Matched – Ally Condie


“On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life.
Except he’s not.
In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die.
But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel . . .”

On the day of her seventeenth birthday Cassia Reyes finally gets to meet her Match. She’s another example of her Society working with precision and accuracy to achieve the best Match for each of its citizens. But what if they’re wrong? Cassia never questioned that she was meant to be with anyone but Xander…until she noticed Ky.

The civilization the Society has created is based on a utopian principle – its aim is to create an “optimal” life for its citizens. It believes enforcing control, creating restrictions, boundaries, and making certain sacrifices are worth a life free from disease, crime, depression, poverty, hunger and anything else unpleasant that plagued the former society.

Sounds pretty logical right?

Though this sounds all well and good, it’s the flaws and cracks in the plan that shows the dystopia that lies beneath the surface. Everything from paintings, to music, to poetry have been reduced down to one hundred – all else is burnt. The excess is deemed unnecessary. Creativity is dead and gone, with people not even learning how to write by hand or have access to items such as pens and pencils – all communication is done electronically. Your day is strictly scheduled, evenone is uniformed, and your food pre-prepared and customized for your metabolism – no sharing and no treats unless it’s a special occasion. Your dreams are monitored and you’re given the illusion of freedom in an allocated a one hour free-rec time period where approved, supervised activities can take place.

The Society decides where you work, where you live, when you die – even the person you marry is predetermined when you become Matched.

It’s through Cassia that we slowly peel back the layers of a seemingly happy society from the moment she first thinks “that’s not fair”. Initially, I would’ve said Cassia isn’t a very strong character. Looking closer from her perspective though, you see that her view of the Society shows a type of outspoken rebellion that in her world is unheard of, her way of thinking is dramatically changing from what she’s always been led to believe. As she grows closer to Ky and sees the way the Society has treated him, as well as her own family, she finds a reason worth fighting for.

This then poses the question – do you bring down a whole system of social order just for one person when everyone else benefits? Are they really benefitting? Are they even happy? What is happiness?

Ally Condie does an amazing job at building the world in Matched and makes it completely believable. Though it was slow to start, once Cassia starts to come into her own the book really kicks off. The romantic storyline in Matched will completely steal your heart. It was beautiful to see how stolen words could become a secret shared that let love grow.

There is a major difference seen to the type of love between Cassia’s Match – Xander and her chosen love – Ky. I adored Ky, with his innate knowledge, his passion and his control, you’re kept on your toes just waiting for him to come back into the scene. I also admired Xander – he’s loyal and perceptive, and is also coming to see the Society in a new light.

This book is a fantastic start to a clever new series, I am beyond curious to see where the next two books will take us after so much was left hanging right at the end. This book will really get you thinking – just how much is love worth and how much must you sacrifice for the greater good?

Pages: 369
Publication Date: December 2010
Rating: [rating:4.5]

Teaser Quote: “The questions in my mind seem to make a humming sound, like the hum of bugs in the woods earlier.
Are you supposed to be my Match?
Later I realize that the one question that didn’t even cross my mind was the most important one of all: Will you keep my secret?”

Matched is set for release on November 30th for the U.S. and December 2nd for Australia.

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