Publication: November 30th, 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group
Rating: 5 out 5
Cassia 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.
Action, adventure, romance- oh my! Matched by Ally Condie is a wonderful book about truth seeking and rebellion in a world of complete control. We begin our journey on the night of young Cassia’s seventeenth birthday, but this isn’t any ordinary party. This is also her Matched Banquet. This is where her one mate will be revealed to her, because just like penguins, in this book humans mate for life. Not by choice, of course, this is simply how the “Society” chooses for them to live. The Society is their form of govenment and dictates each and every life decision they make, from life partners to jobs, even time of death! All is oblivious and dandy in this perfectly sheltered world, until Cassia sees a second face in her Match’s information screen. Soon enough, she goes from devoted to her best friend and mate, Xander, to possibly falling for an Abberation, one who is not allowed to be Matched. This creates serious conflict in Cassia’s world because the government’s word is absolute law- nobody ever disobeys it. Add a rebellious and dying grandfather on top who tells her to fight back, and you’ve got one heck of a storm brewing.
Tempting as it is to give it all away, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out what becomes of Cassia and her loves. All in all I enjoyed the novel for its relatability and quantity of conflicts. We find many both internal and external. My only issue is with Cassia herself, because she often shys away from rebellion despite what her love and Grandfather tell her to do, though I still admit she is a strong character for the circumstances she overcomes. This is the first book in a three part series, and I would highly recommend reading all three.
**Reviewed by Otter**