Author: Ally Condie
Rating: four stars (out of four)
Release date: Nov. 30, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
I'll freely admit I was fully on board the dystopian band wagon. And while people might argue the YA market was flooded with this genre, I couldn't get enough. From the beginning I was enthralled. I was so intrigued by the world created and I wanted to know more about how their society was run. (It also reminded me a little of The Giver and I'm in LOVE with that book.) The whole system of rules and regulations they follow every day fascinated me. I also thought Condie did an excellent job of creating the world and making it fairly realistic. Yes, yes, I know, pretty much any dystopian world really isn't all that plausible, but I never jerked out of the story going, "That's preposterous! They would never do THAT!" instead I accepted their society and even wanted to go deeper. Condie also did a good job of slowly ladling out bits and pieces of the world throughout the entire novel. You were ALWAYS finding out something new. Things were happening behind-the-scenes and being hinted at and it really built good tension.
Some of the things I loved: the three color-coded pills, the way each person had their own special meal assignments, the artifacts they passed down from generation to general, the whole limitation of 100 poems/stories/art. And while I thought these rules were great for the story and setting, they were also disturbing as well. It was a grim sort of fascination that kept me reading because I was waiting for the world to start tearing at the seams.
There were some things I found a little disjarring though. I really, really liked Xander, but I didn't feel like he was fully fleshed out. I wanted just a little bit more insight into his character becuase I felt Cassia told you a lot about his character instead of letting his actions speak for themselves. And I wasn't sure how much I fell for the romance aspects in this story. I didn't think it was necessarily all that convincing. I liked the plot and I certainly liked seeing the interaction between the characters, but I think it needed more depth to make it fully believable. Cassia so quickly pondered her feelings and came to conclusions, it felt a little odd (for me). But I was definitely a fan of Ky. He was cool, though I wasn't sure if I truly believed his character either. I just needed a little more. But this didn't hinder my love for the book: it was the seeping undercurrent of something sinister behind the society that kept me reading.
I was definitely a fan, Matched grabbed me from the start and the world was so engaging I couldn't help but devour the book. I'd recommend for people who can't get enough of the dystopian genre or people who like that twist on perfect societies. If you liked The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Glitch and haven't read this book, you should definitely give it a try.
Side note: all three books are FINALLY out for this series, so if you have obsessive tendencies like me and want to read all three back-to-back-to-back you have the chance. The sequels: Crossed & Reached.