Author: Ally Condie
Release: November 30th 2010
Genre: Dystopia, YA
#1 in the Matched trilogy
Sequels: Crossed (#2), Reached (#3)
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.
Arrghh, I fell for that beautiful cover! :( The book wasn't half as good as that pretty cover.
Actually, the plot seemed really interesting — I love Dystopian! — but in the end, the blurb described everything that's going on. That little plot twist that happens during the last sixty pages just seemed like a page filler to write another senseless book of this, excuse me, shit. Otherwise, everything that happens is described in the blurb: Cassia gets her Match, which is her best friend Xander Carrow, and she's all "Yaaay!". But when she inserts this MicroCard, with which she can look into details of Xander's life and blah, another face flashes on the screen: mystery boy Ky Markham! And she's like "what the fffff I NEED TO FIGAH TIS OUT!" and then one of those Officers comes to her and tells her it's all been only a mistake. Problem solved. BUT, Cassia can't keep thinking that THIS WAS FATE AND SHE'S MEANT TO BE WITH KY, for god's sake. So she starts spending time with him and falls for him and blah. You know what really made me want to throw this book out the window NUMEROUS times? THAT FREAKING POEM. Personally, I didn't like it very much (dunno. Was just not my thing), but that would've been okay if they wouldn't have repeated it EVERY FIVE PAGES. Seriously. I know there are only a hundred poems left, but that's still no reason to make such a big drama out of that stupid thing that isn't one of those hundred.
And know what else? There was NO pace and NO structure. It was so fucking boring. There were basically only three things Cassia did in the 360 pages of this book: 1) She spends time with her friends/family 2) She "sorts" (I still don't really get what the hell that is useful for. I mean, I kinda get the idea what exactly she's doing, but it seems completely useless to me) and 3) She spends time with Ky on that Hill. Beside those things, there was NOTHING going on. NOTHING. And there was no structure. Everything was tangled up, like Mrs Condie had no outline or anything before writing this book. She just started doing it. '_'
AND THE CHARACTERS. Let me introduce you Ms Robot Extraordinaire, Cassia Maria Reyes. I understand that people in other Societies think different and that writing in present always conveys this robot-feel ("I feed the cat. Then I go make me a sandwich," you get the idea.) but this was more than that. I didn't feel like Katniss was a robot, nor was Clara or any other protagonist of books written in present tense. I guess it's because Mrs Condie didn't really describe much beside what Cassia was doing, no detailed landscapes or scenes. Just "Xander leans in and I kiss him", bam, done. Dunno. Xander was that handsome, everyone-loves-me best friend guy, whom the author just created to have a love triangle and to be another obstacle in the love of the two main characters. Other than that, he wasn't good for anything. She might as well have excluded him. Still, at least Xander didn't seem like a total robot, he had at least a LITTLE character. Ky on the other hand also had that robot vibe going on (maybe that's why he and Cassia fell in love...), but with him it was little understandable at least. His parents had been murdered while he lived in the worst part of the country and then he just got shipped into a big town to relatives he didn't know as a little boy. He had always been an Outcast in a city of strangers, so it's understandable he's keeping a distance and he's always so composed and blah. Still, I didn't feel any connection to him, so I couldn't build ... well, a "relationship" to him. It was frustrating.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend it. I know a lot of people liked it, but I didn't. You may go ahead and see for yourself, but I would spend my money and time on better things. :/