Matched is a young adult dystopia trilogy from author Ally Condie. The society in which main character Cassia Reyes lives matches people at the age of seventeen with whom the Society deems as their perfect match, based on the Society’s study of detailed data collected on each person throughout their life. The matches are announced during their seventeenth year in a ceremony called the Match Banquet.
On the other side of life, people in the Society don’t live beyond the age of 80. In their Final Banquet, they are poisoned through their last meal, as the Society’s statistics show that deterioration occurs close to that age and assesses that people living any long will become a burden to Society.
Cassia loves her grandfather very much and mourns his loss at his Final Banquet. But throughout the trilogy, she recalls him and his words of wisdom, which help her through the difficult times in her life. He believed she was stronger than the Society believes she is, and she comes to believe in herself, in memory of him.
In each book of the trilogy Condie introduces literary poems that have importance to the story — a cleverly subtle way to help young adults appreciate the writings of Dylan Thomas, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Emily Dickinson. The Society in which Cassia lives believes that too much had been created, so a few generations ago the Hundred Committee was formed to decide which hundred poems, paintings, history lessons, etc., to preserve, while all others were destroyed. However, “rogue” art continues to exist, preserved by the Archivists to trade secretly with others who possess valuable resources or keepsakes from the past.
The importance of family, love, free will, and creating art are themes readers can take away from reading the Matched trilogy.