I'd like to start by saying that I thought this book was going to be like The Giver meets The Hunger Games plus some romance. I was... kind of right. It's more like this:
I was not prepared for this. I had just finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why. (Reading binge) Add to the fact that I have a low tolerance threshold for lovey-dovey stuff (no offense), and... *sigh* I was so, so not prepared for this.
OK. So here's the summary from GoodReads:
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.
If you're in it for the love plot? It's pretty good. It's got a love triangle - no idea why love triangles are so popular these days, and why is it always two guys after one girl? - but it's pretty well done. It didn't really get on my nerves too much (except for the confession of love, but those almost always annoy me). And although I absolutely hate the cliche that if a guy and a girl are best friends, they must fall in love, Matched had a pretty good subversion with that.
If you're in it (like I was) for everything besides the romance? It's OK. It's not perfect by far, but it's OK. Through most of the book, I wanted to smack Cassia because it was so obvious that their government is evil, and she's just like:
OK, look. I'm fine with characters who trust their evil governments. Like in The Giver. I ADORE The Giver, and Jonas trusts his evil government through a lot of the book until he slowly finds out the truth about the world. But Cassia... *sigh* she can be really stupid. Sometimes she'll start thinking that maaaybe something's not quite right (and I'm like, NO, REALLY?!), but then she'll go right back to complete trust in the government. And that's stupid for any civilization, if you ask me. *Cough* But not getting political, this is so sad because she can also be really intelligent and a deep thinker, and... I dunno. I just don't know what to make of this chick.
So why did I keep reading? Because the other characters were clearly not like that. Cassia's mom, for example. There was a missed moment of awesome that I hope Allie Condie will make up for in the next book. Cassia's mom had to leave for a while, and (no spoilers) something went wrong and she started getting really nervous that her family was being punished because of her. And I was like, Whoa, what happened? Because it was obviously pretty big, and I wish we could have seen it properly. But after that, Cassia's parents obviously don't have a lot of trust in their government- and they WORK for them! Ha.
Now. Concerning the perspective and prose. It's in first person, and I kinda wish it were in third person omniscient because then we could see a lot more going on and we wouldn't miss out all the time on some really cool characters. But the prose. Oh my word. It is beautiful. You need to read some of this, you guys.
Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren't white or feathered; they're green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I move - first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesn't worry me; neither do the stars ahead.
I smile at myself, at the foolishness of my imagination. People cannot fly, though before the Society, there were myths about those who could. I saw a painting of them once. White wings, blue sky, gold circles about their heads, eyes turned up in surprised as though they couldn't believe what the artists had painted them doing, couldn't believe that their feet didn't touch the ground.
That's just off the first page. And it only gets better.
It's no Hunger Games, but you know what? It's way better than Twilight. (There, I said it, go ahead and yell at me.)
It's not a bad book. I'm being harder on it than I should because it's clear that the love story is at the forefront (at least during this one; I don't know about the next two books) (oh yeah, by the way, this is a trilogy, apparently). So basically, only check out this book if you're into romance with other stuff going on. Or if you're like, in that kind of mood.