Release Date: November 30th, 2010
Matched, book 1 in its trilogy, is a futuristic, dystopian young adult story. The Society that we are introduced to is a highly controlled, neutralized civilization. And as long as that Society maintains control over the people, the system they have created will succeed. Everything is perfectly planned out and calculated, and everything that happens has been already predicted by precise analysis. Part of this analysis is the Matching system, where the Society chooses your spouse.
When Cassia’s Match is revealed, she couldn’t be more pleased – at first. Her match turns out to be Xander, her best friend from childhood. But when another match is revealed, not Xander, she is confused – her second match is Ky, another boy from her childhood that she knows little about. The Society simply does not make mistakes like this, and she does not know what to think. Is her Match Xander, reliable and secure, or is it possibly Ky, independent and passionate? She decides to tell no one about this mistake, so as not to ruin anything with Xander, but that does not keep her from wondering about Ky.
Cassia interacts more and more with Ky, but rather unintentionally. While Xander prefers swimming as his choice of recreational activities, Cassia and Ky prefer hiking. As they spend this time together, trust develops and they share parts of themselves that no one else knows. They step into dangerous territory, not just with the Society, but with their own hearts.
This world that has developed in the future is just terrifying. Everything is decided for you – your meals, your free time, your jobs, your spouse, the number of children you can have, and even the songs you listen to and the books you read. The belief behind it all is that people should have no control over their own lives, because when people have the right to choose, they choose poorly. Civilization must be controlled, because where freedom is, chaos follows and Society crumbles. Books like these should give us perspective on how blessed we truly are to live our own lives and love whom our hearts desire. We tend to take for granted the simplest of things in life, such as deciding what we want to eat for dinner, or which book to read next, or who we should marry, and if we want to have 4 kids or maybe not any. This novel for teens can speak to all ages, and remind us to cherish the life we have. I enjoyed this book, though it was slow at times, and I’m excited to see where Cassia’s decisions take her in the next book in the series, Crossed.
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