Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Crystals: A Review of Chosen by Sarah Swan

Chosen (The Seeker Saga, #1)You know what it takes for me to like a book? It has to make me care. I'll forgive forced dialogue and improbable plot lines, I'll overlook slightly ditzy characters, contrived relationships...hell, I'll probably forgive your main character for kicking a puppy. As long as it makes me care.

I did not care about this book.

Tracy goes to an exclusive boarding school on an island off the coast of Maine (I think). She meets a close knit group of girls. They instantly treat Tracy like she's one of them. Then Tracy finds out that she, and all of the girls, can access magic powers through crystals.

Positive Comments

I don't...

I've got nothing.

Okay, I guess the reason I read this book is that, on the surface, I'm sort of a fan of the whole "coven of magic" trope. Every little girl goes through a "witch" phase, and I was no exception, especially since I grew up in the era of Harry Potter. So the idea of a group of girls using crystals to access power sounded interesting.

The other thing that had potential in this book was the island atmosphere. It's a really cool setting and I wish the author had done more with it.

By the way, I have no freaking clue what's up with this cover. It's kind of nice, but at no time in this book is anyone in a ball gown in the forest. Unless I zoned out for awhile when I was reading, which I guess is a distinct possibility.

Critical Comments

Tracy is unlikeable. She's not very bright. She's so eager to fit in with the popular girls that she 1)openly ditches a guy she made friends with in order to be with them 2) does not question their over-enthusiastic interest in her, the new girl 3) agrees to not speak to a cute boy, because one of them has dibs on him, even though a)talking to a guy does not constitute cheating by an sane definition, and b) the guy in question has no interest in the girl who called dibs. I'm not kidding here. They flip shit on her for saying "Hi" to him.

The group of friends are insipid, snobby, and indistinguishable from one another.

The girls know stuff about the crystals that no one could logically learn through trial and error. In other words, the world building is clumsy as hell. We are told that one of the girls, Liz, has known about the magic crystals for two years, and that's why she knows so much. But they lay out all of these facts and rules and theories that you simply could not know if no one told you. It would be like someone from the year 1400 finding a car with the keys in the ignition. Given plenty of time, he might learn to drive it. He might even figure out a bit about how it works, if he really cared. But he's never going to understand, say, where gasoline comes from or what it is about gasoline that makes the motor run. He's not going to figure out what combustion reactions are just by looking at a car.

The "villain" is this kid who acts like a loner and has no friends. The moral of the story is, you better get in with the popular crowd at all cost, because having no friends makes you EVIL.

The romance is sparse and pointless. It really doesn't need to be there. It serves no purpose. Rob likes Tracy, despite the fact that they barely interact and Tracy gives him no reason to like her. But the kisses are so special. Ugh.


I don't recommend this one. It's boring and silly and it makes no sense. 1.5 stars.


  1. Aw, what a shame you didn't like it. This book is on my list, because I fell in love with the cover and the synopsis sounded okay. I think I'm going to pass this one. Thanks for the review!

    1. You're seriously welcome. And I know, that cover got me too. Hate it when this happens.


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