I couldn't wait to read Matched by Allie Condie. It had a beautiful cover, great premise, and it seemed like praise for Matched was everywhere. I felt though that Matched was lacking in many spots, though it was a good read. I wished I enjoyed it as much as everyone else.
Matched was about Cassia, an interesting character. She liked to be unique but was predictable. Cassia lived inside the Society who always knew what was best. The Society was killing culture and it was dull. Cassia always accepted the Society though till the day the wrong face flickered on her microcard. This face was of Ky, a boy she knew who wasn't her Match. Xander, her best friend was.
Cassia didn't really make me feel proud of her. She was a dormant character and so many of her actions made me want to scream. I could see how badly she was brainwashed and how impossible it was to resist but I still waited for her to rebel. Do something. But for most of the novel, she didn't. It took a very long time for Cassia to finally get to the point where she understood what was at stake and that's what I think I didn't like. The story was slow and character oriented, all about Cassia's discoveries. I tend to like stories with more action.
The great thing about Matched was the Society. There are many dystopian novels where you know right away the Society is bad. You wonder how the heck can these people accept their lives like this? In Matched, twisted as it was, most of the society made sense. Even later on, though I know what the Society was doing was wrong, I still couldn't help but notice how there were some genuine good ideas. I guess that was the organized, scheduled part of my mind. It wasn't till the end and all parts of the Society was revealed that I saw the trap the Society was. Alluring on the outside, rotten on the inside.
There was of course a love story that was very, very prominent. Cassia and Ky or Cassia and Xander? I hate to say it but they felt very cliché to me. Xander being the lovable best friend who every other girl wanted, and Ky being the artistic, quiet, tortured rebel. They didn't fit those roles perfectly (thank God) but enough that I didn't feel much for them. In the end, Xander grew on me. I think I'd love both boys if I could know more about them and their reactions.
Though Matched did have its problems, I think Cassia is in a position to be more active and do more by the end of the novel. I won't hesitate to read Crossed (the sequel) which I expect to be a better read. I think my problems mostly stem from my personal preference so I won't discourage anyone from reading Matched or any other book.
Ultimately, I wish I loved Matched. I honestly do, but all throughout the novel I waited to feel amazed but that never happened. Matched wasn't the novel for me. The star rating took a long time for me to ponder. Matched is not an ordinary book in any way. Yet it's not a book I'll eagerly re-read. There were many good parts to it too. Which is why Matched gets 3.5, an interesting read.