Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: Matched

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Publisher: Penguin
Published: November 30th 2010

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 was such a fantastic novel. Upon completion, I was breathless and still in fan-mode. I had heard about this book a while ago and when I saw the gorgeous cover, I knew that I had to have it. The whole concept of living in a completely controlled society intrigued me. What better place to have a love story? A love triangle?
The book begins well and pulls readers in immediately as we await Cassia's match. I was very excited about this and couldn't wait for the impending "glitch scene". I was very surprised as the glitch didn't occur until after the ceremony. Here I was, bouncing in anticipation, and it didn't even happen! Well played, Condie, well played.

As the story continued, I realised I wasn't getting into it as easily as I should've been. But around the halfway mark…I was there. Matched sucked me and held me in its clutches so that I couldn't stop reading until I finished it in the early morning hours. It's another one of those books that you have to read in one sitting and can't let go of until you've finished. There isn't a low/calm point where you can take a break because every single chapter ends at an interesting point so in the end, you never end up stopping.

I feel as if we didn't get to know Cassia enough. Most of the book was spent with Cassia hanging out with Ky, sneaking around, having internal debates with herself, etc. There wasn't much development with her character, or any of the others for that matter. Well, either that or my memory is really foggy. But with that being said, I really loved Ky… What to say about him? Quiet, strong, smart, romantic? What's not to love? Cassia and Ky's love story absolutely messed with my heart. There were sweet moments, sad moments and moments that just made you want to die. There was a certain thrill and constant tension between them. It's because of them and their secretive, dangerous relationship that makes this book so gripping. You wanted to know what sweet thing Ky was going to do next, whether they would finally get caught, whether they would stay together… Exciting stuff, I tell you.

I thought the novel ended on a perfect cliffhanger. Absolutely cannot wait for the next in the trilogy to see how Cassia overcomes the complication (which I must say made me cry) that has been thrown her way. The fact that Xander, the other boy, was willing to help her was heartbreaking too. Poor boy. He and Cassia seemed to be the perfect match for each other but then Ky came along and muddled everything up. The worst love triangles? When both guys are great people and you know that one will end up hurt, even if they absolutely don't deserve it and deserve the girl as much as the other guy.

Matched will stay with you, long after you've finished. The sequel, Crossed, hits the shelves in November and I bet you won't be able to wait until then!

Isn't the cover gorgeous? I can't wait to stick it onto my bookshelf. It's even more gorgeous than the first!

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