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Young Adult Fiction 1662
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UNCHOSEN by Katharyn Blair is a YA Dystopian novel set in the future after the Crimson, a virus-like curse, turns people into Vessels, zombie-like creatures. For Curseclean to survive, they must avoid eye contact with these Vessels; otherwise, their own irises will turn red and they will become cannibalistic. Aside from escaping this fate, Charlotte’s also trying to find her own way in this new world. Her older sister Harlow is one of the leaders of their settlement and her younger sister Vanessa is The Chosen One— the sole person who can bring an end to this nightmare. Charlotte can’t seem to step out of their shadows— that is until she sacrifices herself for Vanessa and ends up on a mission she didn’t expect. One that will make her the lead of her own story. And one that might save the world.

This book is an invigorating shot to the dystopia genre. It’s such a fun blend of sci-fi, fantasy, and girl power. I couldn’t put it down. Firstly, Charlotte’s goal isn’t to take down her government, which doesn’t even exist anymore in a centralized way. Her job is to break a curse, which she ultimately discovers is really a call to confront her own self. This shift alone in the hero’s journey is refreshing, especially because while it may feel strange to read about the end of the world after this past year, Charlotte’s internal struggles are ones a lot of us can now relate to more intimately. Also, Blair takes The Chosen One trope and turns it on its head, basically indicating that we could all be The Chosen One if we decide to be.

Beyond that, Blair’s characters are so vivacious that they jump off the page. I especially love Charlotte, Seth, Dean, and Harlow, and wish there had been a bit more space to bring their love-square to a more satisfying conclusion. I was missing a deeper conversation between Charlotte and Dean, but understand there wasn’t enough time as this book is a standalone. Typically, for a story like this, I’d expect it to be a trilogy, which is another element that makes UNCHOSEN so unique. From one side, I like that we don’t have to wait years for a resolution. However, I also feel as though the second half of the book is a bit rushed as it’s a lot of plot to fit into a single novel. I would have preferred this as a duology, just so the plot had the expansion it deserved, and also so selfishly, I’d get to live in this world Blair created a bit longer.

That being said, UNCHOSEN is a getaway car of adventure. It’s perfect for fans of THESE REBEL WAVES by Sara Raasch and LEGEND by Marie Lu.
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