Published: November 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Copy provided by: Library
Cassia 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 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.
First of all, I have to say, is this not a gorgeous cover? This is Cassia, trapped in a bubble wearing her green dress to the Matched ceremony but constantly pushing the boundaries of her existence. What an incredible picture for this cover. As a book cover snob, I give it my full approval.
I feel like I've been reading a lot of dystopia lately. It is all about the future and how much control the government will have over our decision making process. Control and the need for control seems to be a recurring theme with dystopian fiction. Does this signify a trend or an unconscious concern for our future?
The plotline took aspects of things I've seen in other titles such as the control aspect (Possession by Elana Johnson) and using people as human guinea pigs to test scientific outcomes (Maze Runner by James Dashner). One thing that Ms. Condie did bring into this novel was the voluntary use of pills to control or modify memories and behaviour. It really made me wonder....as a society, do you really trust the government so implicitly as to let them dictate what you ingest (food, medicine, etc). These people reminded me of walking zombies. It paints a rather bleak picture for our future....
Overall I found this society to be controlled but interesting in how they chose what was considered the most important. They picked the 100 most important songs, poems, stories, etc for society and the rest was to be forgotten. But what about culture? That was one thing that wasn't really addressed. It made me wonder if everyone was from the same ethnicity/background. Imagine how difficult it would be to sort your life and the lives of others within just one culture but with diversity, it would be that much more difficult.
Another interesting part of this society was the lifespan of citizens. They only live to be 80 years old and then they "die" or rather are poisoned slowly to end their lives. Why does no one question this? This society literally extinguishes a life. During the story, Cassia sees her grandfather's life come to an end and he plants a seed in her head to change things and learn to think for herself. Through this process you can see Cassia starting to build up to become some kind of revolutionary (compared Katniss from the Hunger Games). I enjoyed this title but not enough to purchase it yet and am eager to read the next in the series (Crossed). What did you think?