I'm a beginning fantasy writer. My favorite genre is fantasy and science fiction. I'm currently on a young adult kick.
I kept getting that song Matchmaker, Matchmaker, find me a match caught in my head while reading these books. (Just thought I’d share, you’re welcome.)
People who reviewed this book either loved it or they hated it. I think that’s because when people hear dystopian they expect something like The Hunger Games or Divergant, but Matched is a quieter dystopian. Where Hunger Games is a dystopian with some romance and Divergant is a romantic dystopian, I’d say Matched is a romance in a dystopian world.
Cassia is seventeen and that means it’s time for her Matched ceremony, to find out the person she’ll spend the rest of her life with. The Society controls everything, which books you read, which art you can see, and even whose hand you can hold. No one has any choices, but most people don’t realize it, and are happy with the way things are. Cassia was happy, until she got home from her Matched ceremony and put in the chip, which was supposed to contain data about her Match. The face on the chip isn’t just that of her match. There’s also the face of another boy, a boy she knows.
Based on the summary I thought Matched would be faster paced with more action, but that isn’t what these books are about. They’re about people, relationships, and their personal struggles. I’m not saying that Matched is a boring read, the author kept me flipping pages.
Whenever I hear that a book has good prose, poetic, or flowery writing I cringe inside. I think this is because it often seems forced or false. The author of Matched has a natural effortless poetic voice, which doesn’t feel like she’s trying. It also made sense that the character’s voice would be poetic, because she loves poetry, which plays a large part in the book.
If you thought Matched was too slow paced than you won’t enjoy the sequels either, because they have the same pace. (Crossed might be even slower.) That’s not to say that nothing happens, but the focus remains on the characters and not on their struggle against the world.
In Crossed they are mostly traveling throughout the novel. I think if I knew this going in I wouldn’t have been so impatient for them to get somewhere and could’ve enjoyed the journey better.
We meet some new characters along the way and get to see what life is like outside of the Society.
Cassia and Ky are both trying to get back to each other. The book is told from both of their perspectives. (I kept wishing that one character knew what the other did.) The author did a good job of remembering what each character knew and not having them know something they shouldn’t. There might have been a mistake towards the end, but then again Cassia could’ve figured it out for herself too.
Xander is in the book as well and just because Cassia told him she loved Ky he’s not giving up. She did say she loved him too after all, so it’s understandable that he still loves her.
This is a strange book, because I think that if you skipped Crossed, Reached would still make sense. (The few things that happened in Crossed are explained again in Reached.) I’m not saying you should skip Crossed, I just think it’s weird that you probably could and not miss much in the way of story line.
The author did a good job of the two perspectives in Crossed. (I was occasionally confused, because both were told in first person.) In Reached not only are Cassia and Ky telling the story, she’s added Xander too. I worried that she was biting off more than even she could chew, but the chapters were kept short enough that I didn’t get confused.
In Reached there’s a rebellion against the Society and all three of the characters are on their own. Then there’s an outbreak of a plague and a rush to find a cure. (Unlike Crossed, Reached doesn’t lack for plot, but the focus is still on the characters, not the action.) The author did a good job of making me worry for the characters.
There are new women in both of the boy’s lives, so it wasn’t obvious which one Cassia would end up with. (I didn’t like Xander, so I actually cared who she wound up with in one of these stupid love triangles.)
Other than the dystopian aspect these books aren’t my normal style, so it surprised me that I enjoyed them. If Matched sounds interesting to you, you should give it a try.
Matched 7 Stars
Crossed 6 Stars
Reached 7 Stars
What was the last book you read that wasn’t what you expected?