“Before reading this book, I'd heard many things about it, including both enthusiastic and disappointed opinions. For me this was a bit of both.
For the most part of the beginning, the plot seemed slow and dragged out, I could not connect with the protagonist Cassia, and sometimes even found myself irrationally annoyed and hating her. The only good thing being the reference to some of my favourite poetry. The only characters I found remotely intriguing were Bram (Cassia's younger brother) and Xander (the 'other guy' in the typical/cliché love triangle). Still, many times I found myself putting the book down and wondering why I was reading it to begin with.
But being a completionist, I stuck to it and with only about 100 pages left, the plot finally started picking up pace and grabbed my interest. And I have to admit, I really liked the last 50 pages. Well, I liked them enough to make me want to read the next book, which I hadn't plan to do for more than half the book.
The style of writing is really accessible and easy to read, proof that it was written by a High School English teacher, and the concept of a Society without choice and creativity is a very interesting one.
While I was reading this book, I couldn't help myself from comparing Cassia Reyes to Katniss Everdeen (from The Hunger Games) and Tally Youngblood (from the Uglies Quartet), two of my favourites in this genre.
Cassia is rather similar to Tally in the way that, at the beginning of both their respective novels, they don't see any flaws in the world they're living in and just accept everything as it is. In contrast, Katniss clearly knows that there is something very wrong with The Hunger Games and The Capitol and already feels anger towards her situation in life.
However, unlike Katniss and Tally, Cassia is a very passive character who is pushed around and manipulated constantly, and only shows some spine in Chapter 30 (which is the second to last chapter, I think). ”