The book follows 17-year-old, Cassia, in a utopian future where everyone lives safe/happy lives. The Society governs everything for its people, including what job they will have, who they will marry, and when they will die. Everything has been set up to give citizens a “good, safe life.”
But when Cassia discovers that the boy she’s been Matched to is not the boy she’s supposed to be with, she begins to wonder. This begins Cassia’s slow burn romance with Ky, the boy who dares her to question The Society’s rules. Cassia realizes that a life without free choice isn’t a “good, safe life” at all.
Overall, Matched was a unique dystopian romance with an interesting and thoughtful main character. I think what I enjoyed most about this story was how Cassia behaved.
How often do we read stories where characters act unrealistically or are just flat out stupid! Cassia wasn't like that at all, in my opinion. She felt very realistic in how she behaved. She made smart, safe choices while also displaying some flaws that gave room for her character growth.
Her competing love interests (Xander & Ky), however, were a little flat. Nothing felt special about them, and neither one really shined. But the author, Ally Condie, does a nice job of building mystery around Ky, and slowly feeding the reader his backstory. Xander stood out more between both boys, and seemed more dynamic to me.
Although I wasn't in love with either boy, something I did appreciate is that both male leads are the sweet-boy-next-door types. So often in love triangles, the competing love interests are dramatically different, usually "good boy vs. bad boy." That was not the case here. Both boys were sweet which delivered a refreshing approach to the often used Love Triangle trope.
Condie’s writing is clean, poetic at times, and easy to follow.
This is the book for you if you like:
➡️ Sweet Romance (No spice)
➡️ Love Triangles
➡️ Dystopian Society
➡️ Slow Burn
This book is good for younger audiences with mild language and safe romantic elements.