Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

On the night of Cassia's Match Banquet, the screen that will show her Match, her ideal mate and future husband, goes black. Everyone knows this can mean only one thing - her Match is in the room with her. To Cassia's delight, the name announced is her childhood best friend - Xander Carrow. Matches made between two people in the same city are so rare, Cassia has never even allowed herself to dream that she might get to spend the rest of her life with loyal, handsome Xander.

In the Society, the ideal life is designed for everyone. Based on carefully sorted and analyzed data and statistics, Officials decide what your career will be, where you will live, who you will marry, and even when you will die. Choice and free will have no place in Cassia's world - why make your own decisions when the Society can make much better ones for you?

But when Cassia gets home and puts Xander's microchip into the Port, it's not Xander's face she sees on the screen. Instead, the face of another boy she knows flashes before her eyes before the screen goes dark - Ky Markham.

Cassia is confused and terrified. The Society doesn't make mistakes. Being Matched with Xander was highly unusual - but being Matched with two boys, both from her city and both her friends, should have been impossible. So when an Official approaches her soon after her banquet and tells her that Ky's data was entered into the Matching Pool in error, Cassia should be relieved. Instead, she can't stop thinking about Ky. Suddenly, Cassia finds herself drowning in choices in a world where she shouldn't have any. Stability, friendship and familiarity with Xander? Or danger, romantic love and a brave new world with Ky?

This dystopian love story will give you chills of every kind! The Society will creep you right out, as they choose everyone's meals, what poetry, paintings, and songs can be listened to (only 100 of each saved from the past), rewrite the past and destroy the future. And you'll have just as hard a time choosing between Xander and Ky as Cassia does, especially when she's busy fighting to keep the rest of the people she loves safe from the Society and the choices she must make. For fans of The Giver and The Hunger Games trilogy, Matched will make sure you savor that extra piece of pie, the rustle of maple leaves, a beautiful poem, a lazy Sunday afternoon, and the right to choose who you love. Check it out @ the library and look for the sequel, Crossed, coming in November 2011!

(who, speaking of creepy, is now reading one of the Morris award nominees, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey)

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