My discovery and devouring of Matched by Ally Condie was a happy accident. I was looking for a new audiobook on my library’s Overdrive account, and this was checked out due to a smartphone glitch. I listened to it regardless, and was stunned by how quickly I fell in love with Cassia Reyes.
Cassia is not the typical dystopian heroine, but neither is Matched the typical dystopian young adult novel. In fact, I would rather classify it as “utopian”, but there aren’t enough of them to justify a new tag. But I digress. Cassia lives a perfect life, in a perfect Society, and just found out that her future husband will be someone that she already loves. However, something goes just a little wrong, and Cassia is suddenly facing something that she’s never faced before – choices.
I’ve seen reviewers give this book a lower rating because they said that it doesn’t have the strong feminine character or action that other dystopian novels, such as The Hunger Games, possess. I think it is an unfair analysis of the book because it’s not about the same thing. This book is not about fighting an violent and oppressive (on the surface) government; it is about a young girl who chooses to question everything she loves and holds dear after a series of very small things start to change her. Cassia Reyes is no Katniss Everdeen, but she has her own quiet strength that makes her ask questions when no one else does or will and give up the perfect life in the hopes of one day being able to choose something for herself. She is not fighting for her life, instead fighting for being able to choose what she wants it to be.
This is a great book for young teens to read because it demands that they ask themselves what is worth being safe and happy. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I can’t wait to read Crossed.