Matched – Ally Condie
Pages: 366 (ARC)
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Release Date: 2nd December 2010
Watched by society.
Trapped by rules.
Freed by love?
On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life.
Except he’s not.
In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die.
But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel...
Ally Condie’s debut is one of the most highly anticipated YA novels of the year and I had very high expectations, and I was majorly disappointed.
I found Matched to be very slow-moving. Not very much happened in the way of action until the last hundred or so pages; it seemed to be very character driven and paid a lot of attention to establishing Cassia’s world and its rules. But, boy, what a world! Ally Condie’s dystopian world is controlled to the extreme, creating a ‘perfect’ society. Everybody is healthy, educated, working to their strengths, matched to their genes and personalities and die at the same age. They have no choice and no freedom.
Due to the Hundred Committee – people choosing a hundred poems, books, paintings, historical moments, etc. – Cassia can't even know of the world the Officials have supposedly saved them from. The idea of the Hundred actually terrifies me. Imagine a group of people limiting art and culture like that! This really enforced the feeling of the forbidden in everything that Cassia does, feels and thinks.
Even though I didn’t particularly like Cassia and I struggled to keep reading at some points, I can't deny that Matched was beautifully written and there were two quotes in particular that really stayed with me: ‘Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.’ (p.65 UK ARC) and ‘Some things are created to be together.’ (p.213 UK ARC). Both are beautiful and very, very true.
Even though I doubt I’ll carry on with the series, Matched will appeal to fans of dystopia and forbidden love.
For my 2010 Debut Author Challenge, 2010 100+ Reading Challenge