Cassia Reyes is matched with her best friend Xander. It wasn't very common for someone to get matched with someone they knew. But the society made no mistakes, yet the screen went blank when it was her turn to look at the screen.
While Cassia was home, she took a look at Xander's microcard eventhough she already knew everything about him and something unexpected happened. Xander's picture dissapeared and Ky's appeared. This was definitely a mistake, she couldn't be matched with both, nor with Ky.
Cassia and Ky both choose the same leisure activity, hiking. They get to spend time together there and Ky begins to tell her things the society keeps secret. He also teaches her how to write. They eventually fall in love. An official comes to visit her to warn her to stay away from Ky.
For Cassia's final sorting, she has to sort people that work at the nutrition center which is the worst job anyone can have in the society. Ky is among these people. She decides to place him in the group that gets a new working position. He is taken away in handcuffs to fight, it was all planned by society.
Cassia's family is also told they had one day to relocate to the Farmlands. The official tells Cassia that all was planned by society. Cassia wants to go save Ky from death.
Ky's stepparents protest about their son being taken away. It is a loud argument, the neighbors come out to see what's happening. The officials make everyone take red tablets to make them forget what just happened but the tablet didn't work on Cassia. Before leaving to the Farmlands, Cassia tells Xander about her and Ky being in love. Xander is hurt but he decides to help her find Ky. He steals a lot of blue tablets (serve as food substitutes).