Matched by Ally Conde is the story of one 17-year-old, Cassia Reyes, living in a society that makes all major decisions for everyone, including where to live, your profession, and who you will marry. Cassia is finally told her Match on her 17th birthday, Xander, her childhood friend and confidante. But when she goes to look at the microchip containing his information after the ceremony, another boy’s face appears. An Official arrives to tell Cassia there has been a mistake and Xander is her Match, but her curiosity about Ky, the other boy whose face she saw, is piqued. She finds herself wondering about Ky and trying to spend more time with him and learn his story.
Cassia’s family is also going through tough times as Cassia deals with her feelings for the two men in her life. Cassia’s grandfather reaches the age of 80 and dies right on schedule an hour before midnight on his birthday. Cassia’s father loses the sample of her grandfather’s DNA and with it the possibility of his being cloned in the future. Cassia’s mother is sent on multiple trips to other areas of the Society as part of her work as an employee at an Arboretum. All this rule bending and breaking means increased scrutiny for Cassia and her family.
Cassia is an intelligent, likable main character and the two men in her life are both sympathetic and interesting. Matched is the first book in a planned trilogy and I look forward to reading more about Cassia, Ky and Xander and learning about how they confront the Society. This dystopian young adult novel is not full of action like The Hunger Games. It is more psychological and introspective. It should appeal to fans of The Hunger Games, though, as well as to people who enjoyed The Giver by Lois Lowry.