Monday, December 12, 2011
A friend of mine recently gave me a young adult novel to read - Matched by Ally Condie. I read it over the weekend and was quickly drawn into the plot and stayed up later than I should have reading it.
Matched tells the story of a dystopian society where everything is controlled for you under the guise that it makes life better. You eat just enough to be healthy - no more, your job is chosen based on attributes, you die peacefully when you are eighty-years-old and your spouse is perfectly matched for you. The book starts with Cassia, recently turned 17, going to her match ceremony to find out who she will marry. Typically your match will live in another city but Cassia is matched with Xander - her best friend and neighbor. Xander and Cassia are very excited about this but when Cassia goes to put her match card in the computer it is not Xander's face that appears but rather another boy - Ky Markham - who also lives in her town and on her street.
This revelation causes Cassia to question her match - is Xander or Ky her perfect match? And if her match is not perfect then is this society really perfect or simply controlling and taking away one's ability to choose? As the book continues Cassia must decide who she loves and if she is willing to live in this society that restricts her ability to wonder.
Condie creates a very detailed and interesting dystopian society. Her characters are compelling and bring the dilemma of choice or controlled happiness to the forefront. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I do take issue with part of the love triangle story but since this is the first book of a trilogy perhaps my issue will be resolved in a later book.
The second book - Crossed - was recently released in November and I am excited to read it.