A fragile equilibrium is about to be tested…
Genre: Y/A, Dystopian, Science Fiction
No. of pages: 369
In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly 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.
Every one of my friends who read ‘Matched‘ before me gave it different rating – so much so that I had no idea if I would like the book or not. I’m glad it turned out that way, because if I had high expectations, this book would have bombed big time. Going in tentative, this novel ended up being a solid okay read. Which is promising for the series if the writing and stakes are increased with each volume.
‘Matched‘ is understated and slow paced. I mean that in a positive light. It reflects the attitudes and landscape around our protagonist: carefully filtered to keep things in an artificial balance. It’s unrealistic and unsustainable; and we start to see cracks before the end of the novel.
But the main part of this story revolves around Cassia awakening to the thought that she wants choice. Choice of who she is matched to, choice of her vocation… and that line of thinking is dangerous to their society.
Her biggest dilemma is mixed feelings between two guys: Xander And Ky. I’m loath to call it a love triangle, because it isn’t, even though it falls into that category. It just narrowly escaped one of my all time despised YA tropes. Ky surprised me – I had him pegged as the bad guy, the rebel – but he is nothing like that. Just as Xander is not so much the golden boy he is made out to be.
The characters are rich and we take time to get to know them through Cassia’s perspective. It feels very organic as each of the cast grows and develops.
I found myself wanting more fast paced action and for Cassia to stand up and challenge the system – but it’s an easy mistake to make – that would not have worked for this novel, or for Cassia. She hasn’t found her feet yet. But it left me excited for where the next two books in this trilogy.
Ally Condie’s writing style is effortless. She paints colourful backdrops with a breezy prose with you can get through quickly – which helps because of the slow pacing.
I was a little disappointed in the world building. There wasn’t enough information for me to get interested in Cassia’s plight. It was the relationship that drew me in. I’m hoping we get the origins, mythology, and reasons behind this dystopian world better explored in ‘Crossed‘ before I get too frustrated in the series.
I can’t say that the book was predictable, because there wasn’t enough resolution for me to sink my teeth into. I still have sooo many unanswered questions. And the last few chapters dropped so many teasers. I’m kind of thinking this isn’t a book I’ recommend unless your committed to the entire trilogy.
Overall feeling: It was okay.
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