Matched by Ally Condie

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.

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2 thoughts on “Matched by Ally Condie

  1. I enjoyed reading the trilogy very much. Thanks for the recommendation!
    The love stories are convincing.
    The friendships are very appealing.
    The deaths that take place are truly tragic. The characters had truly come alive for me, and I mourned their passing. I did not find this to be the case in most of the Harry Potter books.
    The denouement (final resolution of elements of the plot) had some very nice twists and turns in it. I wasn’t satisfied with one strand, but it may be that I just didn’t give it enough attention.
    I have my standard reservations about some quasi-magical elements introduced just to make it easy for the author to develop the story without too much difficulty. That seems to be typical for this genre, and this author sins no more than others in this regard.
    “Charity covers a multitude of sins.” In this case, the romance makes up for the author’s gratuitous assumptions. There was enough to cover the cost of suspending disbelief, with change to spare.

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