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File:Matched 4435.jpg

2010 book by Ally Condie. In the Utopia of the Society, everything is figured out based on statistics. What job you are good at. Where you live. What you eat. People in the society even know exactly at what age they will die, age eighty, which was chosen because of statistics. Who you will marry is determined at your "Matching" ceremony. 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. The sequel, Crossed, was released in November 2011.


Tropes:

  • Arc Words: Dylan Thomas' poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", has more force and meaning every time it's quoted.
    • In Crossed, it's Tennyson's "Crossing The Bar".
  • Aerith and Bob: Of course Cassia would have a brother named Bram... Oh, let's not forget Xander Carrow and Ky Markham...
    • The sequel adds even more characters whose names are anything from Indie, Vick, and Eli to Hunter, Sarah, and Catherine.
  • Betty and Veronica: Cassia is Matched with her best friend Xander, but briefly sees the rebel and Aberration Ky on the screen. She is in love with Ky, but is supposed to be with Xander.
  • Big Brother Is Employing You: Everyone works for the Society.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: He even watches your dreams.
  • Black Market: The Archivists trade in illegal literature and information.
  • Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: A major part of the premise is the fact that the government chooses who you will marry based on statistics.
  • Cannon Fodder: Aberrations are being sent into the Outer Provinces as "decoys" to draw the fire of the enemy in a mysterious war.
  • Character Blog: http://www.matched-book.com/society.html
  • Child Soldiers: Thirteen-year-old Eli and a bunch of others.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Cassia is not happy about Indie's interest in Xander, even though she (Cassia) is in a relationship with Ky at the time.
  • Cool Big Sis: Cassia to Bram.
  • Cool Old Guy: Cassia's grandfather.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: The pills - blue, green, red - and the uniforms. Workers wear blue, students brown, Officials white.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Lon, a classmate of Cassia's who irritates everyone with his constant questions. Later on she actually comes to appreciate his outspoken nature.
    • On a bigger scale, the whole Society functions like this.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: One of the tenets of the Society. According to them, the previous society (in other words, now) was overloaded with choices. People only learn what is required for their job, nothing more and nothing less.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Ky and his adopted family, the Markhams. His father was classified an Aberration after committing an unspecified crime. He grew up in a war zone. His parents died. He now works as a dishwasher. The Markhams' son was killed by an insane killer who escaped from prison (or was let out to teach citizens a lesson, depending on how cynical you are.) Then Ky is conscripted into the army, leaving the Markhams bereft of another son. Talk about harsh.
  • Due to the Dead: Ky and Vick make a point of burying their fellow soldiers, reciting "Crossing The bar" in lieu of a prayer. Ky later reveals that his biggest regret is leaving his parents' bodies unburied.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Everything in the Society is decided by statistics of your previous actions.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted. Cassia is an introvert; even when she does get angry, she mostly keeps it to herself.
    • Indie plays it straight. Also, Crossed retcons Cassia's hair (previously described as "coppery") to brunette.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Ky, Vick and Eli; Cassia and Indie.
  • From a Single Cell: The Society is attempting to do this, with everyone being required to give a tissue sample after they die so that they can find the secret to immortality.
  • Future Imperfect: Zig-zagged. The Society has picked 100 of the best of everything of the past for everyone to know, but they don't know about the rest.
  • Government Drug Enforcement: The pills everyone carries with them at all times. The green pill is taken to calm people down and can be taken regularly, and the red pill wipes your memory of the past 12 hours. Also, it is revealed in Crossed the the blue pill is poison, not a nutrient pill designed to help keep you alive.
  • Hidden Depths: Ky is a poet and can draw recognizable portraits even on a dirty napkin. Xander has a well hidden jealous streak: when they were younger, he dared Ky to take the red tablets without knowing what they did, which is how they find out about the memory-wipe effect.
  • Hysterical Woman: Cassia's friend Em, who is prone to anxiety attacks.
  • I Have This Friend: Indie's story about her mother's failed attempt to escape the Society by boat, which was actually her own doing.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Xander provides Cassia with supplies so she can go after Ky. Possibly a subersion, since he hides his own Matching statistics inside the pill packages to remind her of him.
    • What Cassia has in mind when she sorts Ky into a group of workers designated for a new job. It ends up making things worse for him.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: Ky's eyes appear to be different colors depending on his environment.
  • La Résistance: The Rising.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: What the "red pill" does.
  • Let's Read: Here.
  • Lone Survivor: Hunter is the last of his village.
  • Love At First Sight: Played with. Cassia and Xander's affection has grown over a long time. Seeing Ky on the Matching screen feels like this, since it makes her wonder if they are really that compatible; although she knows Ky already, they don't talk much due to his habit of trying to live as unobtrusively as possible. However, Ky has been "noticing" Cassia for several years, ever since he saw her comforting her little brother; it was only Ky's status as an Aberration that kept him from approaching her.
  • Love Before First Sight: Indie falls for Xander from looking at Cassia's microcard.
  • Manly Tears: Cassia is quite touched to see Ky crying during a war film; she only thought the special effects were terrible. It turns out the carnage onscreen was actually real.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Some people pass on "Artifacts", old family heirlooms from before the Society was formed. One per person is the limit. Cassia's is a compact in which she hides the illegal poem her grandfather left to her. Later on, when the Officials decide to take the Artifacts away, it only adds to Cassia's rage against the Society.
  • Mouthy Kid: Eli.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cassia sorts Ky into the more efficient group of workers, not knowing they will be drafted as soldiers.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Cassia and Ky somehow still manage to make the air smolder between them without even touching. When they do kiss, it's pretty momentous.
  • Not in This For Your Revolution: Ky doesn't trust the Rising any more than the society, since his father's revolutionary activity is what got their village destroyed and the Rising never came to help. He does join, but mostly for Cassia's sake.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Ky, Indie and Eli.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: What the Society considers the "matching" ceremony to be, and what was supposed to happen between Cassia and Xander. Cassia's parents count as a straight example.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: Essentially, Ky is the red pill and Xander is the blue pill. Also literal, with the pills they give everyone to take.
  • Refusal of the Call: Vick and Indie believe Ky to be the future "Pilot", the mythical leader of the Rising. He denies it.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Vick.
  • Scenery Porn: The descriptions of the Carving, inspired by the canyons of southern Utah where Ally Condie grew up.
  • Second Class Citizen: Aberrations, who work menial jobs, are not allowed to have children or carry emergency tablets.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Xander is handsome, athletic and the best at everything he does.
  • State Sec: The Officials.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: The more competent among the workers are drafted into the army and sent to war. Ky works hard to avoid this by being as average as possible.
  • The Quest: At the end of the novel, Cassia sets out to find Ky.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend / Victorious Childhood Friend: Xander and Cassia's story could end up either way, depending on how the sequels pan out.
  • War Is Hell
  • We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future: Cassia finds out they put poison in the food of the elderly to make sure they die at 80.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: The Aberrations package food for the elderly.
  • We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: The Society even makes sure you eat the proper amount of calories for your weight, height and job.
  • Wham! Line: " Xander is in the Rising."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Cassia calls Ky out for burning the map that leads to the Rising, taking her choice away from her. He retorts that she did the same thing when she sorted him at the nutrition center.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Cassia's seeing Ky on the screen is revealed to be an experiment to prove that Matching indeed makes people fall in love, since without it she would never have known Ky. If she had picked Xander, then they would have known that she was willing to obey what was expected of her. Either way, the Society would get what they wanted.
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