Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Why it’s my type: Have I already mentioned how much I love beautiful covers? Likewise, I love a good dystopian. Something that inevitably forces me to consider my own reality and how lucky I am to have the freedoms I do. And this was good. It wasn’t my favorite, but it absolutely had some praiseworthy elements going on, which I fully intend on taking note of. Below.
Memorable bit(s): You really don’t even have to read the author bio to recognize the English-teachery things which pervade this story. And I liked it.
Upon reaching about the halfway point of the book, I remembered its first line, and realized that it was a brilliant one. The kind of sentence that can wear two skins: that of the introduction and also of the–where do we go from here–conclusion. Really cool. It also just so happens to connect with one of those English-teachery, literary reference-type things I’d just mentioned.
“Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?”
This is something Condie does more than once, and continuously well throughout. The references never seem superfluous; they always find their way into the heart of the story and Cassia’s struggle.
“After the scratchy wool of my sock, the silk feels cool in my hand, luxurious, like water. My birthday began with the water, I think as I fold the material, and I smile.”
Those of you who read the book will understand why I chose that (^) sentence.
And, like she began, Condie similarly ends well. The whole last third or so of the book is difficult to put down. But the ending–specifically the last paragraph and sentence–are visceral.
And so you’ll just have to read the whole book to get there. 🙂
Recommendation: Those who like dystopians will likely enjoy Cassia’s tale. Though there are many lingering questions, and some details are vaguer than I would have preferred, I’m still interested to see where this one goes.
Publish date: November 30 2010 by Dutton Juvenile.