In the not-so-distant future, The Society controls all aspect of life. They decide what you eat, where you work, whom you marry, and even when you die. That’s just the way it is. A Matching ceremony is held when you turn seventeen. It is here eager teenagers learn who will be their life-long mate. Cassia’s seventeenth birthday coincides with her Matching ceremony. She will learn who she’ll marry-what a present! Her match just happens to be her neighbor and friend Xander. She’s surprised and thrilled. Never has she thought of him romantically, but somehow it’s comforting and easy. Cassia and Xander timidly enter into a new relationship.
After she’s Matched, Cassia receives the details about her partner-to-be. What could she not already know about Xander? But she’s in for a surprise when it’s not his face she sees flash on the screen. She immediately recognizes Ky from school. He’s a loner she’s never gotten to know. Xander’s smiling face reappears, wiping Ky’s from the screen. Cassia is confused to say the least. Could it be a mistake? Is Xander really her Match or is it Ky? The Society does NOT make mistakes!
Intrigued by what she’s seen, Cassia can’t get Ky out of her head. She encounters him at school and during hiking class. The more she gets to know Ky, the more she finds herself attracted to him. But Xander is her Match…or is he?
I know what you’re thinking-not another dystopian future story. That’s what I assumed before I read Ms. Condie’s work. I really liked this one. Maybe the premise is an old one but the characters are refreshingly different. Yes, there’s a love triangle, but I think it worked. I know many of the other reviews out there have been harsh on Matched, claiming it is “stolen” ideas from past books. I totally disagree. The author gives us a new interpretation of what life is like in one society. The details woven into the story give the characters depth. I especially liked Cassia’s grandfather and the role he plays in her life. The preparation for his death and his passing was beautifully written. It’s moments like this that separate Matched from other dystopian novels and makes it an instant classic in this reader’s opinion.
Matched is a 2014 Teen Nutmeg Nominee. Check out the further adventures of Cassia in Crossed and Reached.