Publication Date: November 2010
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Format: Hardcover, 384pp
SynopsisCassia 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 could NOT put this book down! From the start of the book when Cassia is heading to her Matching Banquet, to the Final Banquet with her grandfather, to the end of the book where she has to make the choice to follow her own choices, this book was absolutely riveting.
The Society controls everything: from the food people eat, to their jobs, when they die, even what music or writing or movies are preserved. At some point in the not too distant past from the events in the book, a group of people decided on 100 items in various subjects that would be saved. 100 poems, 100 paintings, 100 songs, and so forth. They believed that there was too MUCH information for people and that 100 items in each category was the perfect number. Deviating from 'acceptable' behavior is not permitted. Losing an item results in an infraction. Too many infractions and you are considered an Aberration, or perhaps even an Anomaly. If you step one foot out of bounds, there is an Official reprimanding you, warning you, or even citing you.
While reading this book, I couldn't help but see the similarities between it and The Giver, by Lois Lowry. A controlled society where the majority of the citizens are passive, ready and willing to accept whatever they are told. Cassia's parents rebel quietly in their own way, so does Cassia's grandfather.
The story ends on an almost abrupt note, leaving you wondering what Cassia will choose to do, now that her family has, for all intents and purposes, been banished to the Farmlands because her mother knows too much about something forbidden. I will be eagerly waiting for the sequel to this book, because I would love to know more about the Society, how it came to be, and what Cassia will do to follow her own choices and be true to her heart.
I give this book five stars, and cannot wait to read more.
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