by Ally Condie
Age Range: 14+
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.
I almost had a heart attack when I saw the pile for these at BEA, all I saw were bright shiny covers disappearing by the second. So I made a dash for it and proceeded to drop all my bags and dive for a copy while I could still grab it - I was that excited! I had heard about Matched over the winter and I really, really wanted a copy. So when I finally read it back in August, I was not disappointed, not in the slightest.
Matched starts off with main character Cassia being matched to her best friend Xander, except it doesn't go as smoothly as planned. When she gets home she goes to learn more about her match and she see's a completely different face, someone's she never expected to see. Confused, and slightly intrigued, Cassia tries to ignore the image she saw but she can't help thinking about him, the other boy. So when Cassia is put in a class with her almost-match, she can't deny the attraction she has to him. Suddenly all she's ever known about her world is changing, and not for the better.
This dystopian novel is similar to The Hunger Games in the "bring down the government" type theme. But do not categorize these two books as one, since Matched is much more romantically focused where as The Hunger Games is not. What I really like about Matched besides the romance and characters, is the original ideas. The things about Dystopians that is unique to fantasy novels is the small details that make the world so unique. When writing one of these stories the authors have to take every single detail about our day to day lives and recreate it to fit into their own world. I can seriously respect the thought that is put into such ideas.
Matched ended with a cliffhanger as most series do and I cannot deny that I am dying to read the sequel, Crossed. I want more of Cassia and her world, and I cannot wait to see what Ally Condie does in the future. I have only read three of the Penguin 5 but this one is definitely my favorite.
IF you liked Matched be sure to check out:
Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Incarceron (Incarceron, Book 1)
The Water Wars
Visit Ally Condie HERE