Series: Matched, #1
Author: Ally Condie
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Dystopian Romance
Published: November 30, 2010
Overall Rating: 3.5-4/5
Cover Rating: 4/5
Cover Comments: Love the shade of green on this book, and the bubble is so symbolic of what goes on in the book. It's simple, yet eye catching.
Got this one from the library, picked it up, and read the whole thing in about two readings. One of them involved staying past bed time, which seemed great at the time, but not so lovely when I had to get up at 6:15 in the morning to get ready for school.
Matched is one of those books that you just can't put down because you need to know what's going to happen next. The book just has that fast-paced tension. In the Society, everything is planned. There is no free will, no thinking on one's own. Food, jobs, marriages, even deaths are calculated and worked out.
Cassia is Matched with Xander, her best friend, and it's possibly the best that she could have hoped for. Later, it seems a cruel trick is played on her and she has also been paired with Ky. Two Matches? It's not even supposed to be possible. Everything in the Society is about probability. Who is to be Cassia's true Match? The Society seems to be on her side, but later, they appear to be cruel and malicious.
The best part of this book was its characters, and their individuality. Which is ironic, since in the Society, there's supposed to be NO individuality. But there is: in Cassia, Grandfather, and Ky. Cassia is a strong-willed girl who doesn't really understand her life, but knows that it's not really right. She is trying to understand true love, not the "love" that comes from the Matching. Grandfather is possibly my favorite character. I can't give away too much about him, but he is the wise mentor in Cassia's life. Ky is the most developed and dimensional character, but also the most mysterious and unexplained. I definitely want to learn more about him and his secrets.
This book has been compared to The Hunger Games, but I don't see much other than the fact they both have strong female characters, a best friend/love interest love triangle, and a Government that controls everything. THG were much more dark and violent. Matched, on the other hand is clean. Clean, safe, sterile.
The other book I could compare this one to is The Giver. In fact, both Societies in the novels seem very similarly designed. The difference is that the basic idea and plot is different. But I must say that I liked Matched much more than The Giver. (I wasn't a huge fan of the book. It was pretty good in the beginning... but I didn't like the ending. I guess I didn't realize there were sequels until two years later. But now I don't even want to read them.)
Matched: It's about finding true love, your individuality, and your place in a Society that seems to have all control. Maybe even the Society's place. The sequel, Crossed, is coming out in the end of this year, and I am very excited!
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.