Matched by Ally Condie In the Society, problems have been smoothed away by careful application of statistical science. Everyone is told what to eat and wear and where to work. But everyone is pretty much happy, and guaranteed to live a healthy 80 years. As the story opens, 17-year-old Cassia is about to attend her Match banquet. Wearing a beautiful, borrowed dress, she will get to see the face of the boy the Society has chosen to be her best Match. Shockingly, rather than a stranger in some other town, her best friend and neighbor down the street, Xander, is chosen instead. She can hardly believe her good fortune. But then, when she gets home and looks on the data card she’s been given, she sees not only Xander’s picture, but the picture of Ky, another boy she knows. Even though an Official tells her it was a mistake, she can’t stop thinking about Ky, who came to her town from the Outer Provinces when they were children. At the same time, her beloved Grandfather is very close to his 80th birthday, when citizens of the Society die. At their last meeting, he gives her contraband poetry from Before, hidden in a legal antique Artifact. And now she is possessed of beautiful words that are too dangerous to keep. For the first time in her life, Cassia begins to doubt the perfection of the Society, both for her individually and as a whole. But how much will resistance cost those she loves? And how much her own are her thoughts and feelings after all? The ending leaves things open enough for a sequel.
This felt very reminiscent of the classic The Giver, with more of a focus on the emotions. It is interesting to read with plenty to think and talk about. And yet – I think what bothers me about this is that I can see our government headed for much more control of our lives in some areas, but not the ones suggested in this book. That would be another fun topic for discussion – compare dystopian novels like this, Uglies, The Hunger Games, The Giver, or Feed to see which seems the most possible future.