Cassia Reyes lives in a future Society that controls every aspect of a person's life; where they live, when they eat, what work they do and, most important, who they marry. At her Matching ceremony Cassia is pleasantly surprised to be Matched with her best friend Xander, yet when she later views his profile at home another boy's picture pops up in his place. Why is a picture of Ky Markham, a neighbor Cassia barely knows, also showing up as her match? An Official from the Society explains that it was just a mistake, but Cassia is intrigued and starts to befriend Ky. The inevitable happens and Cassia falls in love with him, but doesn't have a choice in who she marries as the choice has been made for her. Though, at first, she outwardly accepts the Society's decision, inwardly she longs for Ky and eventually these feelings lead her to defy the Society in her quest to be with him.
I didn't think I would like Matched as I am so done with YA dystopian novels that feature a love triangle, but it surprised me. It is thoughtfully written and the slower pacing is perfect for building the developing relationship between Cassia and Ky. Cassia is a believable character, not inherently rebellious or courageous, but led to question in a quiet way. Her two love interests are more alike than they are different and are well-drawn. It is not hard to see why she would love them both. The ending is slightly disorganized and left me a tad deflated, but at least there's not a dramatic cliffhanger, though there will be a book #2. Reading reviews on Goodreads, I gather that Condie's world is very close to The Giver by Lois Lowry, so it's not entirely original, but what is these days in YA lit? Matched isn't perfect, but I think it's a cut above a lot of the YA dystopian novels currently being published.