Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: November 30, 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Format: Hardcover, 366 pgs.
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.
The Society dictates everything: what you will do, when you will die, and who you should love. Cassia's Match couldn't be more perfect. She's the only one wearing the green dress, and her Match turns out to be her best friend Xander. But when she gets home and looks at Xander's data, another boy's face flashes before her, and Cassia begins to wander off the path the Society has chosen for her.
First, let me say that I really wanted to love this book. The premise is fantastic and the cover is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention all the glowing reviews it was getting. That being said, Matched kind of disappointed me.
Cassia is a fairly flat character, mind you she's been an outstanding member of the Society her entire life, so no surprises there, but I didn't think she really grew all that much throughout the story. Her Match with Xander could have been great, but instead she fell for Ky, which makes sense to me: he's everything she shouldn't want. The romance was the best and worst part of this book, meaning this was more romance than it was dystopia or anything else. When Cassia is with Ky nothing else seems to matter, even Xander, and I think that's what bothered me the most. Her romance with Ky wasn't the best, but it was good while it was under the spotlight; as soon as he was out of the picture, though, everything else came back into focus. Oh, yes, that's right: Xander exists. Her treatment of Xander and a couple of others at times didn't seem to fit Cassia's character at all, so it wasn't believable to me in parts.
Also, the world building was a bit of a let down. It was there, but there were no real answers about any of it. Who is the Society? How and when did it come into being? Why doesn't it seem to exist in the outer territories?
I'll be keeping my eye on Ally Condie, because I think she's definitely got talent. Matched just wasn't the best match for me; in fact, I'm not entirely sure I'll be finishing this series. We'll see. If you've read it, let me know what you thought in the comments, because I'm curious to see how everyone else liked it.