"Cassia. Do you regret your decision to be Matched? Do you wish that you had chosen to be a Single?"
"That's not it."
"Then what is it?"
"I think people should be able to choose who they Match with," I say lamely.
"Where would it end, Cassia?" she says, her voice patient. "Would you say next that people should be able to choose how many children they have, and where they want to live? Or when they want to die?"
reviewed the novel Matched, by Ally Condie, in May 2011, and I thought it was fantastic: I gave it 4.5 stars out of 5. When the chance arose to review it again, this time for the BlogHer Book Club, I jumped at it, and I've recently finished re-reading it to see if my initial thoughts were still the same.
My original post on the novel was a little short, but here's what I had to say about it:
This book was amazing and the sequel, Crossed, is coming out in November 2011. Cassia lives in a dystopia society where the Government tells them who they will marry, how many children they will have (and this must happen before the woman turns 31), and where they will live. The citizens have the "luxury" of dying on their 80th birthday, before they have the chance to incur diseases like Alzheimers or other degenerative ones. Cassia has never questioned the system, and is in fact pleased when she is Matched with one of her childhood and best friends, Xander. When they give her information about her match on a computer card, however, the picture that comes up is not Xander's, but rather of another local boy, Ky. Cassia must decide if she wants to stay with Xander or make it work with Ky, who is an Aberration, and if ultimately she wants to break the Government rules.
This novel reminded me of a combination of The Giver, in that people are killed when they get to be old, and The Handmaid's Tale, for some reason, which is also set in a dystopian society. I am very much looking forward to reading Crossed when it comes out in November.
I did read Crossed and thought it was just okay, but the third and last book in the series, Reached, will be in stores on November 13th, and I will probably read it just to see how the trilogy ends.
However, after re-reading Matched, I still stand by my 4.5 out of 5 star rating. I've read a lot of dystopian lit since May 2011, most of which was also very good, but the premise of Matched is still intriguing, and it's definitely worth reading, especially if you want to read the entire trilogy.
*Disclosure: I was compensated for writing this review for the BlogHer Book Club. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.