Sunday, May 29, 2011


Ally Condie makes her debut with this latest addition to the ever growing  shelves of teenage dystopian worlds.

Cassia has never questioned the Society. She lives the life that has been mapped out for her with numbers and statistics and is the model citizen. Until the day of her Matching. The unlikely happens when she is Matched with her best friend Xander and for a moment everything in her life is perfect. This changes drastically however when she goes home and she sees Ky appear on the computer screen and not Xander. After this glitch in the system, she begins to question everything that the Society stands for and wonders if being the perfect, predictable citizen is what she wants.

Since the Hunger Games trilogy I have been seeing more books that are about YA fighting against the tyrannical government, starting revolutions and just being rebellious teenagers. In a way this isn't that different but it is better written than others that are coming out.

First of all, I don't find the female protagonist whiny and weak. Cassia is a character who is the product of the Society but thankfully can think for herself, can take risks and not quibble too much about it. I will be reading the rest of the series to see if and how she evolves.

However! I am getting terribly tired of books where the first point of discussion amongst readers is Edward or Jake? Peeta or Gale?  and now we have Xander or Ky? Now before I completely write it off as something juvenile I do give props to Xander for ***spoiler***(Highlight it if you want to see) letting go of Cassia at the end and giving her not only permission but contraband supplies to help her find Ky after they have both been exiled to Outer Provinces. He didn't try to make a case for himself, he just let her go and wasn't all dramatic about it as others have been. ***spoiler done*** So it has been put together better than others in the past.

About the world itself, everything is in the hands of the Officials. They determine what you wear and eat; where you live and work; who you associate with and marry. All is done with the help of probability and perfectly matched genes. Cancer and all other illness have been "matched out" of the Society and everything seems perfect. It is happier than Orwell's world of 1984 but there is still the knowledge that you are permanently being watched and monitored to ensure no Abberations or Anomalies are wandering around.

I read this because it was part of my book groups summer challenge and while I don't think it was a complete waste of time and I most likely will finish off the series, this isn't something that I am going to be rereading. I would describe it as a cotton-candy type of book. Something that is fluffy and good on occasion, but too much at once makes you feel sick.

I would recommend this book to those who have devoured Hunger Games and are wanting something new to read.

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