Author: Ally Condie
Millions of thoughts are running through your head at this very moment. Names are called and Matches are revealed, but the only Match that you really want to see is your own. Tapping your foot anxiously, you look around and almost everyone else looks just as nervous as you do. You hear your name called out, and it feels as if thousands of butterflies have been released inside of your stomach and they’re fluttering all around trying to escape. You take a deep breath and smooth the front of your dress, trying to appear calm and collective. You are about to finally meet your Match. You walk up, waiting to see your perfect Match appear on the screen, and you know that everything will change.
Cassia has lived her entire life in the Society. The Officials have always decided everything, but that didn’t matter, because they provided her with everything too. Cassia always knew that growing up in the Society she would live a fulfilling life, filled with everything and anything she would ever need. She would have the perfect family, the perfect home, the perfect life. The Officials would even choose who she would marry when the time came. However, that time is just around the corner, and little does Cassia know that it will change her “perfect” life forever.
Everything seems to be in place for Cassia’s Match. Nothing could go wrong, and Cassia knows nothing will. She’s just nervous for who her Match will be, even though she knows that whoever it is, they will be the most optimal fit for her. They will be perfect for one another, as they should be, since they will be spending the rest of their lives together. But what Cassia doesn’t expect is for her best friend, Xander’s, face to appear on the screen. She never thought she would be Matched with him, but now she knows that it was destined to be this way.
It seems like the ideal Match, and Cassia thinks so… until she sees another face flash on the screen. Another boy’s face stares back at her for a mere second, until it suddenly disappears. Ky. That’s the boy’s name, and she knows him. But what does this all mean? Who is her real Match supposed to be, Xander or Ky? If Cassia is presented with two choices, who will she choose- the one chosen for her, or the forbidden one? Ally Condie reveals all in her futuristic debut, Matched!
Matched left me wanting more. I felt like I didn’t get enough from this fiery debut, and my hands are waiting to get a hold of the sequel. The world in which Cassia lives in is very structured, yet made to feel as if the person living inside the Society is actually being given a choice. Filled with a sense of secrecy, Matched had many hidden nooks and crannies that I have yet to explore. This is a fantastic read for teens that will have them relating to Cassia as she challenges the controlling Society that she lives in.
The dystopian world in Matched felt similar to that of Lois Lowry’s, The Giver. The way in which things had a set design and couldn’t be disrupted or changed, was very reminiscent of the Communities in The Giver. One example is the way in which people are chosen for their jobs, or roles, that they’ll play in society. A person was chosen for a job by what would be the optimal fit for them. It was interesting to see how this worked out. People who lived in the Society felt like they had some power over their choices, even though everything was already chosen for them. For example, the dress that Cassia wore to her Matching ceremony she picked out herself, but really it was out of a catalog of dresses that had been approved. Little things like this had the residents of the Society thinking that they could make their own choices, when really they couldn’t.
The writing in Matched was beautiful, and it fit the story perfectly. The way in which the characters spoke to one another was formal, and a bit clipped, but that was how they had been taught all their lives. It was a lot of fun to read along, and get to see Cassia reach out of her comfort zone at times, especially when she interacted with Ky. It was as if she was getting to use a different array of emotions for the first time in her life, as she felt what it was like to truly feel joy, anger, or sorrow.
I would have liked to have gotten a chance to explore more of the world that Matched was set in. I seemed to get tastes of the overall feel of life in the Society, but most of what I was exposed to was expected. I assumed that there would be a controlling society and such when I first started reading Matched. I only got a small glimpse of what the inner workings of the Society were, or what was really going on beneath the surface. It would have been nice to see Cassia get a bit more involved in this side of the Society, as she did towards the end of the book. Hopefully I’ll get to see more of this in book two, Crossed! (Speaking of Crossed, have you seen the cover for it? It’s just as beautiful as the first one!)
All in all, Matched is an exciting read that follows one girl’s journey to try and make her own choice, once and for all. Join Cassia, as she experiences what living truly is, and learns whether she wants to be a follower or a leader in, Matched!
-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!
Check out the Matched website at www.matched-book.com.
Check out Ally Condie's website at www.allysoncondie.com.
Matched is available from Amazon here.