Book 3/50, 2014
I guess the moral of this story is any time you give me a totalitarian government mixed with a complex romance, I immediately fall head first into the rabbit hole. (And yes, I love Orwell’s 1984).
Matched is Book One in a trilogy of YA novels based in the future and written by Ally Condie. Matched depicts an interesting take on a dystopian, post apocalyptic world. Via ‘port’, meals with proper caloric distributions are delivered to each home everyday, citizens in the larger cities are asked to sleep with tags on so their dreams can be monitored and data can be collected, and like any totalitarian government: the Officials are watching your every move. Well, almost every move.
The governing body, the Society, also ‘matches’ citizens for marriage based on their DNA on their seventeenth birthdays. The novel’s protagonist, Cassia, is a likeable, pretty girl who has been ‘matched’ with not one, but two boys she knows. And that’s when things get interesting. Cassia’s urge to get to know one of the boys complicates things and this is when the reader becomes fully emerged in her journey. Because, in these types of stories, when the central character latches onto the forbidden fruit, that’s when you’re up until 5 am reading like a maniac because you need to know what happens.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I struggled the first few chapters after noticing some elements that my writing classes and Post Graduate program have warned against… For instance I was thinking ‘How many times is Cassia going to smile on page 10?’ (It’s that critical eye I’m still exploring). But I’ve got to say, I quickly moved past those minor details and became full enraptured by the story. Condie is a fantastic storyteller and if I haven’t convinced you yet, how about this: I already ran to Indigo to pick up the second book in the series, Crossed, today.