Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. description from Goodreads
The warning in this book is to not read the ending late at night. I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about the events in this book and thinking how I would review it, but of course, I did not write any of it down, and so my great ideas are out the window.
The book starts off slow for me and did not pick up until the last few chapters. In several ways it reminds me of "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. I can't say that I am a huge fan of "The Giver" it is way to dark and bleak for me. "Matched" is not quite so dark and does leave you with a spark of hope.
Cassia lives in a future that I think should be avoided at all costs. The society decides what age you will marry, who you marry, what age you die, how many children you can have, what your job will be, the age when you can no longer have children.....etc. They have sifted through all literature, songs, and art and there are only 100 available of each. Everything is done technologically, the children are not taught to write and cursive is a lost art form. The jobs sound horrific. Cassia is learning to sort everything. She sorts to find patterns and look for probable outcomes. It sounds horribly boring. No room for imagination or dreams.
The book starts off with Cassia going to her matching ceremony. She will find out who she will marry. She has just turned 17, and will marry at 21. Her match turn out to be her best friend Xander. That rarely happens, usually your match lives in a different province. When she tries to look at the information provided to her about Xander, another face pops up after Xander, Ky. Ky is also one of her friends. She begins to wonder about how perfect the matching department is, and whether Xander is her perfect match.
The hero in this book (in my opinion) is her grandfather. He is only in the beginning, but he helps her to think outside the box that the society has given it's citizens. He dies on his 80th birthday, with his loved ones surrounding him. He sneaks Cassia a poem that is not one of the 100. It is by Dylan Thomas. The opening line is "Do not go gentle into that good night".
The romance is very clean and innocent. Cassia loves Xander, but as she begins to wonder about Ky, she gets to know him and falls in love with him. He is of course, the forbidden love.
This is a very good book. Stick with it if you find it to be slow, you will want to keep reading as you progress into the story. I will be getting the next book. Now I need to know what happens to Cassia, Ky and Xander.
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