Monday, February 4, 2013

Book #88: Matched

Book #88: Matched by Ally Condie
5/5 stars

I know, I know, another YA dystopian trilogy?? But trust me, I only read the good ones. =) I had heard many good things about this series, and when my sister got me one of the books for Christmas, I knew it was time to give the Matched trilogy a try. I am sooo glad that I did!

The novel follows Cassia Reyes, a 17-year-old girl who is approaching her "Matching Ceremony." When people reach the age of 17, they are "matched" with their perfect partner. The government decides, based on a number of factors, with whom you are most compatible. From there, you would begin a courtship process, also determined by the government, and be married at a certain time. You may also "apply" for children between certain ages. Doesn't sound romantic at all, huh? But it's all these people know in this future society, and they don't question the "perfection" of the Officials that govern them. The Officials also deem where people work and when they die. Everyone dies at the same age, so that they do not have to suffer from old age, though most cancers and other fatal diseases have been eradicated by this point.

But to get back to Cassia, at her Matching Ceremony, she finds that she has been Matched with her best friend, Xander. Everything seems wonderful; obviously these two are comfortable with one another, having been friends for years, and are excited to be Matched. However, when Cassia looks at her disk later that has personal information about her Match, there is a computer glitch, and a new face shows up: Ky. Cassia knows Ky from school, but is confused by the glitch. Who is her true match?

She is later assured by Officials that the glitch was just a glitch, a mistake, and that Xander is her match. She should just forget ever having seen Ky's face...but she can't. Cassia gets to know Ky better over the course of the book, therefore playing with fire as she is bending the rules of those who govern her. Over time she begins to question which boy is better for her, but it goes deeper than a shallow romance novel. This future society is used to having things done in its "perfect" orderly way, and Ky and Cassia are disrupting that peaceful, yet brainwashed way. Things are about to get ugly.

I really enjoyed the romance in this novel combined with the dystopian feel for danger and adventure. Romance is explored a bit in the ever popular Hunger Games books, but it is more central in this novel, which I liked. I also was interested in seeing how yet another author created a dystopian world. This one, like others, was meant by the government to be a utopia, where everything was perfect. No disease, your perfect match, and only 100 books, 100 poems, 100 songs, etc. as not to overwhelm people with too many choices...hmmm interesting. Condie has created an intriguing world and offered suggestions about our future world that were fun and a little frightening to read about. If you liked The Hunger Games trilogy, definitely check this series out. The novel ends on a cliffhanger, so I'm psyched to start the second novel, Crossed, and learn what becomes of Cassia.

Here's a fun little book trailer if you're interested:

What I'm reading now...

1. Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott (mystery/thriller)

2.Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson (nonfiction)

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