I had been hearing a lot about this new young adult dystopian and when I was given the chance to review, I took the chance. I have to say, while Ally Condie’s Matched had a nice premise, I honestly don’t see what all the hype was for.
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.
Matched takes place in a future where logic and reason must be followed with little deviation. In fact, everything is so cold and calculated that everything is scheduled down to the precise minute. When children are born, when they die, when they sleep – everything even when and who they marry. And that’s the crux of the story. Cassia has been Matched with her best friend (Xander), quite uncommon and extremely lucky for her, but there’s a glitch in the system and she’s shown a second face (Ky). A face that is not allowed to be Matched because of who and where he came from. Cassia dealing with this error was fascinating to watch, especially as she deals with her growing feelings for Ky, but after awhile I just wanted something to happen. Cassia is living her life, but with all the strict routines, it got boring.
I’ll be honest, I need the intrigue, the action, the “ohmygodohmygodohmygods” and Matched has none of that. There is some political intrigue, for instance why did Ky’s face appear to Cassia, but it’s all so slow moving that you tend to forget it’s going on. Every time something would happen that made me sit up and notice, the Society showed up and pushed it aside. Therefore so did Cassia and it was barely mentioned again.
As for the characters, Cassia and her struggles were interesting to read; Ky was an enigma that I wanted to know more of; but Xander was so bland that I honestly don’t know why Cassia was so conflicted over which boy she should be with. So they have been best friends forever, but their relationship was too comfortable. There was no exploration or getting to know each other. Okay, so maybe there was one area they needed to explore, but Matched is a young adult novel and I highly doubt Condie would have elaborated enough on that area to help cure my boredom. Ky, on the other hand, he didn’t buck the Society’s rules enough to get himself into trouble, but he did as much as he could get away with and he did keep my attention. Sadly, he just wasn’t in a lot, and where I stopped reading, it was starting to look like he wouldn’t be in for a few chapters.
Quite honestly, I never finished Matched and I really have no desire to do finish it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m curious to know what happened and the story behind where Ky is from, I just don’t care enough to continue reading. The characters were interesting, but it’s kind of like when you’re at a social function and you need to make small talk. It’s interesting enough for the moment, but it’s easy to move on to another topic. The plot was slow and I’m still not entirely sure what exactly is suppose to happen. I have an inkling of an idea, but all the pieces are so slow moving that it’s easy to forget what you’re looking for.
Overall, if you’re a fan of young adult, and especially dystopian literature, then you might want to give Matched a try. It’s not my genre of choice, so it probably made it a little harder for me to get into; but like I said earlier, the premise does sound good and if anyone wants to tell me how it ends, I would love to know. There’s just other books that I’m more interested in.
Untitled #3 (November 13, 2012)