Title: Matched (Matched, #1)
Author: Ally Condie
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
Paperback, 369 Pages
Published November 2010
Book 1 of 3 in the Matched Trilogy
Summary: 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.
I picked up this book from the infamous Penguin Book Truck at BookCon 2014, after I'd heard several recommendations telling me to read it, including one from Amber! It seemed interesting, so I decided to give it a try. (I later went back to the truck to buy Crossed and Reached, but they were sold out, so we did a mandatory run to Barnes & Noble after BookCon to make sure I got them!) Anyway, I feel like the plot itself was scary and interesting--a world where people basically have no choices. The Society, who makes the decisions, plans out everything. How many calories you eat. Where you live. What you wear. What you learn. Where you work. Who you marry. When you have children. THE DAY YOU DIE. All of it. (The dying one is the most terrifying to me, to be completely honest.)
Cassia's story captured my interest right from the start. She was bred into a world where she was told who she would spend the rest of her life with, and naturally, she has a dilemma. She's the only girl who ever received two matches. Yikes. One of them is Xander, her gorgeous and caring and amazing best friend. The other is Ky, a boy she knows in brief passing but is immediately attracted to.
Of course, though, as all good books go, she has a dilemma. From the way Condie described Xander, I would personally just forget all about the little mishap of Ky showing up and just stay with him. He's perfect, he's funny, and he's loved her forever (maybe in a different sense since they were just friends, but still). But no, Cassia has to be conflicted and all of a sudden fall in deep and desperate love with Ky. What's a girl to do?
The one part of this story that kept me from giving it a five star rating was how, and hear me out before you hate me for this, but whiny Cassia was when it came to Ky. It went from her not mentioning and/or noticing him at all, and then all of sudden he comes up as her possible second Match, and she can't let it go. I get it. It's something totally out of the ordinary and unusual and it's going to bother her. But every other paragraph had something to do with how she was thinking about Ky or how Ky did this or a flashback to when Ky did/said that...and she fell in love with him so quickly and said she loved him pretty much right from the start.
Huh? Excuse me?
Exactly. I feel like that part just made it seem way too unrealistic, and it killed some of the magic for me. Other than that, though, I totally devoured the book...so yeah, let me just apologize to my teachers whose classes I sat in with my head buried between the pages all week. The storyline is different and gripping, and although it does remind me of another novel or two that I've read, I have yet to find another story exactly as gripping and great as this one.
All in all, I found Matched to be an incredibly interesting and creative book. I'm definitely going to stick around to see how the trilogy plays out (as a matter of fact, I'm currently reading Crossed, which is the second book in the trilogy). I think Ally Condie is a great writer and I can't wait to see what else she has in store!
That's all I have to say for today! Check back soon for my review of Crossed, giveaways, and more!