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.
Talk about sucking you in! We already know from the description that Cassia will be matched with Xander, yet when the announcement is made we are just as breathless with nerves and excitement as she is. Unlike many dystopian novels, this one focuses more on Cassia's character and her internal struggles than on any action. We get to know Cassia very quickly and very well. Side characters are revealed more slowly, through her interactions with them, but all are distinct and sometimes changing.
Don't take that to mean it is slow-paced at all - in fact, I kept sneaking away to read 'just one more chapter', because I had to know what would happen next. I was very happy with the ending, while my teenager was irate - and immediately demanding a sequel (don't tell her it's first in a trilogy, let her suffer for a bit.) I can't say much more without giving anything away, but we all know how much I hate easy, pat endings, right? We give it a
5 out of 5.