Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie
Series: Matched Trilogy #1
Format: Hardcover

Cassia is thrilled when her Match Banquet falls on her 17th birthday when she stands up though the screen does not show her any handsome young man in another city, because something rare has happened.  He is in her city, not just near but someone she knows her best friend, Xander.  She laughs that she still gets a data card about him but it isn’t so funny when it shows her another phase just for a moment: Ky.  The Society arranges everything so that people are happy and work hard, but there are things happening in The Outer Provinces and even the Cities.  Cassia has to choose between the boy she has always known and the boy she has always wondered about, but there is an even bigger choice to accept the life the Society has given her or to “not go gentle into that good night.”

In my head I call these utopian dystopias, because this isn’t a barren wasteland.  Most of these people think they are happy.  When you meet Cassia this world is utopian is to her, but chinks begin to appear.  She is thrilled at the idea of spending the rest of her life with Xander, but then there is Ky who has always intrigued her.  Here is a love triangle that honestly worked for me.  What has happened to the culture is very interesting, that everything has been reduced to a hundred items: Hundred Paintings, Hundred Songs, Hundred Poems, and etc.  “Do not go gentle into that good night” is a poem that was lost, or was it?  I like that as Cassia becomes aware of herself she also becomes aware of others, the things about her family that she never noticed before.  There is also the fact that when you reach a certain point of technological development there becomes the question of how much can be predicted and analyzed.

This cover was one that I was unsure of.  It felt kind of silly and pretty as some are going now, but honestly yes it is perfect.  The dress fits for her dress from the Banquet and she is trapped in the glass…  It fits with that Utopian side of the story, everything so clean and pretty that it is easy to forget you are trapped.  The characters are like onions (couldn’t resist) at first you see only the cliche of the happy citizens but then you see the quiet rebellions in almost everyone.

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