Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Books
Synopsis (from book): In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.
Cassia's world is perfect, at least as first she seems to think so. Everyone who follows the rules lives a long life, has the perfect job and the perfect match, which are all important things in Cassia's life. We first see Cassia getting ready for her matched banquet; which is a banquet for young adults her age and their parents. On this night, they will be matched with their ideal mate and spend the rest of their lives together. This night is important for Cassia because, her match will finally be revealed. Cassia finds herself matched to her best friend Xander and they could not be happier. Cassia's life seems to be falling well into place.
On this night, they also received a micro-chip with all of their matches information, and things like their likes and dislikes. It's a way for them to get to know each other better. Later, when Cassia goes to view the chip Xander's appears, but about three seconds later, another face appears, and then the screen just fades to black. Confused, Cassia chooses to forget about it for now, and decides not to mention it, until someone else brings it up. But why did Ky Markham's(a boy from her neighbourhood) face appear on the screen? Up until now, she hadn't given him much thought. She decided it would be best not to tell Xander about it, for now. That week during free time, she was with Xander and a few of their other friends, she got pulled away by an official; She told Cassia about the micro-chi and assured her it was a mistake, and Xander was truly her match. Relieved, Cassia goes back to hanging out with her friends. However, she couldn't stop thinking about Ky. Ky is so different, compared to everyone else in the society; he doesn't care about what other people have to say, he just does as he pleases. Cassia is intrigued by this and is happy to find out that they both chose hiking as their summer activity. Over this period of time, Cassia learns more secrets about Ky and they become close. They start to fall for each other, and Cassia has to make a choice between Xander and Ky, between a good, safe, rule abiding life or a life of passion, and exotic adventure.
The world that Cassia lives is in, is very unlike ours. Ally Condie does an excellent job of painting this foreign new world for us. It isn't pages and pages of boring description and explaining-everything-that-is-going-on around us. Although, we need to be informed of how things work in this mysterious society, we find things out through Cassia's life and the way she deals with the people and the society. The book flew by effortlessly and it was a fast read. I think their society is very different, but interesting, nonetheless. Everyone has a huge part to play. Most of the characters were very easy to relate to. I really got into some of the events, and I liked how the details were carefully planned.
At the beginning, Cassia and Ky together, seemed a little off to me. I mean they barely knew each other, and it was awkward. But when i kept reading, it grew on me. I'm most definitely TEAM XANDER though! I think they are incredibly cute together and have so much chemistry. It just feels more real. I can't wait to read the next book, to see how things fall into place. It was a very interesting dystopia, if you enjoyed the Hunger Games, give this a try.