Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Published: November 30, 2010
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Source: Personal Copy
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 the story of Cassia, a teenage girl living in a time where Society decides everything for you. She’s always trusted it, always believed it, and always looking forward to finding the one person that Society would match her with. So, when Society declares her match to be Xander, Cassia believes it, until an image of Ky flashes onto the screen, setting just a hint of doubt in her mind. Cassia begins to wonder…what if Xander isn’t right for her? What if it’s supposed to be Ky? And if Society matched her wrong, what else could they be wrong about?
Matched is certainly one hyped-up book, and I have to be honest, the premise promises something extraordinary in the realm of dystopian novels. Ally Condie presents a story of right and wrong, love and the freedom of choice, and the decision to create one’s own destiny. With a host of characters that are strong, poignant, and resonate feeling, Matched has all the makings of a great story, and Condie has an easy and fluid writing style that creates a fast-paced read.
That said though, I had some issues with Matched. While I loved the character development and the fact that I could get inside Cassia’s head and see a full view of Xander and Ky, I felt that Matched was extremely lacking in the world-development aspect. It felt a bit flat, if you know what I mean, and I couldn’t understand why Society was doing the things they were doing. Part of what makes a dystopian is the warped logic behind future society’s misjudgments, and I felt that while we saw what they were doing was wrong, I never really understood it. That, essentially, left the entire plot of Matched resting on the shoulders of the characters, and it’s kind of a hit or miss thing that way.
Overall, I don’t think Matched was a bad read by any means, but I have to say that I didn’t really love it either. I’ll definitely try the next book in the series, but I guess the main thing is that with the emergence of popular dystopian fiction, this just didn’t live up to some of my other favourites. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I’d recommend it to those who enjoy dystopian novels and a good, sweet romance.