Matched - Review

Matched by Ally Condie
Publication date: 30 November 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
ISBN 10/13: 0525423648 / 9780525423645

Category: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover Keywords: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Futuristic

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How I found out about this book: Penguin sent our store a lovely giant boxed set of ARCs including Nightshade, The Replacement, The Eternal Ones, and Sapphique--and this excellent new novel from Ally Condie.

My review: Imagine a perfect world. Almost everything is pre-selected for you--there are few surprises, but you live a happy, orderly, convenient little life. You have family and friends. You get the job that best suits you. And should worry, pain, or sorrow enter your life, you can take a pill--it's okay--they're government issue. And you still have the freedom to make choices--or do you?

Cassia is matched with her childhood best friend, Xander--a rare pairing already as matches are calculated all over the country--but doubt begins to creep in when The Society appears to have given her a defective disc. Her original Match's data surfaces for just a second until Xander's face comes back up, but that second is enough to set her on a reluctant search for the truth about the perfect culture she lives in.

Mild spoiler: One of the things I enjoyed most in this book was when Cassia talks about The Hundreds, which are sort of "Best of" collections of humanity's creative treasures--the 100 Poems, 100 Songs, etc. All others have been "lost", "destroyed", "forgotten". The realization of how much information our current world holds sent shivers up my spine--the thought that if Cassia's world were real, it wouldn't even be that I could only have 100 books. It's that there would only BE 100 Books in all of Society.

Condie explores the nebulous topics of choice, freedom, and good intentions in this novel that, at first glance, seems like an innocent little love triangle. Matched aspires to the heights of classics like Lois Lowry's The Giver, the blockbuster Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, and critical hits like Mary Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Neal Shusterman's Unwind. Reading this book left me out of breath, with heart in my throat, and my mind simply blown.

Who would read and enjoy this book: I don't know! I want to say everyone but I gave it to a friend of mine who has similar tastes in reading and she hated it. So I don't know. Read it, and tell me if you like it :) In comparison to Hunger Games I think boys will be a little more loath to pick it up--the latent topic being love and marriage, not death and carnage. 

Matched is Ally Condie's 6th novel. (Matched, Book 1 will be followed by Crossed in Fall 2011)

Find the author at, on Twitter @allycondie

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