I have to start by saying that I have wanted to read this for some time. I found it over a year ago and was intrigued but didn’t want to pay over $6 on a book I hadn’t heard of before. I kept going back to it though and eventually I saw it somewhere in paperback. That made me realize that it must also be at the library… aha! I didn’t have to pay a dime. So off I went to my public library.
Throughout reading it I had so many different feelings. At first it really “creeped me out” (to borrow a phrase from my daughters). Yes, dystopian can really be creepy to me but this one seemed even more so than say, Hunger Games. Why? Well, in most books like Hunger Games the main character is painfully aware of what is wrong with the world in which she lives. What is so scary here is that Cassia is SO completely brainwashed. She thinks “the Society” can do no wrong, and even if they could, they wouldn’t because they care about the people too much. WOW!
As the story progressed and Cassia grew and developed her own ideas it became a sad story. She sees the wrong of the Society but there is NO escape from them. She can’t even throw away a piece of paper with “dangerous” (i.e. unapproved) words on it at home because they monitor every single thing that goes into the incinerator. Talk about scary! There is no place sacred and the only place she feels safe is on the hill yet she can’t go there unless they tell her it is hiking time.
And of course the other sad part is her relationship with Ky. Because he is an “Aberration” she is not supposed to have a relationship with him. All because of something his father did, he is marked as unworthy of being anything to the Society and can never marry because his genes aren’t good enough for procreation… because of this it is forbidden for them even fall in love – which is exactly what they do.
That feeling of helplessness is the part of the story that tugged at my heartstrings. How many times do we take our freedom for granted? There are places in this world that dictate things like who you can marry or how many children you can have, but none that I know of to this degree. Still, especially here in America, we take so much for granted. I want a new watch, or outfit – go get it. I want to redecorate my home – great, what look would you like? Heck, even the right to write/read this blog post with original thoughts. All of these are things we should be thankful to God for!
I would like to finish the series at some point, but I need to take a breather and be reminded each day that I have a freedom in doing so!