Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A glitch in Society’s Matching system shows Cassia two potential matches: Xander, her best friend, and Ky, a quiet boy through whose friendship Cassia realizes that Society may not be as wonderful as she has always thought.
If I had kept the poems from Grandfather, I’d be riding on a flood that I couldn’t stop… But it is as though the rain outside pours on me, too, eroding my relief and leaving only regret: The poems are gone, and I can never get them back.
In anticipation for the release of the third book in the Matched series today, I’ve started re-reading the previous books to refresh my memory. Fortunately, I found that I enjoyed Matched even more the second time around than I did at first. Like in many dystopians, the main features of Cassia’s society are efficiency and control, and the author sets this up nicely, in a way that you can see how Society can be both comforting and terrifying. Cassia’s rebellion, which begins when her Grandfather gives her forbidden poetry, is one that comes gradually and with much trepidation, as does her admiration for Ky. I liked that even though determining Cassia’s Match sets the stage for the novel, the plot and conflict revolves around something deeper and more important than just what boy she picks.
If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you’ll know I’m not a fan of the YA love triangles, and I hate how this one jerks you around, but the greater point is not Ky or Xander, but that Cassia wants the right to be able to choose who she marries, and that message comes through clearly, and we know that when she does pick, the choice will be hers alone. This novel isn’t fast-paced, and there’s a lot happening without ever really feeling like a lot is happening, but it’s all important for the setup of Cassia’s choices and the trilogy as a whole.
Overall: A typical YA dystopian, but among that genre, this is one of the best-written.