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 had pretty high expectations going into Matched, because the premise sounded too intriguing not to be awesome. When it comes to YA dystopian novels, the bar has been set quite high for Condie, considering how successful The Hunger Games trilogy has been, not to mention the fact that Lauren Oliver’s sophomore novel, Delirium, is so highly anticipated. I certainly had a few problems with Matched, but overall it’s a book that has stayed with me and already has me anticipating the sequel.
After reading the first few chapters, my first thought was that Condie’s writing is magical. She does a truly fantastic job of world-building. I will admit that the feeling of her writing being awesome and exceptional did not stick with me throughout the entire novel, but I never thought it was bad. Condie does a great job of writing realistic, likeable characters. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of Cassia, but she quickly grew on me. I loved Xander because of his loyalty to Cassia. As for Ky, I had moments where I wasn’t fully sold on the romance, but that could change over the next few books.
There were lots of awesome plot twists which kept me guessing throughout the story. The ending was a little too-anticlimactic for my tastes, and I would’ve liked a bit more info throughout the story. Right now, when I look at the position that Condie left her characters in, I’m honestly not sure how they are going to get out. However, she also left a pretty big unsolved mystery hanging in the story, and I have a feeling that I will be blown away by however Condie solves it, so I’m ultimately not too concerned about whether or not I’ll enjoy the next few books in the series.
When I first read an ARC of Matched I struggled a lot with the ending, but two months later I’m editing my review and realizing that Cassia and her story have really stuck with me. Matched is an original novel with a fresh premise. I would recommend this novel to anyone who’s looking for a new, unique dystopian series. I can’t wait to see where Condie takes us next.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this through Star Book Tours.