by Ally Condie
Cassia lives in a future society (simply called The Society) where all of her decisions are made for her: what she will wear, what she will eat, where she lives, and now, who she will marry. Cassia is 17, and in The Society, that means a young person can decide to be Matched or to live life as a Single. The Society uses their extensive knowledge and resources to match each teenager with their ideal mate. Usually, teens are matched with another adolescent from a different district, who they then communicate with via computers before their initial meeting. Everyone is surprised then when Cassia is matched with Xander, her childhood friend.
Both Cassia and Xander are overjoyed, until Cassia sees another boy's face on the microchip with information about her match. The Society tells her it's a mistake, but Cassia is left very confused. The Society doesn't make mistakes, and this boy is also a boy she knows - her mysterious classmate Ky. Cassia is left with an agonizing choice to make - a safe, comfortable life with her best friend Xander, or a life of excitement and danger with Ky. Of course, if she chooses Ky, The Society will not approve.
The premise of this story was what really caught my attention. Along with vampires and faeries, dystopian novels are the next big thing in YA literature. And although I was left disappointed by the end of the Hunger Games, the genre still intrigues me. I did like Matched, and yet there were parts of it that bugged me.
**Spoilers** Now, I think it's pretty obvious from the start that Cassia is going to pick Ky. I have yet to find a book where a girl has to chose between the sweet boy next door and the dark, mysterious stranger when she doesn't go for the latter. And yet, I didn't understand why she ended up falling for Ky. She sees his face on the screen, she's puzzled by him and somewhere along the line she forgets her love for Xander and decides she loves Ky more. I knew it would happen, but it was not justified. **
The end is ok, but does leave a lot of loose ends - this is a trilogy after all.
Despite my reservations (and fear that this is going to end dismally like the Hunger Games), I'll probably be persuaded to read the next book.