Matched by Ally Condie is a captivating young adult science fiction novel. The year is never disclosed, but it seems like it is in the not too distant future. The use of technology destroyed the previous societies that existed, and now a new government has take control. In this new civilization, people are told exactly how to live their lives, including what job they will have, what they will eat for dinner, and even who they are to marry. Of course, the government had the best interested of the people in mind. In the beginning, they had wanted to ensure that people would have long healthy lives with strong offspring, but along the way free will was taken away.
Cassia has just found out that she is to be matched with her best friend Xander. (How perfect is that?) As she is viewing her microcard containing information on her perfect match, another boy’s face crosses the screen. Not only is Cassia viewing someone other than her match, but it is another boy that she knows. Naturally, this is very distressing for Cassia, but thankful an Official tells her it is all a big mistake and not to worry. After finding out that there may be another match for her, Cassia begins to question if her government does indeed know what is best for the individual. She also starts to notice the other boy. Before long, Cassia finds herself getting into all kinds of trouble.
This is the first book in a new trilogy. I found myself rather enjoying the novel even though I typically don’t read science fiction. The story captured my attention quickly, and I found myself compelled to pick the book up whenever I sat down. The characters were interesting and, surprisingly, had little teenager angst that so many young adult books portray these days. Instead, Cassia is a very responsible and focused character who soon finds herself logically questioning the control her society’s government has on the general population. The love story was very sweet, but not overly mushy, giving the story enough depth without being overbearing. I am curious to see what happens in the next book, and I am sure there will be more action in the second book since the adventure has just begun. If you enjoyed reading The Giver or Brave New World, this would be a book for you.
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