Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Series: Matched #1
Links: Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one...until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has ever dared follow - between perfection and passion.
I really like Cassia as a heroine. She is smart, determined, vulnerable and afraid, yet brave. Her voice is honest, pure, and expressive, and it makes you want things to work out for her so badly. It is easy to feel her torments alongside her. The supporting characters are also amazing. It is refreshing to see a YA novel in which both parents are not only present, but also incredibly supportive, as Cassia's parents are.
The book moves along at a leisurely pace, and there is not a lot of traditional 'action' in this installment. Cassia's struggles for much of the book are internal, but the tension of her setting makes every thought feel like it could result in life or death. Cassia must always behave as though she is being watched. The suspense kept me reading late into the night.
Before this installment comes to a close, Condie gives the reader a small peek at what Cassia's future will hold for her in book two. When I finished reading it, I just had to hug it. It is one of my favorites of the year for sure.