by Ally Condie
Cassia has always followed the rules. Of course it's not like she's ever really had a choice. Everything she or her parents do is dictated by the government. When they eat, where they sleep, when they die, where they work, who they marry. When Cassia attends her Matching ceremony, where she and others her age will learn who they are going to marry, she is thrilled to find out that she has been matched with her best friend Xander. She at least knows that they get along well and will do good together. But when she goes home that night and plugs in the chip which will give her more information on the matching process she sees not Xander's face, but that of another boy. But society doesn't make mistakes like this. Who is she really supposed to be matched with?
Matched presents a different take on the dystopian novels that are so popular right now. In this society order is key. Everything down to what a person wears is dictated by society, and everyone seems to be completely ok with this. This seems to be the biggest downside of the book. The complete absence of any sort of rebellion by people is a bit hard to swallow, though Condie tries to explain that their compliance is due to the fact that many take the 'calming' pill given by the government, though that pill is not used by all. The interactions between Cassia and Xander, and her new love interest Ky, are well written and believable. The story as a whole is a good read.
Genre: Dystopian Novel
Age Level: 9-10th grade
Series Info: Matched, Crossed, Reached