Author: Ally Condie
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Rating: (1-5) 10
Read Time: 4 days (would have been less w/o Thanksgiving)
My Summary: Cassia has always trusted The Society to provide her with the best possible solution. An appropriate diet. A good year to die. The right house to live in. A perfect match. Xander is everything Cassia could have hoped for and more. He is her best friend, her best probable match. The first boy on the matching screen. Ky is an aberration, un-matched, un-loved holding onto the fragments of a story no one has ever heard. He is the second face to appear. How will Cassia’s life change when she dares to listen, who will she be once she is seen. Who best fits her heart?
This book is one of the most highly anticipated books of the year, and it comes out today! Go get it. Really, everything you’ve heard is true, the Society is well-formed, the imagery is gorgeous, the characters are well-rounded and the hope is strong.
Cassia is a fabulous heroine, she has now joined in the ranks of Tally Youngblood and Katniss Everdeen for me, I think she and Tally would be fast-friends; I can’t wait to see where this journey will take Cassia. She really wants to fight back, take control of things, choose correctly, she will not go gently and that is something to appreciate in the heroine of a dysopian series.
The Society is a well-played card in Condie’s hands. I began the book will complete faith in The Society. The children go to school, have jobs that suit them when they grow, people are provided for nutritionally and everyone ends up with their perfect match. I thought, wow, this Society is kind, they aren’t “big brother” they have an order. I began the story, like Cassia, blissfully unaware of the tightening fist. Page by page I watched the truth seep out, the invisible fences shocked me when I tried to cross a boundary, and like Cassia, I wanted to fight back, rebel, reform, and choose my own destiny. Condie’s writing took me on a journey with her characters. That is a rare feat and quite a treat. Rhyming, I know, I know.
I am team Ky, hear me roar. I love this kid. I wanted to love Xander too, but I don’t feel like a love-triangle is even the point of the book. One is a perfect match for Cassia and one is just perfect for Cassia. I will be surprised if anyone struggles with the “who is better for Cassia” in the Matched series. This isn’t to say that Xander isn’t a great character, but he wasn’t featured as prominently and he was a quiet resistor, he doesn’t attempt much action- which is how Ky lives his life. You can’t help but fall for Ky and all he believes in and the story he carries. Cassia and Ky’s chemistry was brilliantly woven, for all those who love subtly and hate the main characters basically jumping each other, Cassia and Ky’s slow build, but obvious adoration, will really speak to you.
The final bit I want to talk about is the thesis statement for the whole book, which is quite a mind-bender. We’ve all had ample time to think about what this book will be like, and I wonder if any of you considered this- if The Society picked both Xander and Ky as Cassia’s Matches, can she love either one on her own terms? I was considering that question well before the book got into my hands and I think that Condie’s air of mystery surrounding this topic will be the real kicker in both books two, and three. Maybe we will see a couple of tables-turned.
I am really looking forward to the next two books in the series. They will be released in 2011 and 2012, and are currently untitled. I’ve been trying to think of titles myself- Paired, Single, Fraction, Break-Out, New World, Gone Bubble Gone? Wow, I can’t wait to find out!
Notes on the Names: Cassia, Xander and Ky. Awesome, awesome names. They are futuristic in a really beautiful, classic way. I like that Cassia and Xander have the grander names, being from the City, or the Boroughs, while Ky is from the Outer Provinces. Xander means ‘defender of mankind,’ so maybe we will see a less-passive Xander to come. I would put money on Condie being a good enough author to make me switch teams several times. I can’t believe I have to wait so long to see! Cassia and Ky are both relateable to nature, Cassia possibly being a name derived from the Cinnamon Bark of the Cassia tree. I can see Molly, Cassia’s mother, loving this name! Ky refers to water. ..hmm…
Thoughts on the Cover: I appreciated it more once I read the book. I want to make some non-spoiler predictions for the next two covers. First of all, the next cover will have a blue element and the third will be red. I think that the next cover should have Ky standing looking up, just the one self, at the sky, catching the rain. The sky should be blue and where the raindrops touch Ky there should be color. Third book, red, hmm, maybe Cassia, Ky and Xander on one cover. What should be red? A red sky, should they all be holding the red pills? I can’t believe that after ‘Katniss-Girl-on-Fire’ Condie would try for a fire theme. Maybe it’s blood.
Here is the Matched Video, enjoy!