Matched by Ally Condie

Amazon Synopsis: On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life.
Except he's not.
In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love.
How many children they have.
Where they work.
When they die.
But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that's when her whole world begins to unravel . . .

 **WARNING: Minor spoilers for basic plot. Nothing too bad.**

Reading this book felt like a really long time and it seemed to never end. I blame my life shenanigans for that though. Being crushed under four separate essay based projects on top of university applications and part time work does not leave a lot of free time to read books no matter how much the need grows. I finally got round to finishing it though  and despite people slating it on my Goodreads friends list it was not too bad.

The story follows Cassia a girl who lives in a place that is ruled by the Society. They pretty much decide everything in an attempt to make a really strong world where everything is perfect and lovely. They follow a kind of 'survival of the fittest' ethos so everyone eats healthily and exercises regularly. One of the customs though is that when you reach the ripe old age of 17 you are 'matched' with someone who has been put with you after the statistics say you will have a solid marriage. The person you are put with is always from a different province in this world and you meet them at 17 with the idea that once you turn 21 you can get married and start making the babies when you are told to. That means that I would be matched at some point this year which is a scary concept. What makes Cassia special though is that she is paired with her best friend, Xander, which is pretty much unheard of. That should make her happy, right? Well at first it does but then when she reads a little micro chip the Officials give you to find out your new loves interests boom a new face pops up. She knows this guy as well. So as the story progresses she is torn between the best friend and the mistaken match, Ky Markham.

Lets discuss the world this is set in. Not the best set up if I  am honest. I don't know how far this is in the future but something called 'the warming' happened and then the world got rebuilt or something. I still don't know. I am guessing it was Global Warming which wiped out all the weaker humans and left the strong to rebuild. There are separate provinces and outer provinces which confuse the hell out of me because Condie mentions them and then just pretends you know exactly what they are. It was like she wrote the book for someone who lives in this world which is good in a sense but not when you have no clue what anything is anyway. Any extra details tended to lead onto something else as well so I couldn't fully absorb what was being set up. Every citizen also is now allowed to carry some rainbow coloured pills about. I do not know how many there are or what they do but they sound cool. The idea of the Society controlling everything was really well done though with every meal being delivered specifically for you and with the emotive scenes towards the beginning and end of the book. The idea that there was only 100 of everything kept in archive was scary which I really liked. 100 books, 100 poems, 100 historical events etc is not something that you would think of but then again as a form of propaganda I guess it is possible.

The characters were all really like able. Even though there was a huge love triangle I still found myself liking both love interests. It was obvious that Ky was going to have the girl beginning to fall in love though because Xander had been in the friend zone far too long to be considered anything else. Xander as a character was sweet and funny but he also had a jealous side whereas Ky was this tragic human who had been through a lot without sharing it. As we begin to get to know him along with Cassia it is obvious that they have a connection unlike with Xander. Both relationships are different and the tides could turn in who I back but so far it is Ky because he is adorable and needs a hug.

Cassia herself was one of the only female characters not to grind on my nerves by developing a cheesy inner monologue consumed by her failure of a love life. Instead there were a lot of other things which aided in her development as a character. There were some cliche love moments I will admit but they just work because they have a purpose. Many scenes like the ones in this book do not work because the situation does not demand that kind of love but here it really does.

Overall I liked the characters and the potential the next book holds. The plot did not seem to be going anywhere though until the last legs of the book which made it a bit domestic throughout and therefore I found it hard to motivate myself to read it but I was satisfied when I did.

Rating: 3.4/5


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