Title: Matched (Matched #1)
Author: Ally Condie
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Published By: Dutton
Format: Hardcover, 366 pages
*Borrowed from library*
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.
Matched just didn't do it for me, mostly due to pacing but also my frustration with the absolute lack of free will in the society and Cassia's reluctance to come to terms with that. When I started the book I was really intrigued by the Matching ceremony and the TOTAL control the Society has over it's people. It was hard to fathom living somewhere that absolutely everything is monitored and decided for you. This is what kept me reading.
Cassia bored me a bit at first and then she became outright frustrating. Throughout the book she slowly realizes that strict rules and regulations the Society enforce may not be the right way to live, yet she consistently makes excuses for them. Though she does finally make a the right choice the amount of time it took her to get there was annoying.
Ky, I loved. He learned the best way to stay off the radar and he followed through. When his feelings toward Cassia ruined that he didn't agonize over it the way she did. He made his choice and stuck to it, never second guessing himself. Plus, how can you not love a guy who's been through as much as he has and not turned into a bitter bastard.
The pace killed me it was without a doubt the low point, this book could probably be cut down 50 pages and still tell the same story. Some parts were so slow I'd read a page, set the book down for an hour and try again. The romance was the high point. It was so sweet and tender, Ky and Cassia's stolen moments made my heart swell like crazy. These were the parts of the book that had a poetic beauty to them, the way Cassia describes how Ky makes her feel totally made me melt.
Matched had it's ups and downs, some may love it, some may hate it, I just like it. 3 out of 5.