Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
How long has it been since I read a book where the author actually employed the literary elements of metaphor, symbolism, and motif? Uh...quite a while, at least in comtemporary fiction. I see it in small instances to help tell a story, but seldom to increase meaning like Condie has used it in Matched. One of the things that bugged me about The Hunger Games, just for comparison (and I loved that book), was that the symbolism seemed to be all over the place. I could never tell exactly what it was supposed to be making me conclude. Condie's symbolism is much better done.
Theme: girl vs. society. Not a new theme, not really a unique storyline. Cassia lives in a world where The Society makes all her decisions for her: what she will eat, what she will wear, where she will work, who she will marry, where she will live, when she will die. Cassia accepts this because every decision Society makes for her will lead to a better world with benefits such as increased life span for citizens and optimal quality of life for all.
But is it true and can it be, no, should it be changed? These are the questions Cassia must ask (and answer) when she finds herself falling in love with a boy who is not her Match.
Despite the common dystopian theme, Condie's characters ring true and make you care about them. They are consistent and don't act out of character. Her imagery is vivid though not over-descriptive. Her narration is lyrical and sometimes pretty. Just all out done well. Everyone on earth should read this. Loved this book and absolutely cannot wait for Crossed which comes out this fall.