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.
So this book sounded really cool, what with the whole dystopian society thing going on. The Society was interesting. I guess I can understand Communism and all, and I've heard it said that Communism only works well on paper. Which is usually true. Mostly it sounds alright on paper. But I liked that it didn't work in this book. Cause, well, it doesn't in real life.
This was definitely one of those love-it-or-hate-it kinds of books. While I enjoyed the general idea, I hated the writing style. It was blatantly redundant and not very well written. I would be lying if I said I didn't skip parts because they were boring.
So I guess let's get to the nitty-gritty.
WHO: The main character was Cassia. She's a pretty level-headed and reasonable person. I like that she's got a bit of a rebel streak in her, but hated that she muted it so much. She conformed rather than fought. That kinda bothered me seeing as how she's obviously supposed to be some kind of heroine.
Then there's Xander. This guy is basically every girl's dream match, so when Cassia pretty much shuts him down, I have to admit it ticked me off. Xander risked everything for her and she still wanted something she couldn't have. Which I guess is romantic or whatever, but still. Xander. Sigh. I was obviously rooting for him the whole time, which, again, isn't something an author wants to do. Make the reader root for the wrong guy. I feel like he should have been less lovable if she was going to stomp his heart out and leave him in the dirt forever with no chance of ever loving anyone.
Finally there was Ky. He's the dark horse that Cassia falls for instead of Xander. He's a pretty cool cat, but still. Xander.
WHAT: So Cassia and Xander are Matched. Basically this means they're destined to be married. Or whatever. And they only get one choice. They marry each other, or they stay single forever. Xander loves Cassia. I mean he actually loves her. He risks everything for her again and again. Then she decides that she wants Ky... whom she obviously can't have.I know this book is supposed to be about romance and fighting for love or whatever, but I just wasn't feeling it. The author made me fall for the wrong guy, made me root for the wrong character.
WHEN: It doesn't actually say the time frame, but we know it's way in the future. And during summer months.
WHERE: I can't tell you this either. They changed all the names of the "provences" and "groups" and I don't even know what all. I didn't keep up all that much. It started with an O I think.
WHY: The point of this book, and I'm totally assuming here, is that we should fight for freedom and fight for love. That we shouldn't let our lives be dictated by other people that don't even know us, just our statistics. Basically communism sucks and so let's stay free.
On goodreads.com, I gave this book two stars.
Battle of the Labyrinth
by Rick Riordan