Author: Ally Condie
Genre: YA/ Teen Dystopian
Source: Penguin Group
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion. [via GoodReads]
I must confess that the first 100 or so pages of this novel were really slow moving for me. I understand that Ms. Condie was explaining the dystopian world Cassia lives in. A world where everyone is content. Where your life is basically pre-determined. Food, shelter, clothes and even your partner are all chosen for you. Where the Society controls everything and its Officials are always watching. Cassia has always followed their strict guidelines. But when a glitch in the system leads Cassia to question the Society, then the story really starts to pick up speed.
First I must commend Ms. Condie for her world-building. I found this dystopian world to be unique and I really enjoyed discovering it by slow increments. Secondly, the love story. Or let me rephrase that, the love triangle. I was fond of the main characters in this book. Cassia and Xander have been best friends since youth and it was just perfect that they would be matched. But Ky.... Ky was secretive, brooding, hurt, broken, distrusting... I have a thing for characters that need rescuing - and Ky is definitely that. The love that grows between Cassia and Ky (very PG) was so sweet it hurt. I found myself aching over their predicament. From their first secret encounter till their last you can't help but root for them to somehow break free of the Society's hold.
In the end, I found Matched to be utterly exquisite albeit a bit slow paced at times. It definitely makes for interesting reading. The combination of a controlling society, psychology and its heart-wrenching love story felt chillingly realistic. It's characters were fleshed out and in the end I felt a pang at the fact that my time with them was coming to a close. I must also warn that there were a few loose strings so I'm hoping (keeping fingers crossed) that there will be a sequel - maybe even a trilogy. Latest news is that Disney bought the film rights - so get your hands on this gem before it hits theaters, you won't be disappointed.