Matched opens with the main character, Cassia, preparing for one of the biggest days of her life – the day she will be matched with her future husband. As everything else in Cassia’s life, this choice is made for her by the Society Officials. The Officials use probabilities and pre-determined optimal outcomes to make choices for their citizens. Since Cassia’s birth, the Officials controlled how much and what she ate, what music she listened to and where she worked, so it only makes sense that they choose whom she marries as well.
At the Match banquet, Cassia is elated to learn that she is to be matched with the handsome Xander, who also happens to be her best friend. However, events take a turn when another boy’s face momentarily flashes on Cassia’s Match microchip. Suddenly, Cassia is questioning everything she took for granted and risking her own, and her family’s, wellbeing to find her true match.
I had very high expectations for Matched, and perhaps that is why I was left disappointed. I found the dystopian world created by Ally Condie fascinating and I only wish that she spent more time explaining the various aspects of the Society – that is where Matched really shined.
Instead, much of the novel was spent dragging out the longing stares between Cassia and Ky (the boy whose face she saw on her microchip). The romance between the two was not all that compelling; if anything, I found Cassia’s actions selfish since she was willing to sacrifice her family’s position in the Society for a boy she barely even noticed before.
I kept reading hoping that the end of Matched would somehow redeem the novel and set the ground for future installments, but it was just as slow and unsatisfying as the rest of the book. I gave in to the hype surrounding Matched and was initially eager to give it a try, but I am not sure I care enough about either Cassia or Ky to follow their future endeavors.