August 10, 2011 The Chosen (Paperback) Reviewed by Gary Peterson, author of “The Old Miller Place” and “Return to Painter's Island”.
This is a magical story for children of all ages. The chosen have been selected by Queen Laurali of the elves to defeat Price Gastle and bring back his staff and crown. Five of the group know each other well and trust in their abilities to defeat the foe. The queen, however, does the unexpected by personally selecting Dwarf Halli as their Holy Paladin. She is a young, shy creature who is not even aware of her ability to heal when chosen. Halli gains confidence in her abilities and the group grows to respect and trust her as the story progresses. You will need to read the story yourself to see if the group is successful in completing their quest. Andrea Buginsky does a nice job describing the fantasy characters and for this reason I am rating it five stars
June 26, 2011 The Chosen Reviewed by Verna Clay on Good Reads
This YA story is high fantasy. Halli, a dwarf, is also a Holy Paladin, something she did not know until revealed by Queen Laurali. Because of Halli's powers, also revealed by the Queen, she is recruited to become a member of The Chosen, a team of Paladins sent to defeat the evil Prince Gastle. Before battle, however, Halli must be trained in the use of her powers by the other Chosen.
Halli is adorable. Her personality comes through loud and clear. Although timid, she overcomes her self-doubt to become a vital member of The Chosen. The personalities of the other characters are well written. I understood and related to Kaidyla's gradual acceptance of Halli.
The names of the characters and lands are delightful. There is also a wisp of romance. I wish there had been a little more dialogue between the characters; however, The Chosen is a fun read with lessons to be learned.
January 3, 2012 The Chosen (Paperback) Reviewed by Christine Cunningham (Vancouver, WA)
This is a coming of age story based on Halli set in the land of Phantasma. Halli is an eighteen-year-old dwarf who gets swept into a group of combatants brought together to save the Kingdom. She faces many obstacles, including self-doubt and the doubt of others concerning her abilities.
I loved how the obstacles Halli faced were thinly veiled representations of trials that young adults face growing up. The moral said to me, surround yourself in life with those who will support you and even when others doubt to listen to yourself and trust in your abilities.
I wish I could have jumped into the mind of the author to get a better picture of the characters. How they looked and where they came from. I wanted to know what their motivation was to belong to a group that faced such dangerous circumstances. That being said each character was easily distinguishable, which made the read pleasant and fun.
I would gladly recommend this book for a young adult. The story is fun, fast paced, and features a female lead character.
May 26, 2011 The Chosen Reviewed by Creativity’s Corner on Good Reads
One of the main things I really appreciated about this book is it's one of the very few YA/MG high fantasies out there anymore. Despite my strong love for the genre my biggest complaint is that it's rather obsessed with Paranormal and Urban Fantasy right now. The closest we get to high fantasy is Steampunk, and that really counts more as historical fantasy than high fantasy. This book, though, is an all out questing high fantasy, meany for the YA/MG crowd, and I found it a refreshing change from everything else I've been reading.
I will say that this book is definitely not for everyone. The names are hard to pronounce, if you like to read out loud, there are lots of strange animals and places, and there's lots of battles along the way. This is world-building writing and if you know you don't like those things, then don't read it. And I will admit it reads a little like an account of a Dungeons and Dragons game. I appreciated the references that I recognized (I've never played myself, but I had friends in high school who talked about it all the time). Those who don't have that basic knowledge might be a little confused.
Overall, this was a refreshingly different read. It was fast and easy to read too - just what the doctor ordered after a long stretch of heavy dystopians!
May 30, 2011 The Chosen Reviewed by CorLostForWords on Good Reads
Halli is a shy, quiet, unassuming dwarf. When she meets Queen Laurali of the elves outside her home one morning, she is surprised, and shocked by the news that Queen Laurali brings with her. Halli is a Holy Paladin and has the rare power of healing. She is asked to aid her country as Prince Gastle is set on destroying the world of Phantasma. Along the way she will join a group called The Chosen, who will set out to wage war against the evil Prince Gastle.
The Chosen is a cute read, and is aimed at a young audience. I think many middle grade readers will enjoy the action and fast pace used in The Chosen as it is an action-focused read. With Halli coming to terms with her new, unknown abilities, and the group of warriors she is sent to protect, she will soon endear herself to the reader's heart. For Halli's age set at eighteen, I found her voice very young.
I think those that play video games will enjoy this story more so because it reads like a companion novel to a video game with references to actions taken while playing said games. Actions like drinking potions to level up health, among other things.
All in all, this is a cute read. I would have loved to have seen it fleshed out with more descriptions, more back-story, and more interaction with the other characters. It has great bones, but I just wanted a little bit more. This is a fast read, and I'm sure many young readers will be fascinated by Halli's journey with her new team of warriors, The Chosen.
June 24, 2011 The Chosen Reviewed by Jessica on Good Reads
Most readers of my blog probably know that I'm a huge fan of the fantasy genre. It's my bread and butter, so therefore I never pass up an opportunity to review a book that falls in this category. Thus when I was offered the chance to review Andrea Buginsky's novel, The Chosen, I readily agreed.
Now let me start out with this. The Chosen is a short book. At only 113 pages, it is a quick read. Therefore there isn't much time for Andrea to acquaint us with her characters. Those of you out there who are lovers of fantasy like I am, will probably be able to overlook their more vague personalities, in favor of the overall story. However I do see a lot of people who are more character driven readers being a little disappointed. Halli, the main character, is definitely the most well developed one. She's sweet, shy, and cares a lot about the other members in her party. I enjoyed her, so it really assisted in my enjoyment of the book.
Story wise, this book reads a lot like a fantasy themed video game. Those who can proudly claim that they have a WOW (World of Warcraft) character, like I do, will probably find this story more entertaining. From drinking potions to heal their life and mana, down to doing side quests on the way to defeating the big boss, The Chosen is like a scene out of a fantasy game. Halli is a Paladin, and she has the task of healing her party members to make sure they are fit to fight. The nerdy side of me took pleasure in all the descriptions of the raid style battle that was taking place at the end. The bookish side of me was wanting more in the area of descriptive writing. I really wanted to be able to see what was going on.
Overall, The Chosen was a quick and rather fun read. I can't say that I was as smitten with it as a lot of other fantasy books I've read, but I see a ton of potential for Halli and her compatriots. I am hoping that Andrea Buginsky might bring them back for another round, hopefully this time a little longer and more descriptive. If I can get to know the characters more in depth, I'm sure I'll fall in love with them much more. If you are a fan of fantasy books, and looking for a shorter read, this is one that you should give a try.
January 2, 2012 The Chosen (Kindle Edition) By R. Stephen Woodfin
THE CHOSEN is a young adult book about Halli a teenage dwarf with healing powers. Beleaguered Queen Laurali presses her into service to save her kingdom from destruction at the hands of an evil goliath, Prince Gastle.
In her telling of the story, author Andrea Buginsky draws on universal motifs, those fundamental themes that make readers pull for their heroes, themes chronicled in Christopher Vogler's classic work, THE WRITER'S JOURNEY.
Halli shows us how a young person, insecure and unaware of her inner strengths, can learn to draw from the depths of her soul to meet terrifying and dangerous challenges. Her voyage of self-discovery reinforces within her the values her parents taught her, while it teaches Halli that a true person learns to rely on and come to the aid of her friends through thick and thin.
I spent many years reading to my daughters in those hours that preceded sleep. THE CHOSEN is the sort of book that would have come in handy many times. It has a quality of wonder about it, excitement tinged with fun, bizarre creatures, battles and even a touch of the first stirrings of romance. It is a book readers from ages five through preteen (and their parents) will enjoy. It is a quick read with memorable characters galore.
I noticed a slip or two, such as the horse's "reigns" instead of "reins" for example, but these are picky things which Buginsky could correct in a digital second edition.
THE CHOSEN is Andrea Buginsky's first novel. According to her web page, she is working on a sequel. I look forward to more adventures from the kingdom of Phantasma.
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012
I have finished the edits on this and LOVE IT!! You are truly an amazing woman. Please look through it and see if there is anything that I might have missed because I was reading the story. The first page is where the cover will go when it is finished. Thanks so much for sharing this.
February 13, 2012 My Open Heart Reviewed by Michael D. Nanus on Amazon
This book does a seemingly good job at illustrating what it's like to live with heart disease. The author recounts her life and her struggles with a life inhibiting heart condition that she refuses to let rob her of her independence. Though she's made many sacrifices in the things that she can do, it would seem that she has always focused all of her energy on reaching the milestones that she sets for herself. It's an inspiring read that would truly appeal to anyone who shares similar challenges in life.
February 13, 2012 My Open Heart Reviewed by Laurali on Amazon
The author tells of her life both growing up and now living as an adult with congenital heart disease. Ms. Buginsky explains this was written as encouragement for children and young adults facing the challenges of a chronic medical condition, and also for their parents. She certainly hit her mark with her inspiring story. Both her strength of character and the amazing outlook on life she has nurtured since childhood are most impressive. I think there is inspiration for everyone, not just for those with medical problems, and she shares a prospective from which we can all benefit. In the end, her joyous and at times playful nature shines through and her mantra will make you smile: "Reach for the stars and make your dreams come true".
Andi Buginsky's "My Open Heart is a wonderfully simple autobiography about a person who was born with a serious heart condition that she has had to contend with her entire life. What was originally thought to be a heart murmur turned out to be a rare combination of heart defects That cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body. If the body doesn't get enough oxygen, the person is always weak, tired and gets sick very easily.
As you read "My Open Heart," you learn a great deal about heart conditions and terms that you may hear from time to time. She talks about "Ventricular Tachycardia (V-Tach) which is a kind of heart attack. Her heart suddenly goes into a lethal rhythm and starts beating frantically. If it's not brought back to a normal heartbeat quickly, she may die. To correct this, she has an internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD for short) implanted into her body. The ICD is designed to detect the rapid rhythm, and if necessary paces her out of it. If pacing doesn't work, the ICD gives her heart an electric shock.
Does it hurt? "I will never forget the day I received the high shock for the first time. Before I had the implant, I read and watched videos about it. I heard people describe the hit to the chest. But I never expected what I felt that day."
"My Open Heart is a good read for young adults who know nothing about heart disease and want to learn. I was surprised at the clarity in the way she explained complex medical terms."
My Open Heart