Author: Ally Condie
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Teen/YA, Dystopian
Source: Curled Up With a Good Book
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cassia is very nervous. After all, tonight, the night of her seventeenth birthday, is her Match banquet. Tonight, she will see the face of the person she is destined to be with, the person whose genetic makeup and skills best complement her own. Chosen by the Society, this is the only person Cassia can ever be with. But when something unexpected and unexplainable happens the day after her Match banquet, Cassia doesn’t know what to think. After all, the Society doesn’t make mistakes, but how else can she explain what has happened? As Cassia discovers more about her situation, she fights to understand what is truly happening around her, and within her.
With the way the dystopian craze has hit the YA genre, you would think that the best has already been written, and what’s coming are the last copycats dribbling in before the entire genre moves onto their next “big thing.” But you would be wrong. Clearly, the dystopian wave isn’t finished yet; in fact, it seems to be getting a second wind as new, creative, and unexpected books are finding their ways to shelves. Matched, one of the most talked about YA releases of the fall/winter, is one of these impressive novels.
Cassia is a stirring character. Smart and resourceful, she has the ability to think for herself in a world where the Society is supposed to think for everyone. Even though her instincts tell her she should stay put and do what she’s told, her heart can’t help but wonder. “What if” shouldn’t be such a difficult question to ask, yet it’s dangerous in Cassia’s world, and she has the bravery to not only ask it, but follows the answer to see where it takes her. With the unraveling of one small, seemingly insignificant thread, she began to question everything around her, unable to trust any longer.
The world-building in Matched is very impressive. The book doesn’t fully flesh out the world, as Cassia doesn’t really know what is going on, but I’m confident that will be addressed in the next two books. (Matched is the first in a trilogy). Instead, the reader gets tantalizing hints about what is really going on underneath the surface. The more answers that Cassia gets, the more questions she has, especially when she realizes that the Society might not know best after all.
Matched is an enjoyably frightening novel about a look at a possible future. Though Condie didn’t provide details about how the present day world moved to such an extreme one, readers will wonder how it could be possible. This is a book you will want to read as quickly as possible, as you won’t be able to put it down once you start it. There’s a reason this book has received so much buzz, and it deserves every drop of it.