Sunday, October 02, 2011

MATCHED by ALLY CONDIE: Thought Provoking and Memorable





Matched (Matched, #1)by Ally Condie

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.


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I found MATCHED to be very thought provoking and memorable. The beginning gives readers an indepth view of Totalitarian government.. and it is really disturbing.


MATCHED is about Cassia Reyes who lives under a Totalitarian government called "The Society". All personal decisions are made by The Society, including who you love, where you work and when you die.


The book starts off with Cassia on her way to her Match Banquet, where she will face a screen and meet her Match, her future mate. As the evening unfolds and next day enfold, Cassia stumbles across information that will rock her world and start to unravel every belief she held and fact she thought was true.

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You can't help but become connected to Cassia and the other characters, so the actions taken against them become even more agitating. Cassia's personal journey of self-discovery takes her through some dark valleys. Her Grandfather was a surprisingly complex character. I had written him off early in the story, but Ally weaves his influence in subtle and mysterious ways. Her complex plots interweave throughout the book and kept the flow moving.


I personally love books written in first person, and MATCHED is one of them. Ally made her characters so approachable.. even in the sterile and rigid environment of the book. The book has the traditional love triangle, but it's done in a creative way. As I followed Cassia on her journey of discovery, I was drawn to her dilemmas and overwhelmed with anger at what The Society was doing to her and to Ky, Xander and her brother Bram.


By the end of the book, my mind was reeling and I was hanging on to dear life with the cliff hanger she left us with. I fell in love with Cassia, Ky and Xander. I usually am a "Team" girl... but I am split right now. Ky is opening up to show this beautiful soul, but Xander shows us his compassion and graciousness.


MATCHED made me reflect on our government, on our rights as American citizens, and what happens when society lets the government take their rights a bit at a time.. what the end result will be. The characters are rich and complex. This book is the right blend of cerebral ideas and natural flow. It is not so in-depth that you have to re-read every line.. but it is not a "mindless" book either.


I highly recommend this book though children under 13 may not understand the concepts presented. There is no obscene language or overly sexual scenes. The next book in the series, CROSSED is due to release on November 1, 2011.