MATCHED by Ally Condie [Review]
With a dangerous love triangle and a fascinating setting, Matched by Ally Condie is poised to become the next big YA book. It’s about 17-year-old Cassia Reyes, a girl about to learn the identity of the boy she will eventually marry. In Cassia’s world, the Society pairs couples according to their compatibility and genetic probability of producing healthy children. In fact, the Society controls every aspect—food, culture, work, free time—of their lives in an attempt to create a utopia. Even death is scheduled at the optimal time.
At her Matching Ceremony, Cassia is happy to learn she’s been matched with good friend and boy next door, Xander. Her life seems to be snapping into place perfectly until later, after the ceremony, when she looks at the computer, Xander’s face dissolves and is replaced with Ky Markham’s. An Official tells Cassia that it’s simply a computer glitch, but she can’t stop thinking about what happened. Is Xander or Ky her true Match?
I expected Matched to be romantic (and it was, sort of), but I was surprised by what a fascinating world Condie created. The Society, the totalitarian government that controls EVERYTHING, is horrifying yet their rules are oddly logical. It makes sense to regulate everyone’s diet for nutrition and optimal health—if you don’t take into account the fact that people eat and cook for pleasure. The Society takes everything to the extreme, but it’s not hard to imagine a world like this, which makes the book compelling.
I say the love triangle in Matched is “sort of” romantic because it’s good, but not epic. I didn’t feel much chemistry between Cassia and either boy. The love triangle seemed to be more about Cassia questioning the Society for the first time in her life and stepping out of her comfort zone with small acts of defiance. She’s not a rule-breaking rebel like Katniss in The Hunger Games, but I found her to be a believable heroine.
I really enjoyed Matched and I highly recommend it to any YA readers. It does end on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to be left wanting more.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Dutton Juvenile | Pages: 369 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon
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