Thursday, 2 December 2010

Review: Matched - Ally Condie

MatchedCassia 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.

Released: 2nd December 2010 in the UK by Razorbill (Penguin)

Cassia lives in a future world where everything is controlled by Society. People where different colour uniforms depending on their status, meals - all nutritionally tailored for the individual - are supplied. Even death is controlled.

The story starts with Cassia about to attend the ceremony where she gets to find out who she is to be Matched with,.ie. who she'll marry when she's older. For most people this is usually someone they've never met before but Cassia's match ends up being her best friend, Xander. The matchees are given data cards with information about their match, obviously pointless to Xander and Cassia, they grew ip together after all but Cassia decides to take a look anyway, only to have a picture of another boy flash up on the screen briefly. Cassia wonders if there has been some mistake. Could it be that this boy is actually her match. It's strange because Society doesn't make mistakes and even stranger because she also knows the other boy, Ky.

In lots of ways, Matched is very typical of dystopian fiction. An 'ideal' world where everything is controlled to the extreme, supposedly for the good of the people and a protagonist who starts to doubt the rules. It's a very well written and interesting story. There's probably not enough depth to some of the characters but I think that will come with future books in the series. It would have been too overwhelming to go too much into this as well as setting up and explaining the storyworld. Saying that however, I adored both the relationship between Cassia and Xander and that which grew between Cassia and Ky.

Throughout, the book was really enjoyable and was one that I could have quite easily read through in one go if I'd had the time to be able to do that. The only part I was slightly disappointed in was the ending as there didn't really seem to be one. However, having now seen that it is the first of a planned trilogy, it wasn't such a bad way to finish up; especially as it's left me wanting the next book right now!

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Matched website:

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