"The two desires struggle within me: the desire to be safe, and the desire to know. I cannot tell which one will win."
In an attempt to enter into and better understand the stories, worldviews, and messages shaping my kids and the rest of today's youth, I submit the latest review of trending books, films, and TV shows effecting a primarily YA audience: Ally Condie's Matched series.
Disney has already purchased the rights, and foreign rights have been sold to over thirty countries. The books went as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, and they have received good reviews from readers and critics.
My goal is not to critique the art form as much as look at how the story reflects and shapes the readers' worldview.
There will be spoilers.
The Matched trilogy begins as Cassia is preparing for her Match Banquet, an event at which she will meet the husband Society has chosen for her. In Ally Condie's dystopic future, Society runs everything: jobs, meals, education, marriage, schedule, exercise, entertainment, social class, even death. It's the only way to achieve optimal results.
After the Warming, most people voted to give the government invasive control of their lives so they would be safe. As the physician Oker points out, "That might be Society's greatest triumph - that so many of us ever believed we were."
But when Cassia gets matched with her best friend Xander - and then finds out she was also matched with Ky - she realizes that something is amiss in this Orwellian world.
Suddenly, she is introduced to a world of choices she never knew existed. Society was supposed to decide whom she should love, but now she is torn between Xander and Ky. She never had a choice of any significance before, let alone one of this magnitude. Now she is faced with her first real dilemma in a world that had always decided for her.