In Ally Condie’s Matched, sixteen-year-old Cassia Reyes is anxious about one of the most important days of her life: her Match Banquet. In this society, officials decide who you are destined to fall in love with, what your profession will be, and when you will die.
Cassia’s match is someone she already knows. In fact, it is her best friend. This is an extremely rare occurrence; most matches are between two strangers. Things complicate even further when one evening, Xander’s face is not displayed on her match’s information screen. In his place is the face of a different boy. Cassia is informed that it was merely a programming error, and that she should forget about it. Cassia, by chance, meets the boy, and finds herself falling in love with him. She is faced with an internal struggle: follow her heart and break nearly every law she knows, or abide by the law and live safely but with a lingering feeling of longing?
Matched is an impeccable novel. Ally Condie’s fascinating society truly captured my interest. The citizens are completely devoid of any ideas that their community is anything less than utopia. Cassia seems to be the first in hundreds of years to become conscious that there might be more to life than merely data and statistics. Condie’s vivid wording made the characters spring to life on the page.
Brittany Schaubhut is a sophomore in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys singing, acting, and writing.
Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.