Matched by Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 30th, 2010)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 366 pages
Series: Matched, book #1
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
Review: The world in Matched is one where the citizens have little to no control over each aspect of their lives. From their careers and children, to their spouses and death, each individual is at the power of the Society. People have learned over time that this is the best way to live and most never question what the Society decides. Cassia is at a turning point in her life; she's being matched. Her partner will be picked for her and she is excited to find out who is in her future. Once she discovers she is matched with her best friend Xander she is thrilled. Later, when she views her card at home, she sees another guy she knows, Ky, on the screen.
The idea behind this story is a fascinating one because it is a fear of most people. Many worry about not having control over certain aspects of their lives. The idea is to find out if you would fight the system or go along with what they decide. Going from the advice of her grandfather, Cassia begins questioning the intentions of the Society and the future of her and Xander.
Matched spends a lot of time explaining the way their world runs, which was needed, but I felt the story needed a little more action. Cassia is a great character but I would have liked to see a little more emotion from her. But I do understand that in this world emotions are not often seen. Ky and Xander were both great characters but I couldn't help but think that maybe Cassia was interested in Ky only because she was told he was to never be matched. Even with his quiet personality, it was obvious Ky cared for Cassia. On the other hand, Xander brought the life to the story for me. I enjoyed his playfulness and fun personality.
Ally Condie has a terrific writing style and her worldbuilding was amazing. Although Matched presented a completely altered world, it was easy to follow and understand how things worked. One of my favorite parts of the book involved Cassia's grandfather. Even though he isn't in much of the story, his personality carries a lot of significance in what Cassia feels throughout the book.
I'm excited to see what happens in the next book in this series. Matched leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions and I look forward to seeing how Cassia deals with the drama.
Overall- Matched will give readers an interesting take into a world controlled by others. Even with much of life having an order, love may break the ties and lead Cassia into a fight for her freedom.
Cover- I have to say that this is one of the best covers I have seen. The shimmer effect is beautiful and I love the simplicity and significance of it. Very nice! I hope the other covers in the series follow suit.
Find Ally CondieAlly Condie / Twitter / Goodreads
Purchase MatchedAmazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository