First of the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie.
The book is in the point of view of a 17-year-old girl, Cassia Reyes. The story is set in the future when the Society (like the government) controls everything- where you live, who you marry, and even when you die. The book starts with Cassia getting ready to go her Matching Banquet, where she and other 17-year-olds will find out who they will marry. Cassia goes to the Banquet with her parents (her younger brother, Bram, isn’t allowed to go) and her childhood friend, Xander Carrow.
At the banquet, Cassia is matched to Xander. This is extremely rare- normally you would be Matched to somebody you don’t know, from another Province. Cassia considers herself extremely lucky.
Because most Matchees would not have known their Match, they each get a micro card containing information about their Match. Cassia and Xander go home after the event, and Cassia takes her tablets out of her gold compact. There are three tablets, which everyone has to have with them, at all times- one green, which calms you down, one blue, said to be able to save your life in an emergency, and one more. The red tablet. Nobody knows its use, but Cassia fears it will kill.
The next morning, Cassia decides to view her micro card. When she first sees it, everything seems to be fine. She sees Xander’s photo and some personal information, but before she can read it another picture replaces Xander’s. It is another boy Cassia knows, Ky Markham. The micro card beeps and the card says Ky is now her Match. Cassia is confused and takes out the micro card, panicking.
She goes to meet Xander and her friends at the game center, and an Official sees her there. The Official tells her the micro card was faulty, Xander is still her Match. She also tells her Ky is an Aberration, someone who either committed a crime or a relative committed a crime.
A while after that, it is her Grandfather’s Final Banquet- when people turn 80 in Society, they have to die. At her Grandfather’s Final Banquet, inside her compact, her Grandfather shows her some poems hidden in the base of her compact. They are forbidden, because many years ago Society decided that only 100 of everything were needed- 100 poems, 100 songs, and 100 paintings. Cassia’s great-grandmother was one of the people chosen to help decide what should be kept and what should be discarded. She smuggled out the two poems, which Cassia receives.
As her summer leisure activity, Cassia has signed up for hiking. In her group she finds Ky. Slowly she begins to fall in love with Ky. Society notices and an Official tells Cassia that due to Ky’s Aberration status, this is dangerous.
And that’s when everything Cassia believes in unravels…
The book is really good, mostly for girls 11-14. Compared to the second and third books, Crossed and Reached, Matched is by far the best in the trilogy.
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