September 14, 2013
Matched by Ally Condie
Summary: 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.
The Good: Some of the best world-building I've ever seen. Ally Condie created her dystopian society artfully. She didn't info-dump and left a lot to be discovered. She might've given us a tad more information, but that didn't distract from the plot. I love the way the Society controls everything. I mean, it's bad, but it's intriguing and thought-provoking. This was one of those dystopian books that really made me think. It's amazing how people will so willingly go along with great amounts of control. The plot needed a little more substance in this book (I feel the first book in a trilogy needs to have its own plot resolved while contributing to the main storyline that continues into the second and third books), but overall it was good.
The Bad: The characters were a bit shaky. I think Cassia needed a more obvious flaw or two. Xander fell a bit flat, and I wanted more from him. And of course there's that darn love triangle. I think the book might've been a bit more interesting, had Cassia loved only Ky but was pretty much destined to end up with Xander.
The Ugly: I'm having some trouble remembering, but I know the language was fairly tame. Romance, too.
The Verdict: If you haven't yet read Matched (I was late to the game; I always am), you must give it a try!