There is so much great Young Adult literature out there. Add Condie's "Matched" to the mix. This was a referral by a friend and I'm glad I followed through with it.
The society seventeen-year-old Cassia Reyes lives in exists at some point in the future. Technology has failed civilization as we know it and the people have had to reconstruct society. In fact, it becomes known as the Society. The story begins with Cassia's Matching Banquet, where 17-year-olds go with their parents to be told to whom they have been matched for future marriage based on genetic compatibility for the healthiest offspring. Usually the face that shows up on the screen at the banquet at city hall displays a match that lives somewhere else in Society, and over a course of years the two youth fulfill their contract and get married and start their families. Cassia discovers her match is Xander, a childhood friend. She is considered very lucky. Each matched participant receives a data card with information with their matched partner, and Cassia thinks it's funny to even look at the file on Xander because she already knows everything about him. But when she examines the data card the following morning, she begins to wonder if Xander is her perfect match after all.
This book reminded me a bit of "The Hunger Games," "The Uglies," and "Fahrenheit 451" in the fact that these civilizations are established to 'protect' its citizens when in fact the citizens are manipulated into believing they are blessed to have the security they enjoy, when really everything they do is for the benefit of Society, and not the populace. I'm excited a sequel, "Crossed," is out and that the third book "Reached" will be released in November.
Confession: I didn't read "Matched," I listened to it. It was a delightful production and I need to encourage my library to buy the audio for "Crossed" and "Reached." Because life is becoming so full and busy these days it seems the best way I can enjoy most books is with my iPod growing out of my ears.