I have a new obsession and favorite book that if you haven’t heard about, I highly recommend buying RIGHT NOW and reading it. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to put it down, it’s a real page turner. I can’t put in words my love for this book—Matched by Ally Condie. It’s been the longest time since I can recall being so drawn in like a magnet to a book. I adore reading. It’s one of my favorite things ever. However, I generally just will read a chapter or two a day of whatever book I happen to be reading at the moment. I read every day. I discovered Matched and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I could not put the book down. And when I had to, I was thinking about it and all the questions it raises. It leaves you breathless and your heart pounds in anticipation of what will happen next in the lives of Ky Markham, Cassia Reyes, and Xander Carrow. I am going crazy waiting for November when the second book—Crossed—in the Matched Trilogy is released.
I know I haven’t posted much about my life and quotes and the usual pictures/picture quotes I am constantly sharing with you. I recently have posted many reviews about Nicholas Sparks and his movies and books, which I love, but I believe Matched is even better! (Who ever thought those words would come out of my mouth?!) I just have to review this book and post some quotes and info all about Matched because I want to share with you this incredible book that is a treasure to me and I hold near and dear to my heart.
The plot summary is—In the society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky; between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion. Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.
When Cassia Reyes turned 17, she was required by the all-powerful Society to be Matched: “The goal of Matching is twofold: to provide the healthiest possible future citizens for our Society and to provide the best chances for interested citizens to experience successful Family life. It is of the upmost importance to the Society that the Matches be as optimal as possible.”
There is no other way to be together in Cassia’s high-tech but also heavily handed Society, a future version of our own world. At first Cassia is overjoyed to be Matched with her good friend, the smoothly handsome Xander Carrow, but when she plugged in the microcard she was given, another image shows up, that of rugged, enigmatic Ky Markham.
Unlike Xander, Ky is an Aberration, an outsider in the Society and someone who can never be with a citizen like Cassia. But Cassia finds herself drawn to Ky even as she feels torn because of her feelings for Xander.
As Cassia explores her feelings, she discovers that the perfect world she lives in may not be so perfect. She lives in a world, after all, where everyone is Matched at 17 and dies at 80, where people are assigned jobs and places to live.
This is a place where only a hundred songs and a hundred poems—selected by the Society, of course—have been approved. All others have been destroyed. Cassia wonders just how much of their lives are being controlled by the Society through the ever-present Officials. “And there’s no reason to rebel. Look at what the Society gives us. Good lives. A chance at immortality. The only way it can be ruined is if we ruin it ourselves.”
This is exactly what Cassia seems to be doing. The headstrong protagonist is suddenly suspicious of everything around her, even as both Xander and Ky pull at different parts of her heart. “Are you supposed to be my Match?” Cassia asks in her head. “Later, I realize the one question that didn’t even cross my mind was the most urgent one of all: Will you keep my secret?”
Don’t take my word for it? Here are some reviews from others about this book.
“Matched is a page-turning, dystopian love story, written with the soul of a poet. Finally, a brave new words that readers from Twilight to The Hunger Games will claim as their own.”
-Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Authors of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness
“Absolutely riveting! Matched is a must-read.”
-Melissa Marr, author of the Wicked Lovely series
“This futuristic fable of love and free will asks: Can there be freedom without choice? The tale of Cassia’s journey from acceptance to rebellion will draw you in and leave you wanting more.”
-Cassandra Clare, author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series
“I can’t stop thinking about Matched. It’s impossible to put down this enthralling romance, set in a chilling world where every choice is predicted and even love is controlled. I need to know what happens next. More please!”
-Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves
This book is incredibly brilliant and thought provoking. It’s definitely got me thinking, wondering, daydreaming, questioning nonstop lately. In my current situation where I’m at in life, the idea of being Matched resonates favorably with me. People get married in the story at 21 to their matches. They are matched on their 17th birthday. The reason the idea is so appealing to me is that dating is complicated, stressful, and frustrating. It’s been a major failure and disappointment to me. There are unlimited numbers of complications, including but not limited to, social status, money, family, beliefs, insecurities, judgmental people, conceitedness, the fact that most (not all) guys are immature, don’t want to settle down, and just want to “have fun” and then move on to the next girl like players in a game called love, when it’s not a game, and they aren’t playing for love, it’s lust, etc. And waiting for “the one” is excruciating. Who likes waiting? But I know the best things come to those who wait.
It would be nice and easy to know who I’m going to marry, that the right guy was chosen for me, and I didn’t have to worry about dating or being alone forever. I think many people would agree with this statement at first glance. Sometimes being single can feel like limbo, pure confusion: a state of instability, uncertainty, stress, not married yet alone dating, just single watching the world pass you by and all the happy couples and the powerlessness to change anything…just stuck watching time as a young person ticks away, youth passing you by.
But time goes by fast… even when it seems incomprehensibly slow, and I honestly believe that love finds you when the time is right, when you’re ready. When it all comes down to it, I wouldn’t want to be in Cassia’s shoes. Clearly the Matched system is flawed. It’s all about control. No one has a choice. I wouldn’t want the Society choosing my husband. I’d rather be forever single than forced to be with someone I didn’t like or truly love, unable to be with the one I loved—now that is a situation of no control. We are beyond blessed to have free agency and we have it for a reason—it’s a blessing.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Matched… WARNING some quotes contain spoilers so if you want to read the book and be surprised, don’t read the quotes below!!!
“What is the point of having something lovely if you never share it?”
“How can we appreciate anything fully when overwhelmed with so much?”
“Why are some things easier to write than say?”
“It is strange how we hold onto the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.”
“Our time together feels like a storm, like wild wind and rain, like something too big to handle but too powerful to escape. It blows around me and makes me know that I am alive, alive, alive. There are moments of calm and pause as there are in every storm, and moments when our words fork lightning at least for each other.”
“I am too fragile. I am trapped in glass and I want to break out and breathe deeply but I’m too afraid that it will hurt.”
“This is a difficult balance, telling the truth: how much to share, how much to keep, which truths will wound but not ruin, which will cut too deep to heal.”
“Cassia. I know which life is my real life now. No matter what happens. It’s the one with you. For some reason, knowing that even one person knows my story makes things different. Maybe it’s like the poem says. Maybe this is my way of not going gentle. I love you.”
“The darkness behind doesn’t worry me, neither do the stars ahead. I think of how perhaps the best way to fly would be with hands full of earth so you always remember where you came from, how hard walking could sometimes be.”
“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.”
“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Old age should burn and rave at close of day
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.”
-Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953
“they were too much to carry
So I left them behind
For a new life, in a new place
But no one forgot who I was
And neither did the people who watch
They watched for years
They watch now.”
“My birthday began with the water—
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.”
“I believe in you.”
I pull away first because I have something to write before our time ends. I’ve been practicing in air, but I want to carve in earth.
“Close your eyes,” I say to Ky, and I bend down, his breathing above me white he waits. “There,” I say and he looks at what I’ve written.
I love you.
I feel embarrassed, as though I am a child who has tapped out these words on her scribe and held them out for a boy in her First School class to read. My writing is awkward and straggly and not smooth like Ky’s.
Why are some things easier to write than say?
Still, I feel undeniably brave and vulnerable as I stand there in the forest with words that I cannot take back. My first written words, other than our names. It’s not much of a poem, but I think Grandfather would understand.
Ky looks at me. For the first time since the showing, I see tears in his eyes.
“You don’t have to write it back,” I say, feeling self-conscious. “I just wanted you to know.”
“I don’t want to write it back,” he tells me. And then he says it, right out there on the Hill, and of all the words I have hidden and saved and treasured, these are the ones I will never forget, the most important ones of all.
“I love you.”
Lightning. Once it has forked, hot-white, from sky to earth, there is no going back.
“Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs.”
“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time now we grew side by side—our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”
“Once you want something, everything changes.”
“So in the middle of all the noise, I point to the sky. I hope he understands what I mean, because I mean so many things: MY heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in his stories and I will find him. And I know he understands as he looks straight at me, deep into my eyes. His lips move silently, and I know what he says: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know. Tears well up but I blink them away. Because if there is one moment in my life I want to see clearly, this is it.”
“They are giving us pieces of a real life instead of the whole thing. They have perfected the art of giving us just enough freedom, just enough that when we are ready to snap, a little bone is offered and we roll over, belly up, comfortable and placated like a dog.”
“I honestly believe that what I do is worthwhile no matter what anyone else thinks.”
The movie rights for Matched have been sold already (which doesn’t surprised me in the slightest!). And what makes this even more exciting to me is Director-Producer Adam Shankman is the one who signed this deal and behind this. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he directed A Walk To Remember, has been a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, choreographed one of the Spice Girls’ tours, and also has produced and/or directed The Wedding Planner, Hairspray, 17 Again, and The Last Song to name just a few of his works. So this will be amazing.
MTV had a Dystopian Week and Ally Condie gave three reasons why dystopian books resonate:
Just like your first kiss, you never forget your first. Mine was “1984”. (No, not my first kiss. I am not that old). But the first dystopian novel I read was that wonderful book by Orwell. When I finished it, I was crying my eyes out, and I thought, “What on earth was that?” Like a first kiss, a first dystopian changes things. The world looks a little bit different when you’ve finished reading/kissing—or, the world can look the same, and that’s unsettling too.
We all have something huge we have to fight. We don’t all have Big Brother or cruel governments wanting to keep us down. But we do all have something we have to push back against, to break free from—whether it’s societal constraints or physical or emotional hardships or the ache of our own fears and weaknesses. When we read dystopia, we root for these people to break free because we are these people—hoping and fighting against things that are bigger than ourselves.
It makes us feel alive. There’s nothing like reading about a world that feels dead to throw your own beautiful, colorful life into sharp relief. This, some might argue (and they would be right), can happen with all good stories. But I think it’s extra poignant when one reads dystopian novels—when you see what can be lost, you know what you, personally, would refuse to lose.
I believe you get the picture that this is a book you should most definitely read. I hope it touches you like it did me! And this is one book you can judge by its cover which is lovely as the book itself.