This was both better and somewhat like I expected it to be. I had heard good things about this and thought that it would be a fun read, but at the same time the concept of it made me think that it would be a bit chick-lit like and therefore maybe not that memorable.
So very shortly about the plot. The book is about a girl, Cassia, who lives in a very controlled society in the future. (This is a dystopia too.) People can choose to be matched, which means that when she is 17 the society will choose a match for her who is most compatible with her. She get’s her match but then finds out that her match could be someone else as well. She doesn’t let go of this, like she should and that leads to her having more secrets from the society than she should, and at the same time Cassia learns more and more about her own society.
The beginning was, what was promised, with the matching and the conflict of the main character, Cassia, starting to like another boy too. And that was pretty exciting/kept me reading.
But then it goes deeper than that and little by little the problems with this society are highlighted more and more. What at the start seems quite light, happy and peaceful, although quite restricted in many ways, turns out darker and more threatening as the story progresses. At the same time the main character grows and learns as she discovers new things about her society. There are some things that I can think are nice about the society, for a moment anyway; it being that easy to find the person you are compatible with (though the problem is that you then don’t have a choice, plus you can’t get anyone who’s a different age from you) and someone else making sure you eat exactly what you need (though not being able to get a treat every now and then when I want to would not be nice and me being a picky eater I can see many issues with this). So although much seems pretty bad in the end I can see how this could happen and how people could live in it being fairly content, especially when the average person doesn’t know of many of the problems in the society.
One thing I find quite interesting and also the scary thing in the book, is the repression of art and culture. What if there wasn’t many works of any art form and what if there wasn’t any chance you could produce some art yourself? What if nobody wrote by hand and what if there wasn’t any cursive, seems a bit too close for comfort though… The book focuses a lot on poetry of the art forms and I don’t have any issues against that, but the “do not go gently” line keeps being repeated a little too much for my taste. It started to irritate me a bit in the end as it seemed like it did not always fit quite right where it was repeated. As an art form I keep missing any mentions of dance as that’s close to my heart too. Maybe they don’t dance at all or they have a couple of allowed dances. I don’t know.
I heard before reading this that there’s the love triangle, but I don’t see there being much of a question about who she loves of the two boys. Though that’s not an issue for me. The bigger issue Cassia has in this is how to spare one boy’s feelings, and that is written pretty well.
Like I said, Cassia grows along the way, and the characters too are quite well written in general in the book. There aren’t that many we get to know well, but we get hints that most of them have more than one side to them. I really like Cassia’s family. -> I wrote most of this review a couple of days ago for Goodreads and just added some stuff for the blog. Here I have to add, after thinking about it more and starting to read the next book, Crossed, that the guys, Ky and Xander, really are a bit thin at this point of the story. I however do like how Cassia’s family is written. They’re not that big in the story, but most of their appearances in it really add something to them and they are also characters you really want to stand behind.
It’s already probably quite clear that I liked the book. I did. There is just something in the writing that leaves me feeling a bit like I’m left at the surface and that with something more I could get deeper into the story. Let’s see what the other books in the series bring.
By the way, after reading two young adult dystopias pretty close to each other, this one and Divergent (which I reviewed in a previous post) I can say that I do like this more of the two of them. If you compare them, Divergent is more action packed of the two, but I feel like the world of Matched adds up better and the issues come up in a nicely much more subtle way.
And as to a slightly different thing, my challenge of trying to read more of my books than buy, is not going that well, because in addition to Matched I bought the two other books of the series as well. And by the way, isn’t that book cover pretty? The two others are nice as well, but I like the cover of the first one most. I’m not however a fan of disfiguring the letter A like that.
Today, I saw a sign outside a restaurant/pub, which said something like “Today is Match night!” For a moment my thoughts went to this book and I couldn’t think what else it could be. Turned out it was football (soccer).