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Quote of the Month
When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Upon completion of each book as a reader we tend to categorize them. Sometimes a good book brings forth the exclamation of Wow! We want to share our reading experience with someone else...soon. Other times when we finish a great book it has us cheering and knowing that we will read it again and again. Then there are those golden moments when the book whose last page has been turned and the cover has been closed cause us to quietly sigh in a state of euphoric wonder. Such is the book, Matched, by Ally Condie. Her imagination has given us a future where our very mealtimes and what we eat are chosen as well as our vocation, mate and death that is determined by the Society. This perfect world is populated by citizens who do not question the authority of those in power. What is..is and always will be. Officials permeate all aspects of daily life quietly observing to ensure that the status quo is maintained. If there should be any blips along the way each person has in their possession three tablets, red, green and blue, in a metal cylinder. Each knows what the green and blue can do. There have been rumors for years about the red capsule's purpose.
The story begins with Cassia and her childhood friend, Xander, along with their parents traveling by air train to City Hall for the Match Banquet. At this evening event where special clothes can be worn and wonderful food is savored, young men and women will be given their match for life. Each participant waits as their name is called facing a screen where Match Banquets are taking place throughout the region. The screen reveals their match. When Cassia's name is called the screen does not shown a match but remains black. It means that her match is present at that banquet. She and Xander have been selected for one another. At that moment her world could not be more perfect. Each is given a silver box with a microcard that contains data about their match. A day later sure that no one knows Xander better than she, curiosity has her slipping the microcard into the port. But the microcard discloses what initially appears to the reader to be a flaw in the match process. In addition to Xander's face on the screen a blip sounds and the microcard restarts with another's face--Ky. From this point on the pace accelerates to gripping; nothing in this certain world is certain any longer. Nagging questions to be answered with frightening results haunt all the characters. Condie's use of language is rich breathing life into the soul's of her characters so much so that readers will feel like they are seeing a film instead of the written word.
Although readers will be haunted by this tale of a possible future where free will has been removed, it is the love of parents for their children, of children for the parents, of Xander for Cassia and she for him and the forbidden love that grows between Ky and Cassia that sets this in a class all by itself. Actions taken for the sake of love are unforgettable. Matched needs to be on everyone's list of books to read. It is going on my bookshelf to be read again and again.
The next volume in this trilogy, Crossed, is set to be released in November 2011.
(By clicking on the book's title you are taken to the official site for this novel. By clicking on the author's name you are linked to her blog.)