Matched by Ally Condie

Summary from Goodreads:

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 begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I don't know how I feel exactly about this book. There was a point, perhaps in the middle, where I wasn't excited anymore to read the story. It could be because I read The Giver and The Hunger Games first and some of the ideas in Matched are reminiscent of those found in the previously mentioned titles. In fact, I felt that it's mash-up of the two. A society where every action is controlled. From food, to clothes, to what movies to watch and music to listen to, to jobs, to whom you are supposed to marry, even down to whether it's time for you to die or not. This is "The Giver" part of the story. "The Hunger Games" part is the rebellion and war part. It was when the story showed the gruesome bombings that happened to the provinces who rebelled and the constant suppression of future rebellion by The Officials through harsher and stricter means of control. And think Fahrenheit 451 as the Officials also burns and sanctions literary works.

Perhaps its because the ideas, while worth contemplating, are no longer new to me.  But on the upside, I do love the use of poems to convey a message or story, and things started to pick up again in the last few pages that I started getting the excitement back. This is the point where you will be kept guessing as to whether the truth was a lie or that the lie was the truth. Questions started popping up inside Cassia's head about The Society and whether this controlled life is really the only way to go, and she is out to get answers. Although this doesn't have the rush, the adventure, and the grittiness of Chaos Walking or Hunger Games (well maybe not yet, in the second installment perhaps?) but it's a pretty decent dystopian novel and judging from the ending, I think it still has potential.

Matched is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of the Year for Fiction (2010).

This is my 17th entry for the Award Winning Books Reading Challenge Hosted by Gathering Books.


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