|Cover from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Matched-Ally-Condie/dp/0525423648/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302102758&sr=8-1-spell)|
In Cassia’s world “The Society” has created the perfect world. There is no cancer, really no disease of any kind. There is little crime. There is no drama. Nothing is left to chance because there is no personal choice. The Officials decide what everyone will eat, what jobs they will have and whom they will marry – and in some cases whether or not they will marry. The Officials collect data on everyone (very Big Brotherish) and have determined the optimal (and likely) outcomes for everything. No one is “burdened” with having to make a choice. Cassia is perfectly happy with the way things are – at least in the beginning. Everyone is safe. She truly believes in The Society, until after her match banquet when she is matched with her best friend. However, the following day when reviewing her Match data card, she sees a different boy’s face pop up on the screen. This unheard of mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path – one that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.
I listened to this book on audio. It was a fabulous read. It reminded of one of my all time favorite books: Lois Lowry’s The Giver. A comparison of the two would make an interesting school reading assignment.
Based on all the reviews I have read of this book, it appears this is one of those books that you either love or hate. Some people think it’s too much live The Giver. Others don’t like that Cassia doesn’t question enough. Still others don’t like the pacing – it doesn’t have enough action.
I like the similarity to The Giver. I found the pacing fits well with the story.
When the story first began I was struck by the fact that Cassia seems much younger than 17. On reflection, that makes sense. If you lived in a society that controlled everything you did, you might not mature as fast as you would in a society where you had to make choices, especially choices with consequences.
It is true there is not a great deal of action in this story. If you like the thrill of The Hunger Games, this might not be the read for you. This book is rather more introspective. Condi has created likable characters that I want to learn more about. There are many questions still to be answered. I found that to be part of the book’s charm. The reader has the same questions that Cassia is only just beginning to ask herself.
I understand this is the first book in what will be a trilogy. I’m looking forward to reading the other books.