Release Date: Nov. 30th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
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 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.
I can totally understand how Matched can be seen as either an “I love it or I hate it” kind of book. The action is very subtle. The book has a very lyrical and depressing tone. It’s not like your typical dystopian by any means. It’s more about the relationships and how the characters are affected and less about the world and its aftermath. There are no zombies, no horrible diseases. Just a society and how it controls its people. Some don’t mind the society, but others, like Cassia and her family, follow orders only because they have to. Big Brother is definitely always watching. Even so, there’s not a whole lot of action. And when it does happen, it’s either very subtle or happens super quickly. It’s not a book for everybody.
Fortunately, for me, I loved it. It tugged at my heartstrings and created emotions in me that I didn’t know I still had. You could say there was a typical love triangle, but I didn’t find it typical at all. Especially when it’s a love triangle the characters were forced into. There’s a reason for this though. Cassia isn’t allowed to choose her own mate. Neither is anybody else. The society matches you with someone and that’s who you have to marry and spend your life with. Cassia’s match turns out to be Xander, who is a very good friend of hers. She grew up with him. So in some ways, she is lucky. But then she falls for Ky. Ky is not her match. And she is not allowed to be with him. The society won’t allow it. Can you imagine that? And that’s only the beginning.
Matched was definitely an emotional ride. Author Ally Condie really knows how to make you feel for the characters. The emotions felt very real to me. If I have one complaint, it’s that I wish the world the characters were living in was described a little better. But I have a feeling the next book will take care of that.
Bottom line: If you go into this book expecting it to be the next Hunger Games with a load of action, you will undoubtedly be disappointed. If, however, you appreciate a story about characters you will get attached to, and how they are trying to continue living in a very unfair world, then I think you will enjoy it. I thought it was fantastic.
Book Trailer for Matched by Ally Condie: