Overall Impression: Good concept, a little shaky on the dismount.
I’d never heard of this book before or the author, although apparently there was a lot of hype around it. After reading the blurb I was drawn to the concept of the book. It sounded like a modern version of Romeo and Juliet (Not that I’m a fan. Bleuughh. Talk about the most ridiculous, useless degrading teenage depiction. I don’t care what some extremely intelligent scholar says.) However I though this book had some serious potential, as it seemed like there were so many avenue’s to explore in its dystopian world, but could it live up to my expectations?
“On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life.
Except he’s not.
In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love.
How many children they have.
Where they work.
When they die.
But as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel….”
This book begins with Cassia attending one of the most important events of her life. Her Match Banquet. This is where she’ll be Matched with the person she is supposed to spend the rest of her life with. She nervously waits for her Match to appear on the screen, but instead it goes blank, which means her Match must be someone she knows…..from her own town…..
It turns out she has been Matched with her best friend, Xander, who she’s known since she was a child. At first she is excited about this, after all, who could be a better life partner than someone who knows you like the back of their hand? Each person is given a microcard on their Match in order to learn more about them. But when Cassia looks at hers, a different face flashes up on the screen. Ky Markham. A member of the society assures her it must be a silly prank (it couldn’t be the society of course, they NEVER make mistakes) and she is given the correct microcard. During this talk she discovers Ky is an Aberration, meaning he isn’t allowed to be matched due to a crime his father committed. But this only makes Cassia more curious…..
Then several events occur: her grandfather dying, confiscation of artefacts, and problems with a friend that make her begin to question the way that the society is run, and whether Xander is her real match. Xander is comfortable and safe, but Ky is passion, and danger. But a relationship with Ky is forbidden. The rest of the book describes how these events turn out.
This story had me gripped from the start, after the Match banquet I was intrigued to see where it was going and I was extremely interested in the way the Condie had constructed the dystopian world and all the details in it such as everyone having their meals designed specifically for them for maximum nutrition, and the fact that characters were given a death date and many other weird things. It was interesting to see a society where free will was virtually non-existent, when free will is a large part of what makes us human.
However as the story went on it started to slow down and went off on some completely random tangents that seemed somewhat unnecessary for the book, and they didn’t really add anything to the plot. Also the love story seemed very childish and naive to me. It seemed more like a 12 year olds romance than a 17-year-old. I personally didn’t really feel the chemistry of Cassia and Ky, which was an issue, seeing as that was the main point of the book….. I also grew annoyed at the way Cassia easily seemed to throw her friendship with Xander aside, without caring about hurting his feelings. I mean I understand people get caught up in love, but come on, a little guilt? Just a little? I think I was annoyed because there seemed to be so many excellent avenue’s the author could have taken this book down to make it dramatic, emotional and a real page turner. But none of it really happened…..and after a really promising start the plot just slowed down. It did pick up again right at the end, but for me, it was too little too late.
So overall I’m kind of undecided on this book, I will probably read the next book Crossed because I’m still interested in what will happen next, but I won’t be getting it until the price is reduced. I think this is a book to rent from the library rather than to buy.
Writing Style: 3/5
Character Development: 3