Matched is the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy. The main character is seventeen-year-old Cassia who lives in a Society where all choices are made for you. You do not have to worry what you will eat, what your profession will be or even when you die. Everything is scientifically selected for you.
Cassia’s story opens at her Matching ceremony where she is to her surprise and delight matched to her best friend Xander. According to the Society, Xander is her ideal mate. He is destined to become her husband and father of her children. At the ceremony, all the Matchees are given a small silver box with a microcard that includes background information about their Match. The majority of the Matchees have never met the person they are matched to and often the person comes from a different province. Cassia has known Xander all her life, so she is in no particular hurry to view the microcard. However, when she does so, her life is turned upside down. There is a picture of another boy on her card and coincidently, she knows him as well. Cassie becomes intrigued by this other boy and she is determined to find out more about the highly unusual mistake that the Society made on her microcard. Maybe the Society is not perfect after all. Step by step, Cassie starts questioning the Society and its rules.
Matched is not as action oriented as The Hunger Games. It is primarily a beautiful and gentle love story. However, there are other topics developed throughout the book. Above all, the novel deals with the importance of choice, family love and support. There is also focus on art and poetry in the book. Dylan Thomas’ poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, plays a considerable part in Cassia’s story. Additionally, various aspects of the Society are explained in depth which I found very interesting.
Matched is very enjoyable read. Cassia’s story has a good flow and is engaging. The characters are well drawn and lifelike. I especially liked the character of Cassia’s grandfather. I also enjoyed Ally Condie’s elegant and poetic writing style. Matched is definitely a promising start to Condie’s trilogy. The sequel Crossed was announced to be released November 1, 2011. In my opinion, Matched will appeal to both teens and adults. If you enjoyed the The Giver, The Hunger Games or Uglies, make Matched your next read!