Saturday, March 3, 2012

Review: Matched

(Matched #1)
By Ally Condie

Published: November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Read from:  November 7-10, 2011
Number of pages: 369
Source:  HS Library
Find it on:
goodreadsindie Bound

Summary: 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.

The Society: the world of Matched
Now Matched may not be as action packed as some of the other popular dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, or Divergent but even though it lacks in action the world matched is set in is in some ways scarier.  (Now I’m not saying a world where 24 kids are forced in to a battle to the death isn’t down right terrifying because it is.)  What I find scary about the world of match is that the people are so compliant with the Society and no one sees how oppressive the Society is. 

First is the Matching Ceremony for which the book is named for.  Based on data that the Society has collected and keeps on EVERYONE (including information that is gather when you sleep) your ideal spouse or match is chosen for you.  Ideal is based primarily on genetics and insuring the next generation is as able as possible and less on compatibility, so it’s basically genetic profiling.  The Society also selects your diet, what leisure activities you can partake in and when, chooses your ideal job, dictates when couples can have children, and even tells you when you are going to die.  What is most frightening is that everyone simply accepts this.  It’s how things are done and only the oldest people (those nearing their 80th birthday) remember a time before the society.

One concept in the book I found particularly disturbing was the concept of 100 things. "[The Society] created commissions to choose the hundred best of everything: Hundred Songs,..Paintings, .. Stories, ..Poems. The Rest were eliminated. Gone forever. For the best the Society said...How we can appreciate anything fully when overwhelmed with too much." (pg 29) I can't fathom having to do this. How could a society narrow everything down to the 100 best, and who gets to pick what is best.

Final Thoughts and Recommendation:

I enjoyed Matched, I wouldn’t recommend this one if you are looking for something action packed, but it’s worth the read. The setting is thought provoking and had me pondering it a long time after I put the book down.  I haven’t had a chance to pick up the 2nd book Crossed, but I’m looking forward to reading more about the Society.

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