Book Reviews

Review: The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey by Echo Brown

The Chosen One is a book that has been haunting me ever since I finished. It’s a book that picks up steam. That begins with moments that bring your blood to boil as Echo struggles in a system that won’t understand her. As a character, she makes a space in your heart not only in her struggles, but in her fears, desires, and hopes. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


There are many watchers and they are always white. That’s the first thing Echo notices as she settles into Dartmouth College. Despite graduating high school in Cleveland as valedictorian, Echo immediately struggles to keep up in demanding classes. Dartmouth made many promises it couldn’t keep. The campus is not a rainbow-colored utopia where education lifts every voice. Nor is it a paradise of ideas, an incubator of inclusivity, or even an exciting dating scene. But it might be a portal to different dimensions of time and space—only accessible if Echo accepts her calling as a Chosen One and takes charge of her future by healing her past. This remarkable challenge demands vulnerability, humility, and the conviction to ask for help without sacrificing self-worth.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: rape, pedophilia

Echo struggles to navigate not only the racism and micro-aggresions from fellow students, but also the internalized racism within her. At the same time, she’s in this bind of having gotten into an Ivy League College, but not having the same preparation as her peers because of racism and class differences. It’s a book that also explores mental health, rape, and trauma. There’s so much to unpack in this story.

Echo’s journey throughout her time at Dartmouth is illuminating. It was unsurprising the white privilege and racism she undergoes, while also having Echo examine her own internalized feelings. The Chosen One is a book I’d listen to again in a heartbeat. Not only to read Echo’s experiences and pieces of wisdom – in the treatment and solidarity of her peers – but also because there’s a definite supernatural feel to it I’d love to experience again.

Additionally, I listened to the audio book which is read by the author! Not only was that a great way to experience the book, it gives a different feel to listening to the author’s note and acknowledgements. I had no idea the author had so much experience with performance, so it was perfect to listen to this on audio – I would highly recommend it!


The Chosen One is emotional as Echo struggles with this institutional system while also not knowing how to ask for support. The ways her life is fundamentally different from those around her. It’s a must read not only for those who are contemplating college (or who have been to college), but also for those who want to read a book about perseverance and taking control of our future.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound,,, Google Play & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite audiobook read by the author?

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