Review: Matched by Ally Condie
Matched is yet another YA book that has been sitting on my to-read pile for a while (which poses the question how come there are so many YA novels on my to-read pile, if anyone has a theory please comment below,) and turned out to be yet another worthwhile read. Matched is another dystopian novel, this one about how ever faucet of the lives of the citizens of an unnamed country are dictated by a governing body known as 'the Society'. The Society are basically Big Brother with more mind control and less hate. The citizens are so controlled that they have all been brainwashed into believing that everything the Society does is good, just and for the betterment of humankind. The Society controls every faucet of its citizen's lives--from where they live to what they eat and who they marry.
The novel opens on the day of seventeen year old Cassia's matching ceremony. This is basically like a debutant ball, but instead of being introduced, the young women learned who they have been 'matched' with--that is the person they are going to marry. The matching is apparently a very scientific process decided by the society based on both the personalities and the genetics of the people who are to be matched. Rather than discovering that she has been matched to someone who she finds abhorrent (as I feared she would at the beginning of the novel,) Cassia's match turns out to be a dream come true--her best friend Xavier. But when another boy's image pops up briefly on Cassia's match card, she begins to wonder ...
The first part of the novel tells of various happenings that lead Cassia to question her world--the death of her grandfather, her friendship with Ky and the discovery of some poems that the Society has outlawed. The second part leads to her making some decisions that destroy her world--rather than being the noble heroine, the author allows Cassia to make mistakes. The book itself is quite slow in places, though I enjoyed reading about the budding friendship/forbidden relationship between Cassia and Ky. Xavier is a complex character and it is difficult at times to see whether he is a good or bad. The ending leaves a lot of room for a sequel. (I wasn't at all surprised when I checked on Goodreads and discovered that Matched is the first in a trilogy.)
Matched is a decent read for those moments when you want to take time out and read something a bit slower.