November 30, 2010
"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.
Once you start reading Matched, there is no going back. The world that Ally Condie has created is so engrossing, so entirely captivating that there is no escape to the obsession. Yes, I said obsession. If I could create my own award show for books, Matched would win Best Dystopian Novel, Best Romance, Best Characters, Best Writing, and Best Cover. The world, the characters, the fabric of the reality that Ally Condie has created dance around you until they are part of your thoughts and dreams. I lived and breathed this book while I was reading it, and I continue to do so afterward.
Cassia, our wonderful female protagonist, endures so much during the novel. Everything she believes to be true - that the Society is always right, that they never make mistakes, that they do what is best for the people - crumbles down around her. She is left to stand in the ruins and, where a lesser person would surrender, she finds the strength to go on. Although the Society matches her with her best friend, Xander, Cassia follows her heart to a young man named Ky. The two teens embark on the most intriguing forbidden romance since Romeo and Juliet. Navigating both the rough waters of the Society and her new found love, Cassia grows and becomes an individual instead of another member of the collective.
The Society itself plays a large role in the events of this novel. In fact, it is really the foundation of the story. The injustices that most citizens cannot see, the restrictions placed on everyone's lives, the way they are told whom to love, when to marry, when to die, are as integral to the story as water is to life.
Matched has so much to offer. There are so many layers, each one a beautiful gift. The detail, time, thought, and talent that went into each word truly makes this novel stand out. Not only that, but the story is satisfying. Even though it leaves some loose ends to tie up, the last note contains hope, not despair.
One of the most anticipated books of 2010, Matched does not disappoint. Read it, live it, love it!