Matched, by Ally Condle – Book Review

An interesting book that I read recently was the 366 paged book, Matched
 by Ally Condle. This book takes place sometime in the future, when technology has failed the previous generation. A government group called the Society takes control, and decides that the human race and everything associated to it, is too cluttered. To solve this problem, they make a hundred of everything, and destroy the rest! (Hundred poems, books, paintings, history lessons, etc.) They make many more changes to the world; a world that young girl named Cassia Reyes and her friends struggle in as time goes on.

Before her Matched Banquet, Cassia was a girl that always followed the rules set before her. The Matched Banquet is the most important occasion for someone that is part of the Society; it is the celebration where a person is given their ideal mate. It is celebrated with great pomp, and is one of the only times these citizens are allowed to wear nice clothes.  Before the banquet, her grandfather gave her an amazing golden compact as an artifact to take with her. This compact has a small hidden compartment in which her grandmother had stored hidden poem, a poem that shouldn’t exist. As Cassia chooses a bright green dress that makes her stand out and lets her embrace her individuality, there are many that find her rather beautiful. She is matched to her best friend Xander Carrow, and everybody thinks she is very lucky, and of course, vice versa.

After the Matched Banquet, the moment comes in which Cassia’s inner rebel stirs. Unlike many of Cassia’s friends, Cassia was matched to somebody who lived in her province. (A province is like a city) Cassia is lucky because she already knows Xander, but her friends have no idea who there match is as a person. For everybody else (including Cassia), the Society provides them with a microcard. A microcard is a device that can store information and videos. This particular microcard is set to display information on the person’s match. Cassia is sure that she already knows Xander, but decides to view the microcard anyway. As she is met with information that she already knows, she sees the face of Ky Markham before the microcard’s screen goes black.

Cassia is worried about why the Society had given her a microcard that viewed two separate faces, but decides to shake it off and join her friends at the game center. There, Cassia is greeted by an Official who wishes to have a private word with Cassia. The Official and Cassia have a conversation outside in which the Official assures Cassia that she is not in any trouble (yet). Instead, the Official gives Cassia some reassurance and that the other face she saw was a mistake, and that she is still matched to Xander. At the same time, the Official tells Cassia why Ky was not supposed to be entered into the matching pool. The Official told Cassia that Ky was an Abberation and that this piece of information was confidential so she could not tell anybody. An Abberation is somebody who’s family has been Reclassified because they have committed an Infraction (crime). Cassia is shocked as she never knew that such people existed in her own community, but gives her word that she will not interfere with Ky, or his life. Before the Official leaves, Cassia asks if she could tell her grandfather about what happened today, as he is fated to die the next day. The Official nods a yes, and goes away, hoping that she will not have to make another visit on the account of a broken promise.

Cassia’s grandfather dies the next day, as he was supposed to. Cassia, as the person that is closest to her grandfather, is deeply upset. As a leisure activity, Cassia decides that she will take on hiking, a sport that was recently brought back from the time when her grandfather was a child. She takes it on, as she believes it will help her stay close to her grandfather. On her first hiking trip, she hides in the bushes and reads the poem that her grandfather had mentioned before he died. She knows immediately why this poem is not part of the hundred, it sends out the message which tells people to fight for what they believe in.

Ky and Cassia meet at the top of the hill, as Ky finished first, and she finished second. She and Ky start spending time with each other at the top of the hill. Ky teaches Cassia to write and a few other skills in which Cassia is impressed upon. Cassia knows that if an Official were ever to find the poem, Cassia and her family would be in great danger. She knows that she has to destroy the poem and commit the words to memory so that the poem may live on. That next day, she destroys the poem in a fire, and regrets in immediately, but knows that she did the right thing. Along the way, she grows to trust Ky more and more, day by day. She grows to trust him so much, that she tells him the poem, bit by bit from memory.

At the same time, the Society strengthens themselves. They start to take away all the artifacts. Cassia lets them unwillingly take her and her brothers Bram’s artifact away. with thoughts in her mind that word themselves into the sentence that means that she will get her stuff back. Along the way, she was able to protect Ky’s artifact, a compass that he had entrusted the safety of to Cassia. She protected it by giving it to Xander to bury so that the Officials won’t be able to find it.

As Cassia is upset, Ky consoles her, and she grows to love him. She finds her every waking moment wondering and wrestling in her mind the same question, Who does she want to be with, Ky or Xander? As she finds herself answering the question all the time with the answer Ky, she decides that she has to tell Xander that she has fallen for somebody else, that she couldn’t keep it a secret anymore.

A few days later, she was walking down the street and she spots the Official that she had talked to her before. She tells Cassia that putting Ky in her microcard was not a mistake, and that the Matching Department had done it on purpose to play around and have a little fun. She said that if Ky wasn’t an Abberation, he would have been matched with Cassia. Cassia is furious with the Society for messing up her life like that, but keeps her anger in check and doesn’t say anything. Cassia asks who specifically put Ky in the matching pool, and the Official responds and says that she did. Cassia knows that the Official is lying, and is determined to find who committed such a terrible act. Before the Official leaves, she reminds Cassia that Ky is an Abberation, and they were not allowed to be together. Of course, by now, Cassia would never listen.

The final event in the book is when Ky is taken away from the Oria Province to be sent to a remote place, the Outer Provinces. They put up quite a scene, but nevertheless, Ky was still taken away. Before he unwillingly boards the airship, Cassia points toward the sky, their secret symbol that means, I will find you! 

Yes, I liked the book! It was mysterious in a way that always kept you reading. Matched was a first-person book narrated by Cassia. Matched is also a trilogy in which each book was as exciting as the last. Matched has so many pages because there are several pages that contain just Cassia’s thoughts. Although those pages can sometimes be very boring, they also contained a lot of imagery and other figurative language that made them worth reading. This book and the unique story that tells is a very intriguing and amazing story.

 

Do Not Got Gentle Into That Good Night

A Poem by Dylan Thomas

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rage at the close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night

 

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on it’s way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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