I purchased this book from Amazon after reading good things about it on other book review blogs.
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a wonderful dystopian romance with swoon-worthy love interests and an interesting love triangle. The characters are richly drawn and intensely likeable. I loved her family, each member of which finds their own small form of rebellion. It's easy to see where Cassia gets her fire, and it's nice to see that Cassia isn't the only member of this society who questions things.
I found the love triangle of the story to have a similar dynamic to The Hunger Games, in that the heroine is torn between someone she has been close to all her life and someone who has always been on the periphery of her life. Both Xander and Ky are extremely likeable and make compelling choices for different reasons. Although I loved Ky almost immediately, there were moments throughout the book where I felt genuinely torn between the two. Xander is a genuinely good person and it is clear that he truly loves Cassia. He cares deeply for her, is willing to take risks for her, and in a lot of ways he would make a wonderful match for her. And yet, there is an immediate spark between Cassia and Ky. I definitely sympathized with Cassia's struggle to choose between the two of them.
The world that Matched's characters live in is richly drawn and supremely frightening. While reading the book I felt fully immersed in this terrifying world. Watching Cassia's growing awareness of the cage in which she lives is horrifying and really makes you long for her to find some sort of escape. It is chilling to learn how little true regard this society has for the people within it.
The writing in Matched impressed me. It is a tightly woven novel filled to the brim with well-developed characters and taut action sequences. Cassia's character feels very real and I enjoyed watching her and other characters grow over the course of the novel.
I finished this book and immediately ordered Crossed, the next book in this trilogy. I think Matched is a wonderful addition to anyone's personal library. Fans of dystopian young adult literature will not be disappointed.