Oh, how I love dystopian fiction! Some of my favorites include Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, The Silenced, and, of course, The Hunger Games trilogy. I can now add a new book to this lineup–Matched by Ally Condie. Matched is the first book in a promising new series that is sure to make readers think about just how much the government should control. (Does anyone else hear Muse’s Uprising playing in the background? Just me? Okay. Moving on…)
Cassia’s life has always been mapped out for her. The Society has chosen where she should live, her future job, the music that is acceptable for her to listen to, her recreational activities, even what she should eat to maintain optimum health. But the biggest event is about to occur. Cassia is to be Matched. On her seventeenth birthday, at a banquet for all who are to be Matched, the Society reveals who Cassia’s Match is. This is the person who has been chosen as her ideal mate based on the Society’s standards. Cassia is stunned when it is revealed that her best friend, Xander, is chosen as her mate. It is extremely rare that Matches actually know each other.
When Cassia explores the information the Society provides her about her Match, she is shocked by an unexpected face that is shown to her. It is not Xander but Ky, another boy from her borough. Cassia is very confused by what she is seeing. Has the Society made a mistake? How is that even possible? Who is her true Match? Is it Xander, the boy she’s always known and trusted, or is it Ky, a loner with secrets the Society does not want revealed?
As Officials from the Society try to reassure Cassia that Xander is her true Match, Cassia begins to wonder…and not just about who her ideal mate is. She begins to question why the Society keeps such tight control over its citizens, why some people are labeled as Aberrations and given few options in life, who decides what should and shouldn’t be done and when people should die. As Cassia’s relationships with both Xander and Ky take off on new, and often difficult, roads, she is confronted with the choices she now has to make. Should she accept the life the Society has chosen for her, or should she follow her grandfather’s advice and refuse to “go gentle into that good night?” What would you do? Would you take a life of safety where all of your decisions are made for you? Or would you fight for the things and people you believe in? Find out what Cassia decides in Matched by Ally Condie.
If it’s not already clear, I thoroughly enjoyed Matched and am thrilled that it is the first book in a trilogy. (I was also pretty happy with the references to one of my favorite Dylan Thomas poems.) The second book, Crossed, will be released in November of this year, and the third book (title unknown) will come out in November of 2012. For more information on author Ally Condie and the Matched series, visit http://www.allysoncondie.com/.