Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Publishing Info: Penguin 2 June 2011
Star Rating: 2/5
Back Cover Summary:
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 . . .
I’m going to be honest and say this book disappointed me. It had such potential but failed to meet it on pretty much all accounts. Generally, I’m rarely disappointed by books and have never given a book below 3 stars before, until now of course.
What really intrigued me about the book was the setting – it was such an interesting setting which rung a little like 1984. However, I didn’t really get a feel for the setting and there were lots of terms such as “Aberration” and “Infraction” which weren’t properly explained which left me feeling quite confused.
As I read, I kept thinking ‘It’ll get better, just keep going, something exciting will happen!’. But to be honest – it didn’t. Not much really happened. The only thing that really kept me reading was the hope that something big was going to happen. There was only really one subplot and it wasn’t exactly gripping. It was just a very uneventful book.
One of the worst things about it was how dull it was. I didn’t connect with the characters at all. There wasn’t really anything wrong with their characters themselves, I just felt they weren’t developed well at all and the romance fell flat. I felt no connection between Cassia and Ky at all. I never really felt for the characters. There was only really one scene which made me feel any emotion towards the characters and their situation. One thing I didn’t like was the narrative and Cassia’s inner thoughts – they seemed very unreal to me, she seemed to look way too in depth at everything in a way that is just completely unrealistic.
Well, now for a little paragraph of things I did like. I loved the way Condie used the telling of the poetry and of Ky’s story and it made me sad every time she had to incinerate a part of something she had been given by these people she loved so. The relationship between Cassia and her family was very well written – I really believed that they cared for each other and Bram was written very well also. I found the concept of the blue, green and red pills very interesting and wanted to know what the red pill would do (and thankfully, unlike so much of the rest of the book, I was not disappointed but I won’t give any spoilers). There was one good thing about the silly love triangle that seems to be a necessity in Young Adult literature: the ‘love interests’ were normal, nice guys who were Cassia’s friends. So often at least one of the love interests is actually horrible or cocky or something. I could actually believe that Cassia would fall for Ky or Xander, unlike so many of the other ‘love interests’ in YA novels. I also quite liked the writing style, it’s just a shame the plot didn’t live up to its potential.
Overall I felt this was a very average, bordering on dull, book. It didn’t keep my attention and the plot and romance fell very flat. I don’t know whether or not I’ll be reading the sequel, Crossed, but most likely I will not.