Matched by Ally Condie
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Dystopia in literature is often defined as a futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian.
Matched is one of those books that has a huge following right out of the gate and after reading it I see why. Matched is a dystopian novel by Allie Condie that I won from Jennifer Lynn Barnes author of Raised by Wolves and is amazing. With the end of Hunger Games I have noticed that a lot of new dystopian novels will be hitting the shelf in 2011.
Matched has been described as a story that Twilight and Hunger Games fans will love. I would like to disagree with that because if you go into the idea that Matched is similar to Twilight or Hunger Games you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Read this book because you want to discover a new book and genre.
In Matched the world is a very structured place. The Society (government) decides everything for you including who you will marry, where you live, what job you do, when you die, how much food you can eat, and they even monitor your dreams. The world feels very much like Pleasantville x 100.
When Cas goes to the Match Banquet to find out who her future husband will be she discovers that it’s her best friend Xander. This is something that is very uncommon as they usually match based on who would be most compatible to produce future citizens. Most matches are in other cities and not someone you typically know. They are given microcards with data about their match and instructions for courting. Only when Cas looks at her card she discovers another face of someone else she knows. The face she sees is Ky the quiet boy at school she has also known most of her life.
Complications arise as Cas wonders how the Society could have made a mistake. Mistakes in this world never happen. Even stranger is the fact that Ky was not meant to ever be matched because his father killed people and the Society will not risk his defiant genes to be spread. I was so frustrated with the control the Society had over the citizens and I wanted Cas to stand up and start a rebellion. Cas does set things in motion but not with brute force.
As with human nature if you are told you can’t fall in love with someone you normally do. I felt the story of Xander should have been explored more since he was one of my favorite characters. He was her best friend all her life but after the matching he seemed to fade into the background. I will say the first half of the story was a bit slow but after I found myself really enjoying the book. Match is delightful in the way the romance plays out. Don’t expect a fast paced book because the story is very subtle and yet beautiful. I will say there is an insane cliffhanger but it’s worth it for such a unique story.