Thursday, October 28, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

I probably never would have heard of this book if it hadn't been for my friend Chantele. She is the one who recommends almost all of the books I read. :) Amazingly, I got my hands on a copy...This book isn't actually released yet, but I have connections. (haha) A family friend, Donja, is the manager of a bookstore, and when she came to visit me and my new little bambino, she surprised me and brought this (and a few other ARCs) for me. I was SO EXCITED.

Matched is up there of my list of favorite books I've read all year-- maybe ever. I LOVED this book. But the whole time I read, I was thinking how incredibly sad it all was. This Society that controls their entire lives-and most of them are so grateful. It makes me sick. Every decision, every move you make, every word you say, every expression on your face is monitored your whole life. Based on these things, Officials tell you what you can and cannot do, who your "perfect" match is, what line of work you are supposed to do. And then, when you turn 80, you die. Just like that. They schedule your entire life for you-- map it out. There are no accidents, no disease, no free-thinking. This Society took 100 of the "best" of everything and got rid of everything else. 100 poems, 100 songs, 100 art pieces. They believe that if you have too many choices, then it overwhelms you and you can't appreciate it. So, they tell you what to like. They monitor meals to ensure no obesity. You can't share food. Ever. Anyone who questions the Society, disappears. Only no one will remember that they ever existed. They make sure of that too.

I really liked Cassia. I loved to see her change throughout the book. Her thought processes shifted and she became more and more independent. She was a strong female character, and you all know that I love those. :) No damsels in distress here.

I loved Ky too. As his story unfolded, it broke my heart. What a horrible existence. I don't want to give anything away about him, but he reminded me of the saying, "In the world, but not of the world." He existed in the Society, but he didn't live like the rest of them. He did not "go quietly." (That will make more sense to you after you read it-- which you should do on November 30th when it comes out. Drop everything!)

And then there's poor Xander... I really liked his character too. I was torn. :( He was just so genuinely GOOD. I am curious to see what happens in the next book with his part in the story...

Read this book!! I really can't do it justice. I am dying for a sequel and this one hasn't even been released yet... That's how much I loved it. It's one of those books that will stay on your mind long after you read it. So, everyone go get yourselves a copy first thing on November 30th! (And then let me know what you think! This is a "discussion book".) 

Happy Reading! 

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