Holy fuck another potentially huge teen novel series by a Mormon author!
Cassia lives in a dystopia where people are healthy until they spontaneously kick at 80, art has been carefully curated into 100 poems, songs, etc.; and officials sort you into the proper career and marriage. (I didn’t realize Condie was LDS while I was reading the book and wondered what happens to queer people, how they get “matched” or if they all choose to be “a single.”)
It’s a book about free will and individualism, so to me it’s surprising that any observant theist would have written it, but maybe non-fundamentalist Mormons question Prophets’ authority more than the fundies in Hidden Wives?
One bit I wanted more of (and this will be a trilogy, so listen up, Ally!) is the notion of archivists as preserving the past primarily for mercenary reasons in this society where book burning is high level work and all but those top 100s have been lost.
While reading it I contemplated what an American book this is. I wonder if people who grow up in more social societies would find sentiments like these incredibly selfish:
Who am I to want to change things, to get greedy and want more? If our Society changes and things are different, who am I to tell the girl who would have enjoyed the safe protected life that now she has to have choice and danger because of me? p. 239
That’s when I realize that the statistics the Officials give us do not matter to me. I know there are many people who are happy and I am glad for them. But this is Ky. If he is the one person who falls by the wayside while the other ninety-nine are happy and fulfilled, that is not right with me anymore. p. 241
CATS: You know a society is no good when it’s feline-free!