Matched by Ally Condie
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. (Goodreads)
This is one of those books that generated so much buzz when it came out that I put it aside to read later. Sort of forgot about it until I saw that the sequel was coming out, so decided to go back and read it. I'm a little quirky in that I don't like to read the "hot" books that everyone else is reading, as the blogosphere tends to get over-saturated with reviews of the same titles. Glad I finally picked this one up, as I enjoyed it!
Cassia has been raised in a very strict society, where the government makes all major decisions for it's citizens. They decide what you eat, your job, who you will marry, and even when you will die. They've also destroyed almost all art, leaving only the 100 "best" books, music, poetry, and art. That in itself is somewhat terrifying. The Society is Big Brother squared!
As this is all she has ever known, it never crosses Cassia's mind to question the Society. Then she sees another boy's face pop up on the microchip holding her Match's information. How can this be? Xander, her BFF since childhood, is supposed to be her perfect match, so why did she see Ky's face as well? Cassia begins to wonder... and begins to question whether the Society is as perfect as it claims. Why can't people decide who to love and marry? Why did they destroy so many books, music, poems, and artwork? And what exactly is going on in the Outer Provinces?
Overall, I really enjoyed this story! I liked seeing Cassia slowly open her eyes and start to notice the small cracks in the Society all around her. I found it a little hard to believe that Ky would be so reckless, but teenage boys in love tend to be a little reckless, so it didn't bother me too, too much.
Gave this one a 4/5 as I really liked the characters, enjoyed the story, and found the plot so believable that it was scary! Revolution is hard and most people don't seem to want to fight if most of their needs are taken care of. Found this world very believable, which made me enjoy Cassia's "awakening" even more! Looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy to find out what happens next!