I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Matched by Ally Condie
Also by this author: Atlantia
Series: Matched #1
Published by Penguin on 2011-09-20
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, 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 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 the sequel, CROSSED, and the epic series finale, REACHED!
Day to day life as you or I may know it is radically changed in Matched by Ally Condie. Gone is the concept of free will. Life is strictly regimented in all aspects, from the food one consumes, to the clothes, to free time, to one’s occupation. All is determined by society and computers. Cassia, 17, is about to attend her Match banquet, where she will see the face of the person whom Society and the computers deem to be a perfect fit for her genetics. Her best friend Xander is shown to be her ‘Match’, however, when Cassia goes home to look at her info card about Xander, a different face flashes on the screen, Ky Markham’s.
Cassia is unable to get Ky out of her head. What results is suspense, the blossoming of love, and the stirrings of rebellion. I haven’t seen a lot of OMFG LOVE THIS reviews for Matched, but while I didn’t LOVE IT LOVE IT, I did rather enjoy this book. What, I think, lead me to enjoy Matched was that I could identify with Cassia’s love of poetry. I know it’s small, but just this one identifying factor really lead me to sympathize for Cassia. She experiences this sort of awakening when she reads some poetry that is not among the Society’s Hundred Poems, and it really sets her on this road of questioning. I like that because I can still remember the first poem that lead me to question things. It was high school. Howl by Allen Ginsberg. I know, I know, how totally cliche. Still, though, I feel a connection with Cassia because of this.
I know this is being marketed as a love triangle, and perhaps there is one. However, I did not see it. With certain characters, I felt as though there wasn’t enough face time, nor enough emotion coming from Cassia to be a legit love triangle. It’s fairly obvious who her choice is. However, for me, the pleasure I got from Matched was not in the love part, but in the coming-of-age. I mean, isn’t that such a great metaphor for becoming an adult. As a kid, your parents, or at least mine, tell you about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc. As you grow older you find they aren’t really. Also, with children, their parents pick out their food and their clothes. Kids don’t exactly get a whole lot of choices. Eventually, kids start to rebel. Well, it’s sort of like this with Cassia. The Society is a bit like her parents and eventually, she finds out ‘the Easter Bunny is not real.’ Metaphorically speaking of course, as there are no Easter Bunnies in this book. She just comes to the realization that not having any choices suck. And friends, to me, that is growing up, grasping for straws of independence. I mean, isn’t that how some of us mark time, as we get little bits. I.e. when we turn 16 we can drive, 18 we can vote, 21 in America means one can drink, etc. I suppose, I may be taking Matched a bit too seriously, but when you delve beneath the surface there are all sorts of opportunities for analysis, and I find that SO AWESOME!!
I will say this, if you are looking for a quick read, willing to examine slightly deeper, don’t mind derivatives, and ignore the hype, you may really enjoy Matched.