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 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.
Why I read it: It’s dystopia, and that’s reason enough. Plus, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but in this case the cover fits perfectly.
My Thoughts: I’ve decided not to do a ‘what I liked’ and ‘what I disliked’ about this book, because my thoughts are all over the map. Basically, I liked almost everything, but didn’t really like anything.
The premise is an intriguing one. At seventeen, everyone is ‘Matched’ up with the person they will eventually marry. Cassia is matched with her best friend Xander, and she’s completely happy with that until she puts her match disk in her home port, and another boy’s face appears for a second. I quite enjoyed this premise; the idea of an arranged marriage perfectly calculated on their personalities sounds like something that could eventually happen. However, I was annoyed by the romance in this book. She loves Xander and knows that she would be happy with him; he’s a super sweet guy. And yet, she decides to fall in love with Ky. I never really understood why she liked Ky that much more that she would risk everything to be with him when she knew it was impossible.
The setting was certainly well described. I enjoyed the portrayal of the Society as something that was meant to help the people. Instead of being an evil totalitarian government, they honestly meant to do the best thing for the people. I liked this twist, but it felt a little off when they would do some semi-evil things for no reason whatsoever. I got the impression that it was actually a fairly good society, but Cassia needed an excuse to rebel to keep the book from getting boring, so Condie would make them do something completely senseless, like go door to door collecting all their old valuables. Also, the Society decided to keep only a hundred poems/songs/paintings because the culture was too ‘cluttered’. I never really understood why they’d stop creativity like that.
As for the characters, I liked them alright but I didn’t quite identify with them. I really liked Cassia’s family. Her parents were nice, well-rounded characters, and I loved her little brother. I also really liked both the love interests, Xander and Ky. However, I never quite felt the romance between Ky and Cassia. It always seemed like they liked being together so they could talk about old (forbidden) poetry rather than having any real attraction.
From a Christian Perspective: Matched scores very high in this category. I don’t think there was any swearing at all. There was no sexual content, aside from two or three quick kisses that weren’t sensual at all. Religion is mentioned once or twice as something that ended a long time ago, with the coming of the restrictive Society. One of the major reasons that Cassia hates the Society is because she finds out that the reason everyone dies at eighty is because the Society poisons their food. It was nice to see an anti-euthanasia message in a popular book. In short, this is not exactly a Christian book, but it has nothing in it that would offend a Christian.
To buy or not to buy: I’ve decided not to buy this because it’s just not my type of story. I was looking for an action/adventure, it turned out to be a romance. If you love dystopian romance, though, this is definitely the book for you.