Matched – Ally Condie

Matched (Matched #1)Matched by Ally Condie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a world where “The Society” makes all the decisions for you; what to eat, what to wear, where you’ll work, what you’ll learn, who you marry, it’s easy to feel like life is safe and easy. The Society works for the good of the people after all; life expectancy is long, almost all signs of sickness and disease has been eradicated, everyone seems happy. This is the life that Cassia has learned to expect and trust – especially when she is Matched (her future husband that is chosen for her by The Society) with her best friend, Xander. But then comes the day after she’s matched, when in addition to Xander, the face of Ky, another boy in the neighborhood, flashes on the data card; the Society’s mistake spins Cassia into a whirlwind of emotions; who is her real match? How did this mistake happen anyway? Is the Society really trustworthy?

Matched is not just a love story, but a story of realization; of awakening, and this is what makes the book a definite must read! While it’s appalling to think of a time when the government makes every little decision for you, I do not think it’s an utterly unreasonable notion. In fact, there are countries where this is closer to reality than anyone would really like to admit. Seeing Cassia move from someone who completely trusts in the only life she’s ever known to realizing how much control The Society actually has and despising it is probably the best part of the entire story. Cassia is extremely believable, there really is nothing extra special about her. Everything that she comes to know and understand throughout the book seems to follow a natural process of observing and thinking through. This is so refreshing and enjoyable – as usually the hero or heroine has qualities about them that that cause them to stand out in some way or another or give them an extra edge. I actually feel the same way about Ky, while he has figured out how to play The Society’s game, up until near the end of the book, it was all about not standing out, about being safe, and being basically invisible. I do believe he and Cassia are opposites in that while she has never known another life, he has had a taste of what freedom might look like. His personality and character as a whole are just as equally believable as Cassia’s. I cannot wait to see how their relationship unfolds, but even more than that, I can’t wait to see what major rifts they cause within the Society.

I do wish I could have gotten to know Xander a bit more. Or maybe not. I already felt bad enough for him, getting to know him more might have made it worse. To that thought, I also felt that Xander was way too good. There was not enough edge to him, he seemed to almost lack emotion. But then again, maybe this is exactly right, with a society that makes all decisions for you – maybe one would lack emotions. But still – due to some stuff at the end of the book I have reason to believe there was a lot of depth that could have been added to his character. I really ramped up the gaming scene between him and Ky in my head (as it was unfolding). I was sort of viewing it from a “who’s the better man” perspective. I was entirely wrong about the scene, but I guess I was just looking for the real Xander to come out. While he may not have known what was going on between Cassia and Ky, he did know something wasn’t exactly right with Cassia. I was thinking this scene was going to reveal that somewhere inside he DID know what was going on. Anyway – even when he did figure things out, he did not react in a way I felt someone who is suppose to be competitive and possibly in love would react. This makes me think that maybe there is more to Xander than he even knows just yet. I do hope there are good things for him in the future books.

So here’s looking forward to November 2011 – Crossed!

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