in her faith ...
My real issue concerning The Choosing is the creepy/violent/gruesome theme of it. Yes, it's probably something like what Ted Dekker writes. Yes, I know a lot of Christians are into thrillers. But I am not. It's made even worse when the sick, deranged lunatic is convinced he's on God's holy mission! Just to warn you guys, I could hardly stand it! The guy's obviously possessed by evil and darkness; and it's horrifying to see him try to justify his vile acts by saying it's God's will. *Shudder* And, the scenes of him are just ... yeah. Dark. Horrifying. Sick. Vile the deepest extent of the word. I guess I'm not used to reading suspense/thriller type novels, but I just don't see the need for that kind of yuckiness!! I ended up skimming whenever he was the POV character. Ick. Not into that at all. I'm still going to give The Calling (book two) a try, but if the extreme creepiness continues, I may have to give up this series. (Even though it's awesome dystopian!!)
Oh, did I mention the END? ^__^ Just so many feels!!! I loved it so much! <3 <3
We shall see. The Choosing definitely had some qualities I adored. Then there were a few things I'm still not sure about. Then there was the ugly. But I might be able to get over that if the next book in the series mellows a bit on that theme. Hoping for the best! I love finding new Christian dystopian series!