- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 30, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525423648
- ISBN-13: 978-0525423645
- Author's Website: http://allycondie.com/
- Official Matched Page: http://www.matched-book.com/
It isn't very often that a group of us reads the same book, but when Kit and Abigaile had such good things to say about MATCHED, I just had to pick it up myself. I am so glad that I did!! This was one of my favorite reads of the year!
The story starts with Cassia, a complacent girl who does what she's told, when she's told. She trusts the Society to make all the important (and even the seemingly unimportant) decisions in her life: Where she will work, what she can read, who she will marry. When the Society "Matched" her with Xander, she wasn't surprised. He is perfect for her, her best friend. But when she looks at her Match again on her own computer, it isn't Xander's face that appears, it's Ky's.
Ky has been in Cassia's life almost as long as Xander, but while Cassia knows everything there is to know about Xander, Ky is a complete mystery. After seeing his face, she wonders if he's the one she's really meant to be with. As she spends more and more time with Ky, he starts to help her see the world for what it really is. She realizes that there is so much more to life than what the Society tells them.
Now she's faced with a choice, and it isn't just a choice between Xander and Ky. It's a choice between suppression and freedom.
It was amazing to me, that in a world that was so stifled in every way, there could be so much passion! Even before Cassia realized it herself, you could tell that she had a curiosity for life and love that wasn't going to be stopped. The fire that was waiting inside her, only needed a spark to start blazing, and that spark was Ky. I think that's why I loved Ky so much, and why, even though Xander was perfect, I would choose Ky every time. He's the one who pushed Cassia to question things. He's the one who wouldn't let the Society choose for him. Xander was a great guy, but he was complacent, happy to go along with the way things were done. Ky pushed the boundaries. He held on to his freedom and helped Cassia to find hers.
I loved the romantic tension between Cassia and Ky, as well. It reminded me a lot of Twilight, in the way that there was SO much desire and passion when they weren't even able to touch. When love and romance are held at bay, it just builds that much more. It's amazing to me that the books that are the most moving and the most sigh-worthy, aren't the ones where the main characters are all over each other, they are the ones where the tension is built up to the breaking point. The ones where you're dying for them to just graze each other's fingers. Talk about driving a person crazy!!
It wasn't just the romance that I loved, though. The world that Ally created was so fantastical! And although I would never want to live in that world, I couldn't help but be intrigued by it. Can you imagine being told what to eat, where to live, where to work, who to marry; only being able to read from The Hundred Stories, or The Hundred Poems, singing only from The Hundred Songs? Talk about creepy!! I also really enjoyed reading about Cassia's family! So often the main character's family is just background, with no real depth, but Cassia's family had a story to tell. Each of them were multi-dimensional, and I loved discovering about them.
I loved every page of this book! AND I'm excited that I can recommend this to readers of all ages!! Adults will love this as much as teens, and it's so clean that even tweens will be able to read it!! I can not wait for the sequel to come out!! Write fast, Ally!!!
Make sure you check out what Kit and Abigaile had to say about MATCHED in their vlog review, and enter to win an ARC of Matched!! (ends 11/30)
I'll read it forever!
You may like to know: MATCHED is a very clean read. There is no cussing or sexual content and very little violence. It will be added to the "clean reads" page on Parental Book Reviews!