Tuesday, December 21, 2010

MATCHED by Ally Condie

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.

Ally Condie has created an incredible world, far into the future, both alike and different from our own. The Officials control everything: what people eat, who you marry, how many children you have and when you can have them. It seems as if this future world is a perfect place for all, but quickly reveals its flaws as you dig deeper.
Though advertised as a romance, this book has so much more in store. Cassia is fighting for control of her life against the Officials, her Match, even her family. She has always accepted her world and what it is but now she finds herself crossing the line here and there, just to see what the reaction would be.
The romance between Cassia and Ky is very sweet and very realistic. The author takes the time to show why they are falling in love with each other, but that  brings the speed of the plot down quite a bit. If you're impatient to see a conclusion, you will be disappointed, but I recommend hanging in there to see what happens. This is a trilogy, so there is more to come (thank God!), but the ending of Matched is definitely unfulfilling. No conclusion, no sense of closure, though perhaps that's what the author intended.

I definitely recommend giving this book a try, but it is not for those who are looking for a quick read. In ways it's similar to Sarah Dessen's novels, character-wise, but Matched creates a world of its own.

4 stars

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