by Ally Condie

Matched CoverIt is Cassia’s Match Day. The day she turns 17. The day she will see, on a screen, who she will live and make a family with for the rest of her life. She is understandably nervous and excited. Any fears, however, are quelled when it is her best friend Xander’s name that is announced as her match. Perfect.

It is the day after Cassia’s Match Day. Cassia puts the information chip on Xander into her port to see what Officials think about her Match. But while Xander’s face appears first, it is another face that replaces it. Ky’s.

I do love a good dystopian novel. I love the author’s world-building in dystopian novels – what makes it different from right here, right now and why that is a bad thing. But good dystopians subtly indicate how people let society become that way. Why it was okay to make the choices. And Condie does a great job of that in Matched.

I’ve been waiting awhile to read this one because I wanted to put some distance between it and the oft-compared Delirium. I can certainly see why the two both had/have buzz and why they appear so similar. But, oddly, I found myself thinking more about the similarities with Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series while reading Matched instead. Largely because of the love triangle, Cassia’s hesitance and a certain Official that reminded me just a bit of a certain agent in Special Circumstances.

But back to Matched – I liked it a lot. I wasn’t over-the-moon about it, mostly because it was hard for me to understand many of Cassia’s choices. Also, I favor the side of the love triangle that doesn’t appear to be winning, which is no fun. (This also means that I didn’t find the love story as alluring as I would bet others would. Poor other side of triangle!)

But, I’m excited for the next book to come out. (Dystopian series have THE WORST cliff hangers.)(And by the worst, I obviously mean THE BEST.) And I’m hoping that Official makes repeat appearences because the scenes between her and Cassia were some of my favorite. Creepy, disturbing and exactly what I want in my dystopians.

Where this book came from: the library!

p.s. I think this goes without saying, but that cover? Quite possibly one of the most gorgeous I have seen in awhile.


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