Sunday, September 23, 2012

Where Is the Love?--a review of MATCHED by Ally Condie

Life is perfect for Cassia.  Her government gives her everything she needs to be happy and healthy: meals, a job, recreational activities, and school.  Now, she’s 17 and ready to be matched.  Who will her future husband be?
Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia floats in light green silk, and her mood is as light. She has just been publicly matched to her best friend, Xander. But then, a blip, another boy’s face appears on her screen at home. She knows Ky, too, but has she ever really seen him? After the death of her grandfather, and a sudden realization that not everything is what it seems, Cassia begins to question what she has always believed was true.

There comes a time, toward the end of adolescence, when most young adults begin to realize that not everything is perfect. Condie does a great job of picking up on this angst through the protagonist Cassia. The minute she asks one question, hundreds more appear, and can’t be easily answered. A definite nod to Ray Bradbury appears when we discover that poetry and books are no longer allowed, besides the 100 that were deemed worthy. Cassia and Ky share a love of forbidden pleasures, writing and poems. But, Cassia has been matched. Ky is an aberration. They can never be together. Or can they fight the odds?

“The stunning clarity and attention to detail in Condie’s Big Brother-like world is a feat. The author just as easily tears this world apart while deftly exploring the individual cost of societal perfection and the sacrifices inherent in freedom of choice.”

“In a story that is at once evocative of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, George Orwell’s 1984, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Condie introduces readers to the ‘perfect’ Society. Her awakening and developments are realistically portrayed, and supporting characters like Cassia’s parents and her grandfather add depth to the story. Fans of The Giver will devour this book and impatiently demand the next installment.”
–School Library Journal

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