Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched, #1
Date(s) read: April 10 – 11, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Matched is a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a LONG time before I finally got around to reading it. Truth be told, I bought it almost a year before I met Ally Condie at a book signing (and embarrassingly admitted that I hadn’t read the book when she signed it …) and it was a good 8 months after that until I finally read the book — boy, was I missing out!
I had read a lot of mixed reviews about this story that I was scared to start reading it, but was pleasantly surprised to be hooked right from the first pages. I love a good dystopian and this was a great one. There wasn’t really any fighting, or high-action scenes, but it was still an interesting story. In a way, it reminded me of Delirium, by Lauren Oliver. Love isn’t the disease in this story, but people are matched together at a matching ceremony when they’re 17 years old. I was happy for main character, Cassia, when she was matched with her best friend Xander, but the real conflict of the story starts when Xander’s face disappears from Cassia’s match info screen to reveal Ky’s face.
The society that Cassia lived in was a CRAZY society. Everything is decided for the people of the society by a higher order — from what kind of food the people eat (and the rations), to who they marry, to what their activities are, EVERYTHING. The people of this society really had no freedom, whatsoever. When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s hard to digest not being able to pick the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with. I hated that the people who lived in the society were almost like an experiment — this higher power could do whatever they liked and the people would just do it. There were no other alternatives.
I really loved the characters in this book and found myself not being torn at all when it came to Cassia and her love choices — of course, I won’t say WHO I picked, but I felt like the right decision was made in the end. Seeing as the story is ultimately about a love triangle (something I usually don’t like), I was happy that it didn’t totally feel like a love triangle. I loved the cliffhanger (when normally I don’t) and can’t wait to see what happens in Crossed. I feel like there might be a whole lot of action in the next instalment!
I’m very happy that I had started to read this and that it really exceeded my expectations. I wouldn’t say that it’s one of my favourite books, but it was a really nice dystopian and not as intense as others. But where it lacks intensity, it offers an alternate view of what society could be like — and a scary one at that.