Released: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Hardcover, 366 pages
Literary award: Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of the Year for Fiction (2010)
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.
My Rating: 4 / 5
If you are a regular blog reader, you'll know that I love my stories to be Happily Ever After. When I think dystopian, I picture a colourless world full of hopelessness. The buzz about Matched and it's stunning (and colourful) cover caught my eye & had me curious...can I do dystopian?
From page one, I knew this wasn't going to be that sad, dreary world I had anticipated. Reading Matched reminded me of watching the movie The Truman Show, people are living in what is attempted to be a perfect world with big brother watching you. Meals are planned, your marriage, job and even death are all determined for you. The Society has good intentions, but in the end they've taken away free will & what it means to be human. This is what the main character, Cassia, slowly discovers as she is introduced to the world through Ky's eyes.
I found the characters a bit harder to connect to (having no opportunity to be themselves has it's draw backs, though I have a feeling this will not be an issue in book two). What did stand out for me was the overall big picture...what would I do? Being a rule follower, not liking change but also being emotional has me torn. Would I follow my heart & risk everything OR stick with what I've always known? I'm looking forward to learning more about Cassia, Ky and Xander in the next book, maybe I'll be more courageous then ;)