Matched by Ally Condie is not my typical read. I am not generally a fan of dystopian society books, but this one kept coming up on my amazon.com recommendations list. I was somewhat intrigued by the premise, so I put it on my paperbackswap.com wish list last summer. About 6 months later, it was in my mailbox. Then, it sat on my shelf for 2 more months until I picked it up on Friday. It is a really good read.
Cassia lives in a world regulated by the Society, nothing is left to chance, there are no decisions to be made. Your data determines the best job for you, the best place to live and the best person to be your Match. Everyone is guaranteed a long life, there are no diseases and undesirables are removed from society. It all seems perfect until her 17th birthday, the evening of her Match banquet. She learns that she is to be matched with her best friend, Xander--only something is wrong. Her information disc, designed to provide her with information about her Match, shows someone else--another boy she knows. Cassia must decide what to do--does she pursue the possible Match with Ky or does she blindly follow the words of the Official that tell her that her Match with Ky is a mistake?
Cassia's journey from true-believing child to questioning adult is very well-written. At first, she is unsure if she should even be questioning the authority of the Officials. However, her own feelings lead her to notice the small rebellions going on around her: her father, Xander, her grandfather, her mother. The acts of others strengthen Cassia's convictions until she is questioning the entire basis of the Society. I really enjoyed the world created by Ally Condie. The strict regimentation of the Society seems, at first, to benefit everyone. As Cassia's eyes open, so to do the reader's, to see that not everyone and everything is as equal as the Society claims things to be. Nor is the Society as powerful or infallible as the image it projects.
I highly recommend Matched by Ally Condie. Also, look for the sequel, Crossed (Matched) due out in November 2011.