Matched by Ally Condie
Cassia Reyes’ futuristic society has always taken care of everything– from things as simple as meals prepared specifically for each person’s nutritional needs, to calculating each eighteen year old’s perfect match for their lifelong marriages. When Cassie is matched with her best friend Xander, she’s pleasantly surprised, even though it rarely happens that a person is matched with someone they already know. Later at home, when she puts the microcard with his biographical data on it into her port (computer) to admire him, a quick flash of another boy’s picture shows up on the screen for just a second. She recognizes the picture from school, an orphan named Ky who was adopted at 10 by his aunt and uncle. How can she have two matches? An officer from the government explains that it’s just a computer glitch, but Cassia’s mind has already started wondering. Add to this the illegal poem her grandfather slipped to her on his deathbed, and the young woman is in for a world of confusion. Cassia begins to want all kinds of forbidden things: more poetry and music than the government-approved 100 titles of each, a growing romance with Ky, more time by herself thinking.
Writer Condie skillfully tells this dystopian tale without giving the readers time to gasp for air. The fast-paced plot is intricately tied together with specific details: a Dylan Thomas poem, secrets whispered while hiking up a forbidden hill, and descriptions of the three pills each citizen must keep on their person at all times. This engaging story is one of the best I’ve read this school year! I love that it blends a unique dystopia with a forbidden romance. I highly recommend it to dystopia, science fiction and romance fans.