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Matched, a young adult novel by Ally Condie, takes place in a dystopian society where the government has total control over the lives of the people, down to the moment of death – before midnight on someone’s 80th birthday. The Society monitors sleep and exercise patterns of its subjects and even distributes meals based on the specific dietary needs of a person.

Cassia, content with her place in society, attends her matching ceremony on her 17th birthday and finds out she is to marry her best friend Xander. No doubt exists in her mind that Xander is her perfect match. However, when she sees another boy’s face flash across the screen – a mistake – a seed of doubt about her match is planted in her mind.

Thus begins Cassia’s journey to discovering some of the darker aspects of the perfect world in which she lives. The hundred songs and hundred poems that Society has preserved are not enough. Surely, there must be more to the world and life than what the Officials have been teaching her. Obedience to the Society becomes difficult for Cassia as she uncovers more about her own free thought and will.

Torn between two loves, Cassia is not only dealing with the pressures of the Society, but also of young love. Hints of societal rebellion exist in this book, which makes me eager to read the next two books of this trilogy.

If you like The Hunger Games, this book may appeal to you, though the story is quite different – no kids killing each other. It also reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is a comparison others have made, even to some criticism – saying that Ally Condie took too much from The Giver when creating her dystopia.

Matched was a quick and fun read for me as an adult. I handed it over to my fifth grade daughter as soon as I finished and she is now devouring it. It is captivating enough for mature readers yet clean enough for young ones.

  • Justacogitating
    Posted at 12:13h, 06 March Reply

    Ooh, that sounds like one I’ll have to check out. Have you read The Soulkeepers? I’m in the midst of that one right now and am really enjoying it. It’s also, I believe, a young adult book. [Apparently, I read to my level of maturity.]

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