Finding love is always on people’s minds, at least that what it seems like. Whether it is love for tonight, for the next few years or lifetime, the search for the person we are meant to be with consumes the mind of a person longing for a connection, for a validation of sorts to their existence. In this novel, that pain in the butt has been completely eradicated. There is no need to find love, since it is handed to you on a silver platter (unless you choose to stay Single). Much like dating apps and match makers, predicted compatibility serves as the indicator of fiery passion and endless happiness. Wait, sratch that. Actually it serves to produce gentle couplings who are too stable to act agains the system that seems to have give them – and the people around them – so much. We can see this very early in the story, so why bother reading on? Because even with the most predictable situation, there is always some variable to catch you off your guard.
This week reminds me of several other books. Much like in the case of The Time Traveler’s Wife, this situation seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cassie never seems truly free to explore her options. Her on the surface perfect situation has everyone at Second School green with envy and both her and Xander’s parents are glowing with happiness. Still, there is something not quite there. She is only content, not glowing. She is only smiling, not grinning. She is only just walking, not running fast enough to make her lungs burst. But is it meant to be like that? Who again knows what something as subjective and abstract as love is supposed to be like? And yet Cassia knows right away with Ky. Even before anything happens, there is that feeling, that something that lets her know this is something more than expected. More than contentment. More than subjection to something that you know will make you happy and joyous. This is the real thing, that can rip your heart from your chest. That thing that can bring ou to your knees and sever your spine piece by piece. And most of all, this is the thing that makes your skin glow and your heart race and your mind fill with light and noise and images and emotion beyond control, freedom from fear and self-doubt. Something truly worth living for.
who is in control?
This is another novel in a long line of YA literature, much like The Hunger Games and Divergent. There is something in depicting the society from the viewpoint from those yet uncorrupted and fresh that makes it the most interesting. But it is also about showing the most controlled areas of the society. In this case, it is about Matching, like it was about the Games or the Factions. Or about criminals. Or something even bigger than we could see from one’s person’s viewpoint. Defining who is in control in the first place is always fascinating. Without society, religion parents, or something else to keep us in place, what would become of us? I am almost an adult in the eyes of the society, yet sometimes I feel most lost since the structure that I have come to depend on seems to crumble from around me the older I get. And this is supposed to be a good thing, right? A sign that I am deemed fit to ake my own desicions? However, I understand Cassia and her hesitation to leave the easy, predicted and supported life path behind in order to jump into the unknown. Since her parents’ marriage seems to work and the way the society works has produced herself and other good and hapy people, how can it be completely wrong? The answer is that it isn’t and at the same time is. The balance is yet again the problem, and continues to be one with or without the cover of a dystopia.
What most annoyed me and I’m guessing Cassia was the identity of her Match. Not because there is anything wrong with Xander or the idea of being with him. But what about when Em was telling about her Match, and Cassia could not hide the twinge of jealousy in her voice? The real problem with Xander is that the life with him pts her in a cage. She has nothing new to discover, nothing to look forward to. Even those brief moments of unpredictability – a rareoccurence in that society – with your new Match are taken from her. Even Ky seems like a plan to test something about her. This reminds me of week 21, but at least in that case we got to see both sides of the story. But then again, we also got to see both here, because wee know exactly what would have happened if Cassia had just stayed with Xander.
Overall the idea of predictability ticks me. How can we know what is going to happen? How do you know who you fall for? What kind of life you are going to live? Planning is essential, but putting unnecessary limitations on ourselves create only problems and unhappiness. What if you choose a path and realise half-way through that you want to run back and take a left where you took a right? There should be a chance to evolve, to pick something just for the sake of picking and at the same time recognition to the choices we have consciously made. I might not know exactly what is going to happen, but I know what I feel and how I made my decisions. And I am sick and tired, just like Cassia of other people decisding where my happiness is supposed to come from. Further down the line I might not like them, but at least I have no one to blame but myself.
– Jatta –