Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Reading this made me think I was reading someone's idea of a mash-up between The Hunger Games (strong central government with rebellious/problematic Outer Districts) and The Giver/Gathering Blue/etc.. Like HG, this will be a trilogy and honestly, it doesn't need to be. I know that there's been some discussion about the ambiguity of the ending in The Giver - why do we need clear-cut resolutions? Why isn't allowing each reader to figure out what happens next for themselves enough any more?
The Society in Matched is supposedly based on reason, on providing an equitable, healthy life for all citizens. Every moment of one's day is dictated (limited choices for "free recreation" times, food deliveries of specifically formulated nutrition, etc.), and "information overload" was been averted a few generations ago when committees 'sorted' the Hundreds (the Hundred Poems, Hundred Songs, Hundred Historical Events, etc.). After your 17th birthday, you are Matched with someone - by 21 you'll Contract, and you'll have all your children by 31; at 80, you'll die, because that's a healthy lifespan.
Cassie's family is typical, with the exception of her Grandfather, just about to have is Final Banquet (so glad it wasn't called the Last Supper!). After Cassie's Matching - unusually to someone she already knows - he encourages her to question that practice, and to question the Society. His few words have a huge impact on her life, and ultimately the lives of her family.
Because this is a planned trilogy, I'm guessing that we'll soon see Team Xander and Team Ky face-offs. Like Katniss, Cassie is a bit of a rebel, yet unlike Katniss she is a more intentional rebel. Much as I hate the idea of a trilogy, it will be interesting to see if she evolves faster than Katniss.
ARC provided by publisher.
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