Thursday, June 30, 2011


 Matched, by Ally Condy

For Cassia, nothing is left to chance--not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the "burden" of choice. When Cassia's best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable--rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her. -Plot summary borrowed from Amazon

Both The Giver and City of Ember are more for the tween set, but now we're getting to the truly YA dystopias. I picked up Matched on the recommendation of a co-worker (and, ok, because of the beautiful cover design!) and was not disappointed. This is mostly an intellectual adventure story- no breaking into government buildings or joining guerilla resistance movements here. Condy focuses more on Cassia's growth away from the dysfunctional society that has shaped her life and into a new awareness.

I enjoyed seeing this different way of telling a familiar story (Protagonist dutifully follows Society, slowly realizes Society is Bad, Rebels against Society). There does seem to be subtrend of Dystopian Romances, and this clearly fits into that category, and throws in the ever-present love triangle for good measure. I was less interested in the romance aspect, although I think Condy did a better job with her triad than most. What I really liked was Cassia's introspection and quest to understand the world around her with new eyes, and to balance her newfound views on life with her relationships.

The ending ramps up the action and will leave readers anxious for the sequel, Crossed, which is due out this fall.


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