by Ally Condie
In the Oria Province, everything is planned. The moment you are born, you are tracked. From your first day on Earth to the day you die, your life is mapped out for you.
The Officials track everything you do and plan your day for you. They send food trays to each person at mealtimes with the exact amount of nutrition necessary and then check the trays when you dispose them to make sure you ate everything. They watch your sleep and follow you on outings. They build a physical and psychological profile of you to help them predict your attractions, friendships, and reactions to events. They know what you're going to do before you do.
Nothing you do is truly private.
Cassia has always believed in the system. She was raised with it and has always been a good follower. On the day of her Match to her future mate, she is eager, happy, and proud.
And when the screen that is supposed to show the image of her Match in another province stays blank, leading to the realization that she's been matched to her best friend, Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. She gets to marry the one person who knows her better than any other and she gets to continue living in the same province as her family.
But when she goes to view Xander's profile on the microcard, another face appears. It's the face of another boy she's known most of her life and now Cassia faces the difficult choice: to follow the rules and stay with her Match, or follow her heart and be with Ky.
She has to choose carefully because every misstep is punished and the Officials have no tolerance for changes in the plan.
Final thoughts: I love this book! BUT! I think the dystopian novel is taking over vampire novels as the next "big thing", and I worry that the market will get flooded with bad copies. Not as violent as The Hunger Games series (Cassia is more of a thinker than a doer, unlike Katniss), the stakes are just as high. Everything Cassia does affects everyone around her. Of course, my big pet peeve with this is that it appears to be a trilogy. I hadn't realized that when I started and now have to wait for the next book to continue the story. Can no one write one, solid novel anymore?