You know how there's all these books set in the future in which the world is horrible? And the main character realizes the world is awful and feels powerless to change it right from the start? For example, Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Hunger Games feature these kind of main characters. Winston and Katniss were not happy.
Matched is different. In this future world gone wrong, Cassia is quite happy living her life the same as everyone else, doing whatever she's told to do, just like everyone else is.
That's how the Society works. The Society contains officials who sort and control everything, such as your career, your spouse, your home, what you eat, what you do in your spare time, and so on. So when Cassia goes to her Matching, where her spouse is chosen for her, she's a happy, excited teenage girl. Especially when she finds out that her Match is her handsome best friend, Xander.
But then something weird happens, and after she's been daydreaming about her future life with Xander, she's looking at his information, and for a minute, someone else shows up. Someone who's not supposed to be there. His name is Ky.
An official informs her that this is a mistake and Ky wasn't even supposed to be in the match pool anyway. But of course, like any teenage girl, she finds herself suddenly more interested in Ky.
This is one of those books that could end up with 'teams,' you know, like 'Team Edward' and 'Team Jacob,' and all those other ones which keep cropping up in YA love triangle fandom. Thus far, however, I have not seen either 'Team Xander' or 'Team Ky,' which makes me happy.
The important thing, however, is not who she's in love with. It's the effect this mistake has on her preception of the Society.
She realizes throughout the book that she wants to make her own choices. She doesn't want them to tell her what she should do anymore.
I read this book quickly, but it is a slow progression. It doesn't have a lot of action scenes. It's mostly the social interactions between the characters that make up the story and the plot. There is a sense of urgency and the feeling that something bad is going to happen throughout the book which makes you want to keep reading. It's also interesting to see how things unfold. The writing is excellent and flows well and she never bores you with details you don't need. Cassia is extremely likeable as are the other characters with of course the exception of most of the Officials. You enjoy hating them.
What makes this book stand out is really how Cassia changes throughout the story as she uncovers more and more hidden pieces of Society. She goes from total acceptance to confusion and rebellion in less than 400 pages and it's completely believable.
A plethora of popular YA authors have praised this book, so if you don't believe me, you can just see what they had to say.
Oh, and there will be sequels! Yippie!