The Society has always made all of her choices — what to read, what to watch, what to believe, who to love.  Cassia has come to believe that the Society will always know which choices are the right ones.

When her best friend’s face appears on the screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows that Xander has to be her ideal mate.  However, when she sees someone else’s face flash onto the screen for a second, she begins to have questions.

The Society tells her that it is just a glitch, a rarity, and that she should simply focus on the life that is now ahead of her with Xander.  Yet, ever since she saw his face flash onto her screen, Cassia cannot get Ky Markham out of her mind.  As she falls in love, Cassia begins to doubt the infallibility of the Society.  She is now faced with an impossible choice between Xander and Ky —- between the life she has always known and a path that no one else has dared to take.

The Phoenix’s Perspective

Matched is an interesting look into the idea of dystopian societies. Set sometime in the future (undated), “The Society” is trusted to make all the decisions necessary for your life to be as happy and healthy as possible. Very reminiscent of The Hunger Games, most people follow the rules of “The Society” with the blind faith of a child.

Cassia is one of the believers. Never finding a reason to doubt the lifestyle laid before her or the choices made for her, she has lived every day in a happy bubble. Until the day of her Matching Ceremony, when a “glitch” begins to turn her world upside down.  Although Xander is supposed to be her match, another face shows up on her port screen.  Even though an Official comes to tell her it was a mistake, the fire has already been lit.  Cassia begins to wonder about the choice that has been made for her – is Xander really the best choice for her?

During her moral dilemma, Cassia must also deal with the passing of her grandfather. Right before his passing, he gives her secret poems that he had kept from the times before “The Society.” It is here that we really begin to understand how “The Society” has taken control of everyone.  What people are allowed to be exposed to has been limited — only 100 known poems, only specific books to read, they are only allowed to write when they are in grade school.

Through Cassia’s journey, Condie really shows the power behind words and individual thought. The more Cassia learns, the more she thirsts for more knowledge of her own. As she learns more, her questions continue to build and her eyes begin to open.  She starts to see the minor details that she would have passed over before.  She sees the discomfort and struggle of day to day life —- she slowly adds a new word to her vocabulary: FEAR.

As the reader, you are encouraged to analyze all of Cassia’s (as well as your own) relationships — to other people, to technology and, most importantly, to authority. You start to wonder if there ever really is a balance between personal freedoms and governmental control. Along with Cassia, you begin to understand that all of choices have consequences – even those that “The Society” would deem correct.  Matched gives you a glimpse into a perfect world. Very similar to The Truman Show, Cassia moves day to day only stopping to bask in the awesomeness that is her perfect life.  Most people want to live in a perfect place, but do not really like to think about what goes on behind the scenes to make it happen.  “The Society” leaves you with one question – what is the price of perfection?

Would I add it to the library?

Although the book begins off slowly, it definitely picks up towards the end leaving you with a nice cliffhanger that should lead right into the second book. It was nice to know that Condie did not try and shove everything into one book.  She gave herself time to develop the characters and give some understanding of their struggle.  My only complaint is that the book does not give much insight as to how “The Society” came to be.  Hopefully in the two books left of the trilogy, I might be given some snippets of insight.


Genre: Fiction – romance, sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy
ISBN: 9780142419779
Rating: good


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