Cassia Reyes is as excited as any teenager in The Society on the night of her Match banquet. But when her match – the person she will marry – is announced, she is thrilled. She has been matched with her best friend, Xander. Yet, when she first inserts the disc with her match’s information on it, she doesn’t see Xander but Ky, another boy she knows from her neighborhood. It is supposed to be a mistake, a joke. She is assured that Xander is her match. But she is drawn to Ky more and more. And as she gets to know Ky, she learns that The Society may not be as perfect as she’s been led to believe.
Cassia lives in a world where her meals are designed and prepared for her, her career is dictated by authorities, and her future husband is chosen for her. Medicine ensures that everyone lives to an advanced age and only the “best” entertainment remains. Cassia is happy living in The Society. Matched is reminiscent of older dystopian works. It is a society much like The Giver and as regimented as 1984. Dissenters are banished to faraway lands like The Handmaid’s Tale. Yet Matched stands strongly on its own.
I was captivated from the very beginning. The story starts right away. Cassia’s Match banquet and her grandfather’s final banquet (so heartbreaking) occur within the first 100 pages. The world building is left to be woven in throughout.
Cassia is drawn to Ky early but she maintains her faith in The Society and her feelings for Xander. In a life so controlled and closely monitored, Ky and Cassia’s stolen moments in the woods as they’re hiking build tension. Through them we learn, along with Cassia, more about the world of Matched.
My only complaint is that it seemed like I was reading the same thoughts over and over from Cassia. She would think about Ky. Then tell herself not to think about Ky. Only to think about Ky again. But then again, wasn’t that kind of what life was like as a teenager?
I couldn’t help comparing Matched to Delirium, and, although they are each good in their own way, I think if you liked one, you will enjoy the other.
I am anxious for the next book in the series, Crossed (out in November). I want to know what happens to Cassia and her family and Ky and Xander. But I also want to know more about The Society and how it came about. I highly recommend Matched to any dystopian fan.