Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Matched by Allyson Condie

In the future, Society will determine what you eat, where you work and how you spend your free time. More importantly, Society determines who you will marry. For Cassia Reyes, she is thrilled that her Matched ceremony occurs on her seventeenth birthday. Even better, Cassia is Matched with Xander, whom she has known since childhood. Cassia sees her life as perfect. She will get to spend the rest of her life with her best friend. So when Cassia reads her microcard on Xander from her Matched ceremony, she is shocked when Xander's photo fades into Ky Markham, a boy she also knows.

Later that evening while at rec time, an official from the Societal Classification Department comes to talk to Cassia. She informs Cassia that what happened is a rare mistake and hopes that someone didn't play a cruel joke. Cassia realizes that Ky is a Single, someone who will not be Matched or allowed to have children. Only those Matched are allowed children. No, the official says. "He's not a Single. Ky Markham is an Aberration." People who are Aberrations have usually incurred an infraction but that knowledge is not publically known. Cassia is told to keep this information to herself. She asks if she may tell her Grandfather whose 80th birthday is in a couple of days. The official says that would be alright. In Cassia's Society, one's eightieth birthday is also the day one dies. As Cassia's family prepares for Grandfather's final banquet, he tells Cassia to bring his mother's gold compact. The compact is Cassia's artifact, the one item from past society that she is allowed to keep. He reveals that there is a secret piece of paper inside that he finds comfort in. He also tells her to be true to herself before he passes away.

Since her Match ceremony and the blunder with the microcard, Cassia begins to see Ky Markham everywhere. She is surprised when they share the same summer rec activity, hiking. With no instruction, the group is told to meet at the top. Cassia takes off through the woods. Near the top, she stops and hides. She pulls out her compact to read the slip of paper hidden there. On it are two poems, but they are not a part of the 100 poems that Society has chosen. As Cassia reads the Dylan Thomas poem, she quickly realizes why it wasn't chosen. It is about fighting for what you believe in and Cassia begins to understand what her Grandfather's final words to her truly mean.

Soon Cassia finds herself drawn to Ky even though she is Matched to Xander. As the two get to know more about each other on their hikes, Cassia begins to question Society's control over every aspects of their lives, especially when Society begins to tighten their control. Will Cassia assume the role Society has planned for her or does she take her Grandfather's last advise and follow her heart?

Cassia'a story continues with Crossed on November 1, 2011.

Visit Allyson Condie's website.
Visit the official website for Matched.

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