“That’s how I know they are dreams. Because the simple and plain and everyday things are the ones that we can never have.”
Cassia Reyes has always trusted in the Society. They schedule the lives of citizens, assign them their food, their schools, their jobs, and their future matches. When she finds out that her match was Xander, her best friend, Cassia was elated, until a “glitch” reveals another possible match for her – Ky Markham. With this knowledge, Cassia struggles with the choice she has to make – between both “matches” and living life on her own terms.
Ky Markham, Outcast or Outstanding?
An Aberration, Ky is socially outcast from the general society, unable to receive the same rights as a citizen. Knowing of the atrocities happening out of the province and how people will view him upon knowing his true status, Ky is incredibly street smart not only in getting around, but in keeping his ideas fresh and to himself without going insane.
His curiosity and creativity also mark him as an individual who stands out, if not an individual who is outstanding. Being able to attract attention despite him suppressing his true potential, he still has bouts of creativity escaping him in spurts – like when he teaches Cassia to write and another girl to draw. As compared to many people his age, which just pride themselves in sorting and adhering to schedules, he has the ironic freedom to do things under his own terms. As long as they are under the radar.
In the Oria Province, the capital city under the Society, everything is decided for the citizens for optimal living. Even in school and in leisure, everything was only kept to the Top 100 of all history. And in the words of Cassia, citizens sorted, they did not create (because it was bad for them).
Therefore, set in an environment where creativity was, in its general definition, not allowed, it places a penalty on things we do every day – writing, dancing, singing, creating – and things we take for granted and still keep wanting more, with more innovation, in our current world. And while we, in reality, complain about the lack of creativity, the people who want to create in Oria, appreciate every bit of creation given.
Style & Structure
Matched is told in the first person narrative, the story purely unfolding in Cassia’s view. Apart from bringing the reader into her world using the first person, the reader is also able to feel the struggle of a moderate – if Ky and Xander are considered rebels (even subtle ones) and the officials and everyone else were considered the obedient citizens. What the style did to the story was to show a certain struggle which many of us still have to deal with – questioning the system but somehow still believing that there is a glimmer of sense with the system. That, to quote John Green, “truth resists simplicity”.
In the meantime…