Author: Ally Condie
Pages: 366 (hardcover)
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Series: Crossed & (Matched #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.Condie’s debut novel, Matched, captures readers' attentions and completely envelops their senses with vivid depictions of a dystopian society.
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 cannot say how brilliant Condie is when it comes to the actual writing itself. Condie introduced us to the society with scenic writing. The rich, fluid, picturesque descriptions all helped me really visualize the society at a vivid level. The rules and the boundaries in the Society was one of the few nuances that made Matched truly believable.
Cassia was a reliable narrator. Her growth was evident from the very beginning. Her naiveté and her somewhat ignorant self progressed into somebody that questions and thinks for herself. Xander and Kai were both equally good love interests for her, although I thought that her treatment of Xander was a little too harsh at some points… I thought that she was a little inconsiderate at times, but that just added to her flaws, which made her a stronger character in the end.
Though, the concept that brought this novel down was the plot. At the start, it was slow, and I was hoping the pace would pick up, but it didn’t end up like that… It was pretty slow moving for the rest of the story. There was not much action until the end. Condie ended up focusing on the characters and establishing the world and the rules of the society, rather than having a moving plot.
If only Matched had a better-developed plot, or at least a character-driven plot, then, this book would be amazing. Though, we’re left with beautiful writing and stimulating characters (and a romance, of course), which is enough for my expectations. Even though I wasn’t blown away, Matched is still a great debut... I can't wait for Crossed!