Author: Ally Condie
May Contain Spoilers
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Look for CROSSED, the sequel to MATCHED, in Fall 2011!
I was transfixed by this book. For me, it lived up to the hype. Cassie’s utopian world is sterile and orderly, with the Officials making all of the decisions for everybody. Cassia is content with her regimented life, and she is excited to attend her Matching banquet when she turns seventeen. She is shocked and delighted to learn that her best friend Xander has been chosen by the Officials to be her Match. Life couldn’t be any more perfect, she thinks, until a computer blip makes her question everything she has ever known.
Like the Society she lives in, Cassia’s narrative is sterile and unemotional. She doesn’t know how to be anything else. Emotional outbursts are not acceptable, and could very well get you branded a social deviant. Obedience is everything, and independent thought is expected to be quickly squelched. In a Society where Officials dictate everything about your life, from who you will marry, to where you will work, to when you will die, individualism brings immediate, unpleasant repercussions.
I liked Cassia a lot, despite her robotic narrative. As she begins to see her world for what it really is, she begins a subtle rebellion against the dictates of her Society. This took so much courage. Punishment, swift, immediate, and unpleasant, would extend to her family as well as herself. It’s this fear, of condemning your family as well as yourself, that kept her actions in check for so long.
My one quibble about Matched is with the ending. The pacing felt off; rushed, abrupt, unsatisfying. This is the first in a trilogy, so I expected to not be happy with the ending, but I was still unprepared for it. It will be a very long wait until the next book!
Review copy provided by publisher