Matched is an emotionally resonant book about a dystopian future in which everything that people do is controlled by the government. The society portrayed so vividly in Matched is a lot like the one in Orwell's 1984 where Big Brother is constantly watching you. In Matched, the government is not given a name like Big Brother but its representatives seem to be around every corner, watching people and making sure that they behave in the right way. Everything that people do is controlled, from what they eat and what they wear to who they marry.
The story centers around young Cassia who has been scheduled to marry a boy named Xander who is also her best friend, but Cassia starts developing feelings for Ky, someone who is not a respected member of society because of an infraction committed by his father. Ky is called an aberration and he's not allowed to marry. He can only take up very low level jobs whereas Cassia has been qualified to get a very high level job. Although the story is about Cassia deciding who she would rather be with—Xander or Ky—it's also a story about the restrictiveness of this dystopian society and a rebellion brewing in the background.
There are hints that in places referred to as the outer provinces, there is a war going on but this information has been kept from people who live civilized lives in the city. Although these civilized lives are safe, they're also very restrictive. Most of the books and artworks that exist now have been destroyed, with society decreeing that only 100 of each shall be saved. So there are only 100 poems, 100 movies etc. For entertainment, people must turn to one of these even though they've already read them or seen them before.
Cassia and Ky get caught up in a discovery of poems that are not part of the 100. They're committing a crime by not immediately handing these poems to the government officials but it's so exciting and moving to find something new that they can't help themselves. Plus, Ky starts teaching Cassia to write by hand, something that no one in the society knows how to do. Eventually, Cassia, who has a bright future ahead of her in this society, must make a choice between the safe future that has been chosen for her and disobeying society's laws by choosing Ky.
Ally Condie, author of Matched, has written a trilogy consisting of Matched, Crossed and Reached. The rights for Matched have been optioned to the Walt Disney Company, after a bidding war with Paramount. Allie Condie went to Brigham Young University and currently lives outside of Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and four children. She used to be an English teacher and still maintains her license, just in case.
Download a copy of Matched today from Audio Bookstore and join Cassia in her journey of self-discovery in this restricted dystopian future.
Cassia has always trusted the
Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to
believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony,
Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate … until she sees
Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells
her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy
life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about
Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia is faced with an impossible choice—not only between Xander and Ky but between the life she’s
known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
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