Published: November 30th, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Read from April 26th to May 5th, 2014
Synopsis 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.
I've been dreading writing this review because I had such mixed feelings about this book. I'll start off by saying that I love the concept. I find the idea of being told who your soul mate is incredibly fascinating, and I love seeing anything that explores that topic. That's the reason I wanted to go ahead and read Matched even though I'd heard far more negative things about it than positive.
As far as the story goes, I really wasn't let down. It captured my attention, and I even cried at one point while reading this book. I still want to finish the series because this book made me want to see what happens to the characters.
I also definitely see the comparisons that were made towards The Giver. In some ways the society (or I guess I could say Society) in Matched is more like the society in The Giver than any other dystopian I've read before has been. That being said, Matched was also unique, and if I hadn't seen others make the comparison, I probably wouldn't have thought about it until much later. As it was, I did start thinking about it maybe a bit too much while reading, but I don't think that negatively affected my view of the book.
What really brought down my view of the book was the actual writing. Like I said, I enjoyed the story, but I didn't like the style it was told in very much. Honestly, it kind of reminded me of my own writing quite a bit, and by that I mean that it reminded me of all the things I do when I write that I'm working on fixing because I don't like it. I think the best way to describe what I mean by that is by calling the writing cheesy. The way things were told just seemed too over the top a lot of the time. The author was doing too much of a lot of things, such as metaphor or symbolism, when the story would have benefited from being a little simpler. The way she seemed to pile things like that into the story just didn't really work for me, and I would have enjoyed the book more without it.
Other than that, I'm not so sure how I feel about Cassia and Ky because things with them did seem to move a little fast, despite the synopsis saying "slowly fall in love." Not many of the characters really stood out either, and a few things did seem a little too accidental, such as both Cassia's matches being guys she already knew.
Still, I liked the actual story all things considered, and I'm curious enough about the world and the situation the characters have been placed in to want to read the other books and learn more. I'd say I enjoyed the book more than I disliked it, even if I did have some large problems with it.