By: Ally Condie
Challenges: Dystopia Challenge 2013
# of pages: 366
Quote: "I hold onto my brother and for the first time in years he hugs me back, tight, the way he did when he was a little boy and I was the big sister he admired more than anything else in the world." -pg 203
Official description: 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 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.
My opinion: At first I wasn't overly impressed with this novel. I didn't find it particularly original. However, as all dystopian books are for me, it became very thought provoking. I don't want to become too political on this blog, but recently I've found myself comparing the dystopian novels I've read to our current society and the new laws that are being passed/have been passed/will be passed. The more rules and laws there are, the less freedom a society has. Some laws are for the common good, but do we really want what's best for all of us at the cost of our freedom? Cassia's society thought so, but as Cassia discovers, sometimes we don't want what's best for us. And while some in a society will suffer, is that a reason to take away the freedom of everyone?
As Cassia thinks:
"Even if the fall of our Society would make life better for some, it would make it worse for others. Who am I to try to change things, to get greedy and want more? If our Society changes and things are different, who am I to tell the girl who would have enjoyed the safe protected life that now she has to have choice and danger because of me?" -pg 239She also thinks about the "perfect" Society:
"They have perfected the art of giving us just enough freedom; just enough that when we are ready to snap, a little bone is offered and we roll over, belly up, comfortable and placated like a dog . . . They've had decades to perfect this; why am I surprised when it works on me again and again and again?" -pg 249
I also became impressed with the quality of writing Condie displays. Cassia is a very thoughtful character and every other thing she thinks and says sounds like it came out of a book of quotes. I also loved the poetry motif throughout the novel.
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: High quality of writing, thought provoking, I liked the character of Cassia. Not the most original (unfortunately young adult dystopian novels are everywhere now!).
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