Hardcover, 369 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
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.
I have had this one sitting on my shelves for a while and haven't made the time to pick it up. Some of my students have read it and liked it, so I knew I had to check it out. I had also read some about it before and knew that it was along the lines of the Dystopian's I have read and loved. Ally Condie has done a great job creating a world where everything is chosen for you and there are seemingly no loop-holes to the system. Cassia seems to be a conformist like the rest of her Society while scoring at the top of her exams until things change for her. Her match is made with Xander (her childhood friend), but it quickly becomes evident that Society didn't quite plan for everything when it comes to Cassia.
While I enjoy the ideas that Ally Condie has created, there were quite a few parallels to other Dystopian novels that I have read and I just couldn't get past those. The characters are original and their personalities are definitely their own which I enjoyed. There were many times where I had to stop and ask myself which book I was reading because it seemed so familiar. As I progressed through the novel, the story truly became its own and when the book closed, I can honestly say that I am ready for the next part of the story and can't wait to read Crossed. It is my hope that the second in this series picks up right where this one drops off with its originality and I think it will because the points of view change in that one and I love it when author's do that!
Make sure to visit the series website for more information and other cool stuff!