Released: November 30, 2010
Age Group: YA
Source: Cavalier House Books
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.Two months ago I found myself in a bit of a reading rut. I picked up several titles from my to-read pile only to toss them back on top of the heap. I reread a few old favorites, watched some trashy television, and thought about picking up Matched. Why I hesitate when it comes to dystopian fiction is beyond me. While it's proven to be a genre I enjoy, I'm never very eager to pick it up. But despite my reluctance, Matched was another fabulous dystopian.
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.
Reading about Cassia's life left me full of empathy for her. While admittedly passive and only questioning when provoked, Cassia was content with life because the Society made her that way. It wasn't until she was caught up in a glitch in the system that she began to wonder if she truly did have a choice. Who wouldn't want to live in a world that insured one would be healthy, happy, and fulfilled? It really didn't sound that awful before realizing that living in a controlled environment, as safe as it may be, isn't really living.
The Society and the world it was in was extremely fascinating to me. Ally Condie did such an amazing job of world-building throughout the novel. Things were revealed slowly, but it allowed the reader to better understand the world Cassia lived in one function at a time. It seemed to also coincide with Cassia's understanding because even as a citizen, she didn't know how or why the Society functioned the way it did.
The only thing that kept Matched from being a favorite of 2010 was my indifference for Ky. I could see the appeal of the unknown and the forbidden, but there weren't any other qualities he possessed to make him more enticing to me. I actually felt myself rooting for Xander - he seemed attractive and like he genuinely loved Cassia, which made him much more appealing in my eyes. I'm hopeful Condie will be a little more revealing in the sequel and make Ky seem more worthy of being a contender.
Overall Matched was a fantastic novel by a very talented author. It ended with just the right amount of opening for part two and closure to keep us breathing until its release this fall. Cavalier House Books has Matched in stock and Crossed available for preorder in their store and on their website.