/   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
September/October 2014

By Ally Condie, Reviewed by Kira Householder

Matched book cover

Matched, by Ally Condie; Speak (an imprint
of Penguin Books): New York, 2011; $9.99

Part of leading your own, individual life is choosing whom you love and where you work. Imagine how drab and strict life would be if someone controlled that and decided when you died.

If there is even one rebellious bone in your body, you probably would have despised a life like that. You cannot call a life your own until you control it, which everyone has the right to do. At least, nowadays. But in this futuristic novel, things are a little bit different, and Cassia Reyes isn’t exactly appreciative of that fact.

Along with trying to deal with the order and rigidness of the Society’s harsh rules, Cassia is falling in love with someone she is not supposed to. This is like committing a crime. She knows what she’s doing is wrong, but she has to see the poetic, spiritual boy she fell in love with. This is when her rebellious side kicks in. Cassia finally realizes that the Society can’t make her into someone she’s not.

This is where she and I share a trait. I am not just a lump of clay that someone can barge in on and mold me into someone I’m not, and neither is Cassia. I’m my own person, and so is everyone. Even if all your rights are taken away, you still have that. And with being your own person comes the capability to be with anyone your fate chooses.

I love how the author uses poetry, passion, and desperation to bring the two characters together. Usually, I’m not into romance, but there’s something deeper and more indescribable than love in this book. Even when they’re apart, they’re still together; they’re inside each other’s hearts and minds. I think everyone and anyone can learn something vital from this.

What I learned from this is that you don’t have to be near someone to be close to them. If you truly know them, then they’re on your mind all day and all night, even when you’re sleeping. Surviving without them simply isn’t an option.

I learned that a relationship doesn’t just happen. It takes time, and that time should be spent together. It’s not about the appearance of the person nor anything else, except what they have to offer you, and if they’ll accept your offering.

The foundation of a relationship is like a building. You construct the base with sturdy bricks, because you need to know if you can trust this person. If you can, the second floor is more lenient, and less broad than the first. Then you keep building up and the connection blossoms.

You don’t just know straight away either. Cassia doesn’t realize she loves this boy at first. All he did was teach her to write, a forbidden concept in the Society, guide her through all her troubles, spend time with her, and admire her. But if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

If you want to see a powerful relationship built off of destiny and thrive off of forbidden actions, this is the book for you.

Matched Kira Householder

Kira Householder, 12
Scottsdale, Arizona

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