Series: Matched #1
Finished on: February 7, 2013
Released: November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Source: Library E-book
Summary from Goodreads:
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.Love.Love.Love.
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.
Let's start with the setting. I adored it. Condie did an excellent job creating a whole new world. She's just descriptive enough that the reader has no problem losing themselves in the Society, but without the story getting bogged down in world-building. I'll admit that I even kind of liked the Society through the first few chapters. It started off so much less typically "dystopian" at the beginning, though it doesn't take too long for that to change. I found myself very interested in how everything was set-up and how it worked with the Matching ceremony, the elderly, artifacts, the "greatest 100" of everything etc... The concept of choices have pretty much been all but eliminated, which seems like that would make living so much simpler, but really this world is so complicated. Condie is fantastic as getting every detail down in a natural way that doesn't include page after page of "this is how this works".
This is a love triangle story. Cassia is trying to decide between her long time best friend Xander, who she was matched with and Ky, who she wasn't technically matched with, making a relationship between the two unheard of. The way the two boys where portrayed made it difficult for me to choose one that I'd like Cassia to choose. We get to see a lot more of Ky and learn much more about him then we do about Xander though.
Overall, this read like a first book in a series. Not entirely too much action and the reader learns so much about the world. It never dragged or became too slow for me though. There were enough little hidden mysteries to keep me quickly turning pages until the end. I'm very anxious to find the time to finish the other books in the series.