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Comments for Matched
Matched by Ally Condie is the first of the Matched trilogy. Cassia at age 17 is ready for the matching ceremony and lucky enough to have it fall on her actual birthday. Most teens are matched to other teens living in different cities but Cassia's match ends up being her best friend, who is also present at the ceremony. Just as she's settling into the perfect fairytale ending ever, the picture in her matching info packet changes, to show another boy she knows, and one due to a family crime can never be matched.
That opening scene sets up a near future society familiar to any regular reader of speculative or dystopian fiction. It's set squarely with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ira Levin's This Perfect Day. As the society seems to be functioning at the start of the book — with a fairly high acceptance rate — I'd say the book is closer to Levin than Orwell.
The Society's stated goal (whether true or not) is to provide the best possible life for all its citizens through the management of personal data. Cassia is on track to be a Sorter — one of the Society who take the data and make decisions based on it. She's very good at it — efficient and observant. And as she has the eyes of the Society for a very important position, she gets glimpses into the seedier underpinnings of it.
And it was through the Sorting plot that I fell in love with the book. See, I'm a sorter too, of a sort. The Society is basically a curated one, a civilization created and run by over zealous librarians who uniformly decided on the 100 best songs, 100 best poems, 100 best novels, 100 best movies and how best to use metadata to manage people.