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on April 9, 2018
First, before I get into my thoughts on this novel, I have to preface this whole review with the disclaimer that I listened to this book via audiobook. The reason I feel the necessity to add that as a disclaimer is that I’m not a regular audiobook listener and I never feel as if I get that same reading experience. However, I was taking a long road trip and wanted to listen to a book for the journey and this was my choice.

Now, for my thoughts on the novel.

I thought this was an okay read (or listen?) but to be honest, none of the content is new material. To me it read quite similar to many of the average, generic and mediocre dystopian novels saturating that particular genre. As always, I do get a chill when there are some aspects that can quite possibly become a reality in the future and this novel certainly had moments like that.

This story read to me like a hybrid/combination of The Selection by Kiera Cass and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I guess many other dystopian novels could be similar but those two series’ seem to have the most similar elements. If you like either of those series, maybe take a chance with this one, especially for fans of The Selection series as it really reminded me of similar themes.

Overall, it was a good novel as an introduction to the trilogy. I will continue to read (or listen to) this series but I do have to mention that I did not become too deeply invested in any of the characters as I didn’t particularly like any of them very much. A certain love triangle gives me flashbacks to Peeta and Gale and I was not a fan of that then nor am I now so I’m hoping that will disperse in the following novels.
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on February 8, 2018
Really interesting plot and concept, especially the main characters struggles of deciding if she prefers freedom or safety of trusting the system. But it's a little slow and feels like the main plot doesn't start until the end if the book. It's good as an introduction to the series but a little less interesting as a stand alone book.
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on February 18, 2017
I bought this at a school book sale as a three pack with the other books in the trilogy for my eleven-year-old daughter. She really loved reading it and finished it within a few days.
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on January 7, 2017
Cassia Reyes lives in a world where the government chooses who she will marry, where she will live, and the length of her lifespan. When she is Matched with her best friend, Xander, she is excited to begin their courtship - abiding by the regulations of the Society, of course. But when viewing her Match on the portscreen, Xander's face doesn't last long, and is replaced by another familiar face - Ky Markham. But Ky can't be Cassia's Match - he's an Aberration, which means he will never be Matched, to anyone. As Cassia delves into forbidden secrets and relationships, she risks not only herself, but those she loves. This brings her to the question: How far will she go for love?
I'd seen this book around a lot and heard nothing bad about it, so I decided to read it without even looking over the summary. From the amount of buzz this book had been receiving, I was expecting something a bit less predictable. From the beginning of the story, I could guess what would happen next, and from what unfolded, predict more from there. Most often, I was correct. I'm not saying I could foretell what would happen throughout the whole book, but as a reader, I like surprises, which this book didn't have many of.
The writing in this book is remarkably like that of Suzanne Collins' in the Hunger Games trilogy. Although Katniss and Cassia aren't much alike but for their rebellious sides, the overall impression I got from this book reminded me of all the similarities - writing style, futuristic, controlling government, decides who dies and when, trilogies... I think I may have found this book more interesting and compelling if I hadn't read the Hunger Games trilogy first.
I would hate to live in Cassia's world - I love books, but in this future there are only 100 available to read. Everything left, there is only 100 of. The top, best 100. 100 paintings, 100 songs, 100 dresses to choose from when you receive your Match... sounds quite stifling.
I found the romance in this book to be quite convincing. The age was right - seventeen - not too young. And enough time was spent together to genuinely fall in love, so when Cassia said her first I love you, it didn't seem premature. The first kiss took quite a while too. The whole romance was interesting, because it was rebellious, and actually against this future world's law.
Overall, I'd say this book was good, though not as great as expected. I would rate it three stars. I might pick up books two and three sometime in the future, but I wouldn't buy them - only if they're at the library or I can borrow them from a friend, or something along those lines. This book is good for readers looking to read something romantic, futuristic, and rebellious.
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on April 25, 2016
Book with a nice story and a lot of action. I really liked it. It has a good quality for the paper and the design is nice too.
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on February 4, 2016
This is one of the best YA novels I've read in a long time. It's inspired by classics such as Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451, and it has the same poetic style as Bradbury. Beautifully written, this book also keeps the reader in suspense as seemingly small clues and events lead a young woman to discover that the society she lives in is not what it seems.
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on October 1, 2015
In a world where everything is controlled for you by the sorting of numbers. From who you’ll marry, the job you’ll have, they even promise you a fulfilling life all the way up to age eighty, where you pass away peacefully never feeling useless or unwanted. Your life is controlled by three tablets: green, blue and red. No one knows what the red tablet does, people believe it is a death tablet, but the Society fends off those rumors. The blue tablet is given at age 10; it is filled with enough nutrients to keep you alive for several days. The green tablet is given at age 13; it will make you calm, but you can only use it once a week. The red tablet is given at age 16, and is only to be used when instructed. Where the world is finally at a state of content, the Society seems perfect on the outside. But inside at Mapletree Borough, one girl finds the flaw that runs deep into the bones of the way of life.

Cassia follows the rules. She always had, and thought she always would. Her family consists of her mother, father and little brother Bram, who have lived in Mapletree Borough all their life. Everything was peaceful, or so they thought. The day of the Match Banquet was a series of preparation for the girls of Mapletree. As at age seventeen the girls will find out which boy they have been destined to marry, and a chance to show off their beauty by wearing colorful dresses, instead of their regular brown, black or gray clothes. Cassia was especially excited as this was the day she’s been dreaming of, showing up as the only girl in a bright green dress. Her match, well it was an unusual one as she was matched with her best friend since childhood Xander. It seems like a fairy tale as both families were excited, Cassia’s peers were jealous as Xander was a good cached, and with their memories of playing in the sandbox together, they were a perfect match.Cassia was happy, at least until she put her card in to find out all about Xander’s life and saw a face that wasn’t Xander’s staring back at her, instead it was a different boy, one she knew, but never got to know well. His name was Ky.

Ky Markham was Cassia’s second matched. This has to be a mistake as you cannot be with two people, yet the Society doesn’t make mistakes. It hurt Cassia even more as she knew Ky, they went to school together, and have hung out a few times. Where Cassia was perfectly happy to be with Xander, she couldn’t help wonder why she and Ky were matched up, even if it was a mistake. For her summer activity she picked hiking, and was shocked when Ky was there too, and the Offical had paired them up. For many trips with Ky up The Hill, Cassia starts to learn about his story, about the story of the Society, and how even though they told her to be with Xander, she wanted to be with Xander, she couldn’t help but fall in love with Ky. With a love triangle forming it is up to the Society to cut this tree down, before it can start causing real trouble.

Ally Condie had a good story line going, yet the characters fell flat. The Society (similar to the one in The Giver) had a good backbone, with a little mention of how our society fell; they had rules, normal and weird (no running outside of the track), and a general order to keep the people controlled. Yet I felt nothing for Cassia. Maybe it was the fact that the story was a love triangle, but the love Cassia has supposedly fallen for Ky and Xander never felt strong, let alone reality. It was a good start, but to keep this story going there needs to be a strong character development event coming.
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on September 22, 2015
It took two attempts to pick up this book to read it and I must admit. It was worth it. I enjoyed it. It is well written and I can't wait to start the second one. If you are struggling in the beginning, hold on it gets better.
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on June 26, 2015
I think this book might be one of the ones were you really like it or you find it boring. For me I find if you look just past the surface there are a lot of deep concepts and I suggest this book to anyone who is looking for a good read that might be a bit outside your normal. I find it a little like The Giver mixed with some romance and deeper concepts.
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on January 6, 2015
A Dystopian plotline that follows the life of Cassia Reyes, a sorter who has reached the age where she will be matched with her mate. The book opens with Cassia being matched with her best friend, Xander. But as she opens the file that outlines her match's attributes a different face flashes onto the screen: Ky Markham.

As Cassia tries to make sense of what happened an official tells her that Ky's face showing up was an error. And furthermore, she reveals that Ky can never be matched because he is an Aberration.

The rest of the book revolves around Cassia's growing discontentment with her society's rules and regulations (of which there are many). As more and more corruption in the system is revealed, Cassia also finds herself having to choose between her best friend, Xander, and Ky, the boy she is developing strong feelings for.

I enjoyed this story to a point. I really liked the character development and how Cassia grew from an obedient citizen to a rebel as the story progressed. I didn't enjoy the love triangle theme of the book - as this was a significant theme in the novel. I find love triangles that dominate the main female character's motives tend to weaken the story's plotline for me as a reader. I would rather see the character develop on her own without romantic conflict.
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