Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary (from the author's website):
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.
I absolutely adored this book. I know my review probably won't be able to it justice, but here goes...
My Summary: The story starts as Cassia is on her way to her Matching Ceremony - the ceremony everyone attends when they're 17 in order to find out who they've been paired with. People are Matched in order to ensure that only the strongest, most resilient genes survive, which means that all illnesses and diseases have been eradicated. Cassia is comfortable knowing she will be Matched (just as her parents were) soon and finally able to begin her adult life. The Matching Ceremony goes well, and Cassia is Matched with Xander: her best friend since she before she can remember. This in itself is rare - being Matched with someone you already know almost never happens.
Cassia is given a box with a microchip inside contained information about Xander. Because it is pointless (she already knows everything about her best friend!) Cassia waits a few days before viewing the information on the chip. When she does... she sees another name, another face - not Xander, her Match, but Ky, the boy with the mysterious past who never speaks to anyone - before the screen goes black again.
She's told it's a mistake. A computer glitch. He's an Aberration, after all - someone who isn't supposed to be Matched in the first place. But when Cassia begins to pierce through his shell and figure him out, she starts to wonder: why aren't people allowed to choose for themselves?
Little does she know this simple question will throw her entire world into chaos.
The writing was smooth and effortless to follow - I never once found myself confused, even though Cassia's world is so different from our own. The author did an amazing job creating the world of The Society through her descriptions as well, and her ability to write a love triangle? Well, let's just say that you won't feel it tugging at your heartstrings - watching Cassia struggle between her love for Xander and her love for Ky will break your heart. What I really admired, though, was the fact that Cassia makes her choice - a lot of YA series leave you hanging until the last book to find out who the protagonist actually chooses, and personally, that bothers me... a lot. But enough about that.
The pacing was great too. Perfect, in my opinion - the build-up is slow and steady, and when things start to happen... BAM (not 'BAM' exactly, the book didn't explode or anything... you know what I mean). And you know what else I loved? The ending breaks your heart (if there's anything left of it!) and leaves you craving the sequel.
Matched was exactly what I needed right now. I'll definitely be pre-ordering the sequel and recommending it to everyone I know. If you haven't read this book yet, either
a) get your butt (am I allowed to say the word butt on here?) to the library and reserve it / take out
b) steal a copy from a friend (or ask nicely... whatever floats your boat, really)
c) BUY IT!!!
I recommend option C, because you'll definitely be re-reading this one! :)