Date Started: December 24, 2010
Date Finished: December 25, 2010
Summary: Cassia lives a pretty normal life. She works as a data sorter, goes to second school, and has recently been Matched to her best friend, Xander. When she goes to look at her Match's profile on her card, the screen shows someone else, Ky Markham, an adopted boy from the Outer Provinces. Cassia now must decide to follow along with The Society's wishes or fight for the one she truly loves.
Likes: I love the worldbuilding. It's one of the things that attracts me to dystopian literature in the first place. I like the idea of a society trying to be a utopia, but cracking at the seems. This novel reminds me of bits and pieces of The Giver and The Hunger Games, but has it's own uniqueness. It's a bit like reading Hunger Games from the point of view of another district. I also like that most of the book deals with the aesthetic side of what a utopia/dystopia decides to keep. How can someone narrow it down to just 100 of everything? How do they choose? It definitely raises a lot of more thought provoking questions as far as The Society is concerned.
The story is more about having the power to choose more so than love itself, though it centered around a romantic relationship, it is interesting how the overall fight is just to have the power to choose something small to something large. I like the overall theme of decisions and choices. The twist at the end was something I didn't see coming. I also like that her family tried to find ways to help Cassia within the constraints of their world. I also thought Cassia's grandfather was awesome and I wish more old people would show up in YA (only if they're as awesome as this grandfather who basically set the whole story in motion, though it would have been nice to have Cassia take some more agency with this decision as well).
Dislikes: For most of the book, to me, it seems like there's a lack of urgency. It picks up in the last fourth of the book. I think the book could have benefited from showing more of the contrast between Cassia's love interests, Ky and Xander. I wanted to see the tension between the two lives, because she is essentially living a double life. I never got the sense of just how hard it was for Cassia to choose between the two of them. The guys didn't really seem to become fully realized as characters and perhaps they would have been if there was a tension between Cassia's life.
Overall: I'm excited to see where this series is going. (not Mockingjay excited, but still) I want to know what happens to Cassia and Ky and the Society. There were still some minor glitches in the story and it still reads a bit like a debut, but it's obvious that this series is going to take us somewhere awesome and I'm curious to see what happens to these characters. .
Recommended by: I saw reviews floating around the internet about this and was unsure. I've been let down by books before in the past. I saw one negative review and was a little less skeptical about the hype and was able to seriously consider reading it. My friend T (who really needs to get a book blog) recommended it to me because it was dystopian. It's not exactly what I want our dystopian to be like in terms of story, but it definitely gives some good ideas for worldbuilding.