Book Description (Goodreads):
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
This is the second dystopian book I've read. The first one was Hunger Games Trilogy and even then, I wasn't aware of the word "Dystopia". I watched movies with such concept by I never heard the word.
So before I have my review, I just want to share some FYI's.
Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics
Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions.
Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.
Characteristics of a Dystopian Society
• Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.
• Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
• A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.
• Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
• Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
• Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
• The natural world is banished and distrusted.
• Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad.
• The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.
The Dystopian Protagonist
• often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.
• questions the existing social and political systems.
• believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he or she lives.
• helps the audience recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world through his or her perspective.
I can say all of the facts above defines what you would expect from any dystopian book- including this book.
The Society is the one in control of everything, even the one who you'll spend the rest of your life with. That's the purpose of the matching system.
When Cassia finally attends her Matching Banquet, she discovers her match was no other than her bestfriend, Xander. She receives a chip which contains everything about her match. With the matching system so accurate, something unexpected happened. Another face appears other than Xander. And it's someone she knows. Ky Markham.
One thing that I liked about the book is that the storyline is unique. It focuses more on the matching system considering the other issues projected in the story which makes it very interesting. I also liked how the author made it easy for me to visualize the world she created.
The guys in the so called "love triangle" are very likable. Xander is a loyal friend and lover. He's also intelligent and handsome. He helps Cassia in every way he can even when he gets hurt because of it. On the other hand, Ky has experienced much from his past which made him learn things on how to live his life in the society. He's very skilled but he just acts and does everything average. Who wouldn't love both of these guys? I never doubted their feelings for Cassia. But I couldn't say the same with Cassia.
I didn't love Cassia's character that much. She gets confused- Xander or Ky and makes bad decisions. I know that's part of the story but I still didn't like her. The positive side is that I quite understand her feelings and what she's going through. Every decision she makes affects not just herself but also her family and loved ones.
It's intriguing on how the second book would go. Will she have the chance to go against the government and the system?
"It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures."- Cassia
"You were ready to jump. You just weren't sure of it yet."- Grandfather
"Is falling in love with someone's story the same thing as falling in love with the person himself?"- Cassia
"I know which life is my real one now, no matter what happens. It's the one with you."- Cassia