When I started reading this novel, I immediately thought that I would love it, as I enjoy dystopian books and romance novels, and this was a combination of the two. At first, it was difficult to understand because of the words that were unique to the series, but after the first couple chapters, I liked the words and thought that they made the book different from all the other books. I particularly liked the fact that the author included some selfish thoughts that made the main characters less perfect and more connectable. However, the book was a bit predictable. I could sometimes tell what would happen next, but other times there would be a plot twist, and those kept the book interesting. The author’s word choice was perfect for me. There wasn’t a difficult word every page, but every five pages or so a new word would come up. I recommend this book to middle schoolers because I think it is a bit too basic for a high school student to read. Generally, I think this book deserves eight out of ten stars.
STUDY QUESTIONS AND VOCABULARY:
1. What does it mean when the screen goes dark when a girl is being Matched during her Match Banquet?
1a. It means that her Match is somebody in her own City. (pg. 15)
2. What happened to the Markhams’ original son?
2a. The Markhams’ original son was murdered by a Class One Anomaly while waiting for his father to come back from a meeting from somewhere else in the building. (pg. 57)
3. Why didn’t the Society keep the poem Cassia’s grandfather gave her?
3a. The Society didn’t keep the poem Cassia’s grandfather gave her because it tells you to fight. (pg. 98)
4. What did Cassia’s father lose that caused the Officials to come and search her house?
4a. Cassia’s father lost her grandfather’s tissue sample. (pg. 108)
5. Why has Cassia never taken the green tablet?
5a. Cassia has never taken the green tablet because her grandfather told her that she was strong enough to go without it. (pg. 119)
cravat (pg. 15)
disparage (pg. 21)
insignia (pg. 44)
reprising (pg. 91)
foyer (pg. 112)
6. How did Cassia destroy the poem her grandfather gave her?
6a. She took the poem with her when she went to go visit her father at an old library he was incinerating. When no one was looking, she let go of the paper and let one of the workers suck it into an incinerator tube, destroying it. (pg. 128)
7. Why did Em have to take two green tablets in one day?
7a. Em had taken her green tablet earlier in the day because she was nervous about her Match Banquet, but later that day she had an anxiety attack, forcing her to take another tablet. (pg. 150)
8. Which letters does Ky teach Cassia how to write first? Why?
8a. He teaches her how to write the letters in her name first so even if those are the only letters she learns to write, she will still be able to put them together to make something. (pg. 174)
9. What does Ky remember every time it rains?
9a. He remembers his parents’ death. Death came raining down from the sky in the form of black bullets (it does not say in the text that they were bullets, but I am assuming they were some form of military ammunition), and Ky remembers this every time it rains. (pg. 223)
10. What color are Ky’s eyes? What colors did Cassia think they were?
10a. Ky’s eyes are blue. At first, Cassia thought they were brown. Then she thought they were green, then gray, but most of the time she thought they were blue. (pg. 238)
laments (pg. 127)
inclement (pg. 162)
ascetic (pg. 179)
patrons (pg. 192)
insubordination (pg. 216)
11. Why was Bram so impatient when Cassia was opening her package?
11a. Bram so impatient when Cassia was opening her package because he was hoping that inside the package would be his artifact, his grandfather’s watch. (pg. 248)
12. What did Cassia do in order to get Bram to go to First School?
12a. In order to get Bram to go to First School, Cassia told him that she knew a way to play games on the scribe. There weren’t any real games, but Cassia invented them for Bram after she said that there were games so she wouldn’t be lying. (pg. 263)
13. Which group did Cassia sort Ky into during her sorting test?
13a. Cassia sorted Ky into the higher group during her sorting test because even though he would have wanted her to put him in the lower group, she didn’t want him to continue working there and face the consequences. (pg. 288)
14. What color was the dress Cassia’s mother wore to her Matching Ceremony?
14a. The dress Cassia’s mother wore to her Matching Ceremony was blue. (pg. 294)
15. What do the red tablets do?
15a. The red tablets make you forget everything that has happened in the past twelve hours.
succinct (pg. 242)
altruistic (pg. 268)
tamped (pg. 273)
overwrought (pg. 321)
impetus (pg. 344)