Review - Matched - Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Publication: November 30 2010, Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 369 pages, paperback
Source: Library book
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.

Matched is one of those books that made me excited to read because of all the hype surrounding it. Since I started blogging I've been seeing it everywhere, almost every single blogger I know has read Matched, and if they haven't yet read it, they've heard about it. I've been wanting to read Matched for ages as its a dystopian (one of my favourite genres), it has a beautiful cover and I've heard great things about it. When I saw it at the library I was extremely excited! However, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. 

I love the cover. The green and grey contrast well together and the cover captures perfectly what is happening in Cassia's life. The bubble surrounding Cassia links in with the novel as she is trapped and is forced to live by the rules the society sets, she wants to be set free, choose who she's in love with, who she can marry etc.  Matched's cover is simply beautiful and intriguing.

I liked the characters. Cassia was a sweet girl that had a lot of decisions to make and she mostly made the right choices. She cared about the people around her and thought before she did anything, just to make sure her actions didn't have a negative impact on the people around her. I could also understand her pain when she started falling in love with Ky, as she didn't want to break her match's heart. She was a kind character and I could relate to her. I also liked Xander and Ky, I did have a few issues with them which I will address in the next paragraph: The Love Triangle

I am not a fan of love triangles, they have been used so many times in YA that whenever I'm reading a book and there is one, I groan. They are usually badly written and predictable. The love triangle in Matched wasn't too bad. I had a couple of issues with it, but it isn't the worse one I've read.

As I was reading Matched I honestly didn't know whose side I was on, which is good, because when it comes to love triangles, I like not knowing which one I prefer, as that means to me, the author has written quite a good love triangle. There was the sweet, kind, best friend, match Xander, and the quiet, distant, off-limits Aberration boy, Ky. After finishing the book though I knew whose side I was on. Xander's! He was considerate, understanding and sweet to Cassia even when she broke it to him that she was in love with Ky. It must've been devastating for him, as his best friend, his Match and the person he was in love with, was in love with someone else. So I really liked Xander, he was really charming.

I don't actually like Ky. I really don't know why. He has a tragic story and I felt sympathetic for him. He's whole life has been a fight to survive. And now he has fallen in love with Cassia, who is out of bounds. But there was nothing really that made me love him.

The problem with this love triangle, is that Ky and Xander are too similar. And they're friends. And even after Ky and Cassia falling in love, Xander is still friends with Ky and is helping him and Cassia be together. There wasn't really any  competitiveness and this made the love triangle a bit boring. I also found the love triangle very predictable and when I finished Matched, I had guessed right to who Cassia would end up with.

The one thing I really didn't like about Matched was that there wasn't much tragedy or drama. In a dystopian novel, I like a large dose of adventure, danger and intrigue, unfortunately nothing major happened in Matched. I kept waiting for that big event to happen, that big event that would leave me dizzy from exhilaration, sadly that never came. The plot mostly stayed the same and I was really disappointed about that. When the author was revealing little wisps of juicy information, I didn't always feel as it was told in the best way, she didn't write it smoothly enough for me to fully grasp what she was saying.

The world-building wasn't explained that well either. She didn't set the surroundings up enough and let us know what the different gadgets/work industries/places were exactly. I still don't exactly know what a port is after reading 369 pages. I really hope that Crossed gives more of an insight into the new world.

The one thing that I really enjoyed about Matched, was Ally's beautiful writing. She writes poetically, giving the story this lovely, descriptive touch to the story. She's an incredibly talented writer!

Overall, I enjoyed Matched but it wasn't quite the thrilling, tragic dystopian novel that I was hoping for. However, Ally Condie wrote a good dystopian novel. The Society was awful and I could never imagine living like, I would just want to break free out of the condemning bubble that limited my freedom.With gorgeous, lyrical writing, a strong main character, a disturbing society and a fragile love triangle, Matched will have you hooked.

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!