Matched by Allyson Condie

Imagine a world of prosperity and peace. There is virtually no crime, no strife, no true disorder because the Society has their best interests at heart. The day that Cassia (KAHY-sha) has dreamed of for so long, Matching Day, is here. Your Match is the best chance to create a new member of the Society: one that will be healthy and whole, and without defect. To her surprise and delight, her best friend Xander stands as her Match. Cassia can hardly believe her good fortune! This is not a stranger in a foreign land, but a neighbor and constant companion.

At the Matching Ceremony, all are given a silver box with a microcard containing their Match's information: likes, dislikes, pictures. When she plugs her microcard into the port, something very unsettling happens. Instead of Xander, she sees the face of Ky Markham: another boy on her street, someone she has known for years, and considers part of her group of friends. The idea is planted in her mind...and she struggles with the information she has been given. Should she report it to an Official? Should she talk to someone about it? This is obviously a mistake, plugging in the card again brings up Xander's smiling face.

Despite herself, Cassia begins to wonder about Ky. She visits her grandfather for his Final Banquet, (members of the Society die at 80 years). He asks to see the compact he has given her, and she complies. Twisting the bottom, he reveals a hidden compartment. Contained inside is a single sheet of paper with handwriting: poems, two of them. Poems not on the Top 100 Poems list! She makes a promise to him not to rely on her pills (green relaxes you), and to think for herself.

She signs up to take a hiking class for her recreation hours, and is pleased to find Ky there. Their interactions are always careful, his especially. He seems practiced at holding back, keeping his actions in check. His revelation that he is an Aberration shocks her. All summer their feelings escalate as he teaches her to write (no one in the Society knows how to write, only type) and they share secrets.

Her relationship with Ky, her Grandfather's passing, the poems, the writing...all of these begin to work on Cassia, begin to open up her mind to a world of possibility the Society wants to keep from her. Her choices are limited, monitored, and supervised. What hope of happiness does she truly have if her happiness is chosen for her?

This dystopian novel will be a hit with teen audiences. It even has a bit of a love triangle. The text is very Brave New World with more romance.
“They are giving us pieces of a real life instead of the whole thing. They have perfected the art of giving us just enought freedom; just enough that when we are ready to snap, a little bone is offered and we roll over, belly up, comfortable and placated like a dog...” (Condie, 2010).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Crossed by Allyson Condie (Matched Trilogy, Book 2
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games, Book 1)

Condie, Allyson B. (2010). Matched. New York: Dutton Books. 

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