November 30, 2010
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Ally Condie's Matched is one of those rare books that you hear a million awesome things about and then finally read--and it's even better than everyone said.
Cassia is a member of the Society. The Society decides what its members will eat, watch, wear, learn, and do with every minute of their day--or, rather, their lives. It's total control, but everything is also seen as perfect.
When we meet Cassia she is just turning seventeen and it is thus time for her Matching Ceremony--the Society's form of arranged marriage. During one beautiful night of beautiful dresses and cake, the teens are Matched to someone from somewhere, that the Society has deemed as their perfect match. One's Match is the person they will marry, have children with, spend their whole lives with--it's a great night for Cassia.
Cassia's match comes up as Xander, her best friend who lives on their same street, something that hasn't happened in years and years. The idea is exciting to her, until the next morning when she puts in the card that's supposed to display information about Xander.
Another boy's face flashes on the screen for an instant before it goes black.
Cassia is quickly assured that it's just a malfunction, nothing to worry about, but she can't get it--or, soon, the other boy out of her head. She finds herself questioning more and more about the Society and what all of their rules mean.
Matched was a great story about a girl who has to decide between the boy she's known forever who's comfortable and safe and expected and the new, unexpected, dangerous one. Then add in the Society and its Big Brother elements and it gets really fantastic.
Ally Condie really made this a top notch novel by thinking everything out so well. Every aspect of a citizen's life is well and truly controlled. There aren't places (or I completely missed them) where the plot falls apart or there are gaps or things you have to just go with. Everything really fits--there are times where I was really surprised what such little things were thought of or that quite so much thought was put into creating this world where Cassia lives. The extent of Ally Condie's creativity and attention to detail in Matched is amazing!
It's not all left up to the things and the world/setting, though, to carry the story--the characters and the relationships are equally strong and drive the story to a very, very compelling end. An end that has me just about biiting my nails for the next installment.
I hope that when Matched, the first in a trilogy comes out tomorrow, you'll be first in line at your local bookstore buy it or order it now from Amazon!!
Received for review thanks to Library Thing Early Reviewers