Published by Dutton Juvenile on November 30th, 2010
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Science-fiction, Young Adult
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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.
\r\nThe 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.
Three words can describe this book: Wanting A Choice.
Matched is a classic Dystopian novel, set in an unknown future time that quite obviously takes place in what used to be North America. I’ve read reviews that describe it as similar to The Hunger Games, and I guess because it qualifies as a Dystopian novel, it is in that sense. But that’s where the similarities really end. Whereas The Hunger Games was also ruled by an iron fist government, you knew it was a malevolent government, bent on using the backs of poor District people to provide for the rich. The government (called The Society) in Matched masquerades as a Utopian authority with nothing more than a benevolent agenda, although early on, you question the happy-joy-joy surroundings, Officials, and Banquets. Citizens’ marriages are government-selected (for the well-being of the society), mothers are not allowed to give birth after 31 years of age, recreational activities are strictly scheduled, and your death is planned (although how planned, you find out near the end). I found myself completely disturbed, and yet completely enraptured, reading this novel. Ally Condie does a phenomenal job of immersing you in the cat-and-mouse game between The Society and the protagonist, Cassia Reyes. I could actually see this happening to us in some distant future, should we stay on the path we are now. And I think that’s what was most disturbing to me: the possibility of it all. I was a bit surprised by the ending; it’s a bit anti-climactic, but then, this is the first book in a series, so I know it’s also setting the foundation for the rest of the story. I definitely recommend reading this novel, you will enjoy it.