September 02, 2021

#BookReview: Unchosen by Katharyn Blair

Synopsis: For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: I fell in love with this book early on. But sadly that love ran away as I started getting into the core of the story.  Things just started feeling to far fetched (Yes I know its science fiction) but you still have to have rules.  When the book stated that the only way to kill these creatures was with an iron blade and you had to decapitate them it lost me.  I mean I wish the author would have had an example of what would happened without the blade being made of iron. I mean does their head just grow back? Can they reattach it somehow?  It just made the story kind of silly.  I wished that part and the three people spread part would have been taken out of the story.  Becuase I would have totally kept reading and falling even more in love with it. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—In a near-future America, a viral pandemic called the Crimson sweeps the world and turns people into Vessels, red-eyed, hungry-for-human-flesh monsters that retain some of their mental capacities, making them more dangerous than typical zombies. Charlotte, the middle child in the shadow of her very talented sisters, can't find her footing in the world before the Crimson, or after. The prophecy states that one reborn in water the night of blood will be the one to save the world and end this nightmare. Charlotte and her sisters were all reborn in different ways, but only one of the sisters is the Chosen One. Charlotte lies to protect her sister's identity and sacrifices herself to a vicious group of runners who plan to take her to the Vessel Queen and kill her to prevent her stopping the outbreak. In a world full of danger at every turn, Charlotte seeks to find her sisters and save the Chosen One. This adventure has a fast-paced plot that holds readers' attention, with strong writing and vibrant descriptions. Unfortunately, a same-sex couple is introduced seemingly just to kill one of the characters off, and is the only relationship in the book that doesn't get a happy ending. The main characters lack any type of physical description. VERDICT Recommended for mature middle school and high school collections.—Erica Coonelly, Monroe Township M.S., NJ


"Fast-paced action and romantic tension make up the bulk of the story . . . Blair deftly uses her dystopian framework to amplify issues of sexism, classism, and racism, as well as explore the tension between moral responsibility and survival. The Crimson lays bare many of this society’s flaws, as the rich and powerful are able to escape its worst consequences at the expense of the vulnerable. Strengthened by a female protagonist whose insecurities ring true and whose growth is hard-won, this relevant adventure is sure to interest socially conscious fantasy fans." -- Publishers Weekly

“Sometimes a novel comes around at just the right time. Charlotte’s struggle throughout Unchosen to find herself in the chaotic world she lives in feels like the story we need right now. If you are looking for a book to give you hope, adventure, sisterhood, and romance, look no further than Unchosen.” -- The Nerd Daily

"The worldbuilding is well thought out . . . A fun and action-packed read. " -- Kirkus Reviews

" . . . An effectively built dystopia with terrifying monsters and equally horrible humans. Charlotte’s believable as the often-overlooked middle sibling who now is understandably overwhelmed with suddenly having to save the world. Blair takes a hard swing at capitalism and patriarchy in a pointed ending that pits Charlotte’s selflessness against selfish men’s curses and greed."   -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Blair (The Beckoning Shadow, 2019) capably builds an exciting world studded by zombies and seafaring, and she subverts the 'chosen one' trope in an entertaining way. Readers can look forward to a fast-paced plot, dynamic cast of characters, and fierce heroine, all packaged in a thrilling adventure that doesn’t disappoint." -- Booklist Online

"This adventure has a fast-paced plot that holds readers’ attention, with strong writing and vibrant descriptions . . .  VERDICT Recommended for mature middle school and high school ­collections." -- School Library Journal

"A thrill ride from start to end, this book captivated me with its deadly stakes, breathtaking romance, and unforgettable characters. One of my all-time favorite reads!" -- Kathryn Purdie, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Burning Glass and Bone Crier’s Moon

"In the spirit of Walking Dead and Divergent, Blair offers a deeply felt testament to love and survival and sisterhoodto everything that makes us whole and humanin a story that ultimately upends the idea of a chosen one to reaffirm the human heart." -- Margaret Stohl, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels

-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Interweaving excellent worldbuilding with the uncertainties of discipline, friendship, and taking ownership of one’s decisions, Blair’s debut will entrance and delight in equal measure.”
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This story of magic, hope, death, friendship, and family...offer[s] a taste of the mystical, a great voice and dialogue, and well-written questions that address teen angst.” -- School Library Journal

“Blair provides plenty of action, twists, and duplicity as the story unfolds, incorporating a complicated romance and even discussion of religion along the way.” -- ALA Booklist

“Part fantasy, part battle royale, this gripping novel builds on the well-loved trope of mutant outcasts with unexplained powers but adds a worthy gladiatorial spin.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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