trailer link).What is the significance of the green dress? What does the bubble mean? Matched to what or whom?
All these questions are answered in this fantastic dystopian romance. Ally Condie presents the perfect blend of coming-of-age, love triangle, and life in an alternate society. The characters are pure of heart, respectable and the inclusion of the parents as intelligent, important characters made me love it even more.
Cassia lives in a world where everything is "optimal" - your meals provide optimal nutritional specifically designed for your body. Your job, and even your marriage are "matched". While Cassia was excited that her childhood friend, Xander, was chosen as her match - something glitched when she reviewed his electronic profile. She sees another familiar face - Ky. How could this be? In their perfect society, nothing ever happens on accident. And that's just it - maybe it wasn't an accident?
I enjoyed the purity of the characters and their budding romance, but even more I enjoyed the aspects of the society. The way Ally Condie describes Cassia continually monitoring even her own thoughts to keep them in line with the society's standards just blew me away. The story reminded me of a modern, more appealing, flip-side of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. I also enjoyed the present, first-person view - making it a quick read.
There were only a few things that bugged me about this story and they were just minor. I felt that after a lifetime of molding by society, Cassia was too quick to rebel and throw her emotions into someone she just realized is not who she thought he was. It was as if she could have had more interraction and more background and connection to the character before making these daring leaps. The other thing is that these characters' names are almost identical to the main characters in Firelight. Not that I think there's any copying or name-stealing, more likely these names are just popular right now, Xander and Cassia in Matched, Xander and Cassian in Firelight.
Overall, I loved Matched! A clean, fun, fast read that will make you ponder societal control and make you want a shimmering green dress. While a few other books may rank a little higher in my all-time favorite list, for a strictly Young Adult recommendation, this one is absolutely the best!
I give matched ***** 5 Shimmering Green Stars
Crossed this year and the third book in 2012. Now that the characters are truly matched- I have high hopes their story will be even deeper and more adventurous in Crossed!