Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Published: 30th November 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Length: 366 pages
Warnings: kissing, nothing else
Other info: Book 2, Crossed, will be out in November 2011.
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Review: Every major event in Cassia's life is dictated by society. At the age of 17, she gets matched to her life partner, who happens to be childhood friend Xander. After the Matching ceremony however, another boy's face appears on the screen where Xander's should be. Its Ky, another person she knows who is on the verge of being one of society’s outcasts. She then gets to choose who she wants to be Matched with-which is pretty difficult when she likes both of them.
The idea behind this was interesting, but a bit boring. It starts with her Matching banquet which goes perfectly well. This was all very well and good, but we didn't find much out about society.
Then her grandfather dies, because he has reached the age of 80 and Society dictates that 80 is the optimum lifespan. Then Cassia looks at the little screen-thing she got at the Matching banquet, which should tell her everything about her Match, which it does. And then she sees Ky's face on the screen. Talking to an official, she is told it was just an accident. But then she sees Ky, and gets paired with him on an increasing number of times in activities. Cassia then discovers that most things she thought she knew is wrong.
The whole story was a bit bland. It was quite slow getting started and not much seemed to happen in the plot of Cassia's love triangle, which obviously was supposed to be the focus of the story.
It started picking up a bit in the middle, but got worse in the end. The whole thing didn't really build up to anything big happening: you got traces but the cliff-hanger ending doesn’t make me desperate to read book 2(but I will anyway).
I didn't like the dystopian world: while it was interesting and the idea was very good, we never got an idea of exactly why all these things happened, of how Cassia's society developed.And I never understood what was wrong with writing, while everyone knew how to work a computer. And exactly what is Cassia's role as a sorter?
I did like the bit about the articles. Each person is allowed one article, normally a family heirloom such as a mirror or a compass. Halfway through the book, society issues an order to take them all away. I'm not sure why, but I think this part was the best written part in the whole book. I also liked the mysteries involving the tablets and the way Ky and Xander's friendship/rivalry develops.
Overall: I give this strength 2 tea because I think it wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped, but some parts were really interesting.