First off, good news! My pooch is home. He was home for Christmas. He has spent the bulk of the past five days sleeping in front of the tree (good boy!) in his fleece-lined doggy hoodie, being patted and whispered to and told that he is wonderful and wise and brave. The other day the tree nearly fell on him (good thing he had the quick reflexes to leap out of the way at the last moment), which was scary, but otherwise, it’s been a quiet Christmas. He needs some serious fattening up, so we’re working on that, one tiny liver treat at a time.
Having my hound back home again providing premium contented background snores has cheered me up for hours of happy holiday reading. Matched is the first book I finished and the last before moving on to my Christmas books. I’d say it is the perfect curl-up-on-the-couch-and-go-nowhere book because you’re pulled quickly into the dystopian world and the love triangle at the heart of the story.
Cassia has always been a good girl, a rule-following member of the Society, trusting and happy to have so many of life’s most important decisions made for her, like who she will marry, for instance. At her matching ceremony, Cassia is thrilled to learn that her match is Xander, her long-time friend. It makes sense and it feels right. But when another boy’s face flashes on the screen for a moment before it blacks out, Cassia does not know what to think. Is the other boy, Ky Markham, her true match? This so-called “glitch” changes Cassia’s perspective forever, leading her to wonder what it would be like to have the freedom to make her life her own, to read whatever she wanted, to go where she wished, to write the words she keeps inside her head.
I’d say that anyone who liked Divergent should enjoy Matched. There’s less action and more romance, but it’s just as compelling and the dystopian society is immediately intriguing. I liked how Condie weaves in Dylan Thomas’s poetry without making this element seem forced or emo. My only quibble is that it is perhaps too focused on the Ky + Cassia romance, with Cassia swooning over Ky fairly constantly, which I found tiresome in a few places. However, I suppose it makes sense that she is completely focused on love and her romantic future at the time in her life when she is being matched. (Also, try not to mind the weirdly squished green girl in the bubble on the cover. I get the symbolism, but I’m not loving the design). I am curious to see where Condie takes this story in the second book, which I believe is told from both Cassia and Ky’s perspectives.
There’s a website devoted to the series. I’m expected Crossed to show up sometime in the next six months at my library, given that I’m 126 out of 400 people waiting for it. I’ll be excited when it’s my turn.
Matched is published by Penguin.