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.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of MATCHED by Ally Condie. I didn't know that much about it when I started it other than it is a dystopian novel with a love triangle. So, being that it was the book I've won, I thought I'd start out my reviews with it.
Cover (because we all judge): I am a big fan of simplistic covers, especially when they have symbolism. The white and silver gradient really help to make the green of the bubble and the dress stand out. The girl is trapped in a bubble wearing her green dress, just like Cassia is in the novel. The dress correlates to the dress she wears in the Match Banquet, and the bubble is symbolic of the Society's hold on the citizens.
Story: MATCHED begins on the night of Cassia's Match Banquet and being Matched her friend Xander and then almost immediately seeing another boy's face, Ky. For quite a bit after that, I lost where the plot was going and it got a little dry to read. Soon, however, the plot starts to build, layer upon layer, until you're so engrossed you won't want to stop reading. Minus that small portion where the story isn't really leading toward anything, it's a great plot and love story.
Characters: One thing that really impressed me was the way Condie handled the characters. I am a pretty emotional person, and when I have opinions, they are quite strong. Generally when there are love triangles, I pick one side and am vehemently against the other. In MATCHED, that didn't happen. I started liking one of the two, and slowly fell in love with the other too. While Cassia is a bit passive sometimes, Condie's characters are vivid and likable. She'll leave you truly wondering which team to be on (or so it was for me).
Writing: Condie has a very nice, simple way of writing that I enjoyed reading. There was just enough description versus dialog and she has a really nice way of showing and not telling. I love the mixture of Cassia telling the story, and her thoughts in the moment. Condie has a way of crafting her writing so that you don't even notice it - the mark of a truly great artist.
Overall: Despite the rough area where I wasn't sure there was plot, I'm giving MATCHED four stars. It was a great read that I wouldn't mind reading again (and I'm already sending my copy to a friend to read.) If you get a chance, give it a shot.