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.
I think this is a book that I will remember the feeling it left me with more than the mediocre writing.
Maybe it was just me reading fast, but I didn’t always know who was in a scene. Sometimes extra people seemed to appear out of nowhere, especially in scenes where they were in public places.
Although Condie didn’t do the best job in this department, it wasn’t like it was terrible. It just wasn’t memorable. The best parts of the narrative were when she integrated the poems with the narrative. There are only supposed to be 100 poems in the Society, but Cassia discovers more, and when she kindles her friendship with Ky, they start to write their own words.
A little bland. But maybe they were shells for a reason, so that we could assign our own faces to the names and maybe that is why I felt the way I did. I felt for the things that were happening in the story, but specifically for the connection with Cassia’s grandfather. That resonated with me because my grandfathers are not well, and I know they will not last forever. The other strong sense I felt from this book is the feeling of wanting something you are not allowed to have. That was strong and it stayed with me long after I finished.
I must say that I really enjoyed the worldbuilding. It was detailed and probably the best part about the book itself. But I also really love reading about dystopian societies.
So as usual, there were two guys for the girl to chose from. But I wouldn’t really say that she fell in love with Ky as much as she was curious about him, and then felt sorry for him about his past, and then obsessed about him because he was a manifestation of her grandfather’s desire for her to rebel. I have to say that this resonated with me: thinking that I had feelings for a guy, then realizing they are a sign from my body/mind/heart that this person has something in them that I want to exemplify. Maybe I’m reading into that too much, but that’s how I felt when I read this.
I’ve seen this book get a lot of bad reviews. I’ve also seen a few rave reviews. I think I’m in the middle. I understand why this book gets bad reviews: the characters are shallow, the writing is blah…but the story has heart. And that’s why it deserves this rating.