Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia lives in a world where the big decisions in life - your job, your spouse, everything - is decided for you by the Society. Life is better now that the Society has everything organized. They're doing everything in the best interests of their citizens. There are no more divorces, every person is assigned the job they are best at, and even the food is held to rigorous caloric and nutritional standards that benefit each individual. So when Cassia is matched with her best friend Xander, she doesn't question the Society's decision. That is, until another face is displayed on the screen for just a split second. Another face she knows and loves. The Society claims it was just a rare glitch in the system, but the idea has already been planted in Cassia's mind. What if Xander really isn't her best match? And if the Society is wrong about this, what else are they wrong about?

Set in a futuristic world, Matched is a look at what life would be like without free will, if we let the government make our biggest decisions for us. While I enjoyed Matched, I wasn't blown away by it. To me it seemed a bit preachy at times (although really it would be hard not to be with this subject matter), and the characters didn't blow me away. The love triangle reminded me (to a frightening degree) of the triangle in The Hunger Games: girl loves best guy friend but falls for new guy she is only just getting to know. Maybe it's just because I married my high school sweetheart, but I still think both girls would have been better off staying with the guy they loved and that seemed perfect for them from the very beginning. But then the story really wouldn't have gone anywhere, so I guess I should let it go.

This is the first in a trilogy and while I do plan on reading the next installment, I'm not waiting on pins and needles. There really weren't any big plot twists in this book and I have a pretty good feeling about what's going to happen in the next. All that being said, it sounds like I really didn't like Matched. But I did. I think it's a good YA novel and brings up good points for that age group (learning how to make your own choices in life and trusting yourself and your instincts). It was well-written and interesting. It just didn't keep me on the edge of my seat.

3 out of 5 stars.

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