Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren't white or feathered; they're green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I move--first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesn't worry me; neither do the stars ahead.
Cassia, the heroine of this dystopian YA novel, is on her way to her Match banquet. This is THE night where she will learn the identity of the man she'll spend the rest of her life with. It's also the day Cassia turns seventeen. Just one of many coincidences, perhaps, of Ally Condie's Matched.
For it is revealed that her match is her best friend, Xander. Usually, one's match is a complete stranger. The fact that she knows him--that she knows and loves him--well, it's a strange coincidence. But that's just the beginning. For when she looks on her microcard, a microcard that should be full of pictures and background information on her match--she catches a glimpse of another friend, Ky. For a moment, only a moment, it appears that Cassia has two matches. This kind of mistake should NEVER happen. And it's corrected by a visiting Official who tries her best to convince Cassia that it was a mistake, nothing more. Ky could never, ever, ever be her real match. Because he's not good enough to be anyone's match.
Any guesses which young man Cassia starts to fall in love with?
I enjoyed Matched. I wouldn't say that I loved it absolutely. But I enjoyed it. I found it entertaining and satisfying. I liked Cassia. I liked Ky. I liked Xander. I liked Cassia's family. Her brother, Bram, her father and mother, her grandfather. I was interested in the world Condie created. I liked the role poetry played in this one. How forbidden poems were used to help reveal some of the mysteries. It just worked for me.
The almost-snow reminds me of a line from a poem we studied this year in Language and Literacy: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." It is one of my favorites of all the Hundred Poems, the ones our Society chose to keep, back when they decided our culture was too cluttered. They created commissions to choose the hundred best of everything: Hundred Songs, Hundred Paintings, Hundred Stories, Hundred Poems. The rest were eliminated. Gone forever. For the best, the Society said, and everyone believed because it made sense. How can we appreciate anything fully when overwhelmed with too much? (29)
Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs. (65)
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews