Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Review: "Matched" by Ally Condie

I think I've read more "young adult" fiction this year than I probably did when I was a young adult, but of course, today's YA fiction is more creative than anything I ever read when I was younger. Don't be put off by the YA label, because you don't need to suspend your intellect or your maturity when reading these books.

I found Ally Condie's Matched tremendously intriguing. The first in a proposed trilogy, the book takes place in the somewhat distant future. Our world was destroyed, particularly because of an overabundance of choices and lack of control, so the ruling "Society" now has control over everything. Nothing is left to chance; they have already foreseen the future. The Society dictates your profession, they plan your meals based on your nutritional requirements, and they determine who will "match" with whom, based on the most favorable breeding characteristics. Shortly after your 17th birthday, you learn who your match will be at a special banquet. At Cassia's matching banquet, she learns she is matched with Xander, her childhood friend. Yet the next day, the matching program tells her she is matched with Ky, a former schoolmate. And while she is told by Society officials that this was a glitch and Xander is her true match, she can't help but be intrigued by the thought of Ky. Once she starts to question why she can't choose her match, the questions about the Society's control over everything start coming fast and furious.

I really, really enjoyed this book. Condie did a terrific job creating the Society and all of its rules and programs, and truly created a group of fascinating characters. While the outcome of certain incidents might have been predictable, my attention was completely held the entire time. I look forward to reading the next book in the series—sadly, I don't think Condie has finished it yet!

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