Matched-by-Ally-CondieThe novel Matched, by Ally Condie, is the first book of a trilogy set in a dystopian future about 16-year-old girl named Cassia Reyes. The story is set in a time where the people who govern Society are known as Officials. In Society, Officials decide everything: who you love, where you work, and even when you die. In this society when you turn 17, you are matched with whom the Officials believe you belong. Cassia lives with her parents, Abran and Molly, and her younger brother, Bram. Cassia has always trusted in the choices the Society has made for her, so when it comes time for her Matching Ceremony, she has no concerns or doubts when her best friend, Xander Carrow’s face appears on the screen as her true mate.
Each young man and woman at the Matching Ceremony receives a microcard with information about their mate on it for them to view at home. When viewing Xander’s microcard, Cassia sees the screen flicker for only an instant showing the face of another boy she knows, Ky Markham, before quickly turning black. Xander has been in love with Cassia for as long as he can remember and he is also very good friends with Ky. They are all part of the same group of friends. Xander is described as the perfect boy and any girl would be happy to have him. Ky is known as an Aberration, which means his citizenship has been revoked due to his father’s acts against the Society. Ky was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, Aida and Patrick, as a replacement for their son who was murdered. Murder is something that almost never occurs in Society. Because Ky is an Aberration, he is exempt from the Matching Ceremony and was not even allowed into the matching pool, which creates even more confusion and suspicion when Cassia sees his face flash on her screen while looking at Xander’s microcard. Ky secretly has feelings for Cassia and is extremely jealous of her relationship with Xander.
In an effort to clear Cassia’s confusion, an Official shows up to assure her that she really does belong with Xander. She tries to focus on Xander, but decides to explore both of her matches. As she takes up the summer leisure activity of hiking, she finds Ky has also chosen hiking at his leisure activity. Cassia’s grandfather challenges her to look beyond the defined rules of the Society and as she begins to fall in love with Ky, she understands what her grandfather means. She sets out to find the truth behind the Society and what lies in the Outer Provinces. The more she falls for Ky, the more she begins to see the darker side of the Society’s decisions for her life and for the lives of the people she loves the most.
CrossedCrossed is the sequel to Matched and the second of a three-book series by Ally Condie. In this sequel we pick up right where we left off with Ky being ripped from his home and sent to a Labor Camp in the Outer Provinces where he will surely die by the Officials. He is forced to leave Cassia behind and she begins a journey with new friends on a quest to get the love of her life back. Cassia volunteers to be sent to a work camp in the Outer Provinces to search for Ky. She meets a girl named Indie in the camp and the two of them escape together to find Ky and to look for any possible evidence of people rebelling against the Society. They want to join forces with anyone rising up against the Society. Cassia trusts Indie, but she is a mysterious and sneaky girl with secrets. Indie’s main focus is finding a rebellion to join and stays with Cassia because they have similar beliefs about Officials and the Society.
The author shifts back and forth between what is happening with Cassia and what is happening with Ky. As Cassia and Indie escape from their work camp, Ky and his new friend Vick, a caring, compassionate, and secretive boy, try to stay alive long enough to escape their Labor Camp. As Ky and Vick escape their camp, Ky takes a young boy named Eli with him because he reminds him of Cassia’s younger brother, Bram. Eli is much younger and much weaker than both Ky and Vick, but he manages to stay with them and help them in any way he can. The three boys travel through the Outer Provinces in search of Cassia and a strange and mysterious society that Ky used to know as a child; the farmers.
Cassia arrives at the Labor Camp where Ky was supposed to be held only to find that he has escaped already into “The Carving”, a desolate land formation full of dangers that holds crucial answers to the information Cassia and Indie are looking for in regards to a rebellion. All of the characters must fight for their lives as they journey through the Outer Provinces in search of the people they love and the existence of a rebellion; a rebellion that there have only been rumors about. Just when Cassia thinks she has fully decided her future belongs to Ky, Xander shows up which leads to a shocking betrayal and a deep secret that could open Cassia’s heart to him once again.