Author : Ally Condie
Publisher : Dutton Juvenile
Source : Bought
Pages : 366 (Hardback)
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.
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.
Book trailer :
Cover Glimpse :
I really really adore the cover. It's simple but pretty, also like want to tell something about what the story is about. After I read the whole story, I even love the cover more because it's perfectly related and could pictured the 366 pages with a simple image; a girl with pretty green silk dress inside a small bubble and her hands somewhat tries to push out the surface from inside.
After I finished this book, I got this guilty feeling that probably I should have read this book first before any Dystopia books I've actually read first like Divergent or Delirium. I really want to love this book because my expectation to this series was pretty high since Dystopia is my favorite genre and I hoped Matched would offer something as fascinating as they did. In the end, hm... I don't all judge the story is bad, but I feel the story is lacking of something and yes, a bit dragged and slow. This book is put-down-able for me. I think the story has a big potential to be more developed, more intriguing. But well, Condie gave us as it is, like she wants to present Matched as the beginning only. Thankfully, Condie has interesting plot and writing style from the start that could pin me. To be honest, ironically this big question mark I got about where Condie want to drag the story to that made me faithfully reading this book and yeah I still managed to enjoy it.
The story is told from Cassia's side, who has been living in The Society for 17 years of her life. Society is built perfectly but absolutely restrictive. Every aspect of citizens' life is ruled and controlled, even if they'll get matched or not (which is the main cause of everything in this book, apparently) and when they'll die, everything is already decided. Society keeps them save, live healthy and only know what they should know. Things that considered provoking rebellion are prohibited and banished (I even cringed when I read they tear down all 'provoking' books and poetry as well and dump them to the fire. Oh my!).
From Cassia's voices and thoughts we see her discovery and observation about Society and her transformation process as the conclusion of what she finds about it later. Though Cassia isn't quite my favorite for some reason (I don't know, probably because the story moves very slow and I got bored sometimes, I can't really enjoy her character), I do admire her because she's not fully asleep under the artificial safety The Society made. She dares to questioning the reliability of The Society after the malfunction on her Matched system, 'cleverly' and cautiously break the rules to know more, then have her own thoughts and fight the right things she has in mind.
There's obvious love triangle happen in this book, but dang I can't choose to whom I should root. They both are very awesome, Xander and Ky. Ky's mysterious-ness and his complicated background draw more curiousity and Cassia attracts to him at the first time because of this. I found myself waiting for scenes where Cassia interacts with Ky and I love that their relationship grows slowly but sweetly, not all fall-in-the-first-sight or teeny-flowery type but still beautiful and heart-wrenching. They both protect each other and Ky is also one reason of Cassia's transformation.
Xander, meanwhile, is barely appeared but I already grow fonding him. He's a best friend and always supportive, disappointed but not all mad while Cassia chooses Ky over him. I sincerely felt sorry for him. And yet he's mysterious as well. He seems hiding something and really eager to know it at the next book.
Here comes something bugging me. Somehow I feel there are some holes here and there. As far as I read this book, there's no clear explanation or background why The Society is being all restrictive. I considered it as the first little hole and then as I read more, about what's behind Cassia's Matched malfunction system, facts about Ky's origin and the war outside the Society, that hole was getting bigger. I kept sticking my eyes to the story and tried to ignore the hole with a faith there would be more explanation about this mysterious Society but maybe I need to wait until I read the next book.
Though Matched is not as satisfying as I predicted, it's still a good story with interesting premise. Probably it's not all fast pace and full of actions like other Dystopia story (and it's a bit unwise to compare one to another, although I can't help it /=) but I still managed to enjoy it although at some moment I put it down. If you can enjoy slow and detailed story progress, you probably would love this book.
Happy reading! =D