November 2010, Dutton Juvenile
Good Reads + Amazon
"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."
- Good Reads
Much like with Divergent and Delirium, I'm finding that I may not actually dislike YA dystopian as much as I previously thought. I was pleasantly surprised by Matched - I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did and was even more surprised to find that I want to continue on with the series (just waiting on Crossed to drop in price...).
I did have a few problems with Matched -
- The importance of the poetry felt slightly forced at times. In Cassia's world, the Society has decided to destroy all poetry, all music, and all pieces of art except for 100 selections from each category. Cassia comes across a poem that was previously thought destroyed and it sort of becomes her mantra. Now, I'm all for references to literature and poetry in YA books, but this just felt... like Ally Condie was trying to shove it down our throats. I think that she could have demonstrated Cassia's obsession with poetry in a much more believable way.
- The love triangle aspect. I would love to read a really, really amazing YA book that does not have a love triangle! I feel like the idea has been cheapened because it is used so often through out the genre. I would have much preferred if Cassia had not known Xander and fell in love with Ky... The story could have progressed at the same rate without dragging a messy love triangle into it.
But, the good far outweighed the bad. I found that I enjoyed Cassia's character - she was seriously conflicted about her situation and battled with it up until the end of the book. I enjoyed seeing the different aspects of her family as well. No one seemed to 100% accept the rules of Society... each person had their quiet rebellion going on and Condie was able to work that into the story without it becoming unbelievable and ridiculous. I also appreciated the world building - Condie built a world that we still don't know much about but it didn't feel flat or one dimensional to me. I really look forward to seeing where the story goes!
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance and isn't entirely sure about dystopian books. Matched is definitely dystopian but I think that it would be a good starting point if you're trying to get your feet wet.
Have a great day guys!
Disclaimer - I purchased this book with my own money, all opinions stated in this review are my own, and I was in no way compensated for writing this review.