Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Matched and I am happy to say that I have every intention of purchasing a copy of this book for my very own. Admittedly, Matched didn’t hook me at first. The book started out rather slow and while I enjoyed learning about the dystopian society, I was wary of the direction that this story seemed to be heading. In the beginning, much of the focus is on the matching ceremony, the main character Cassia’s feelings about being matched to her best friend Xander and her shock and dismay when she discovers that she has not one, but two possible matches. Prior to reading Matched, I read a YA novel where the main focus of the story was on the complicated love lives of four desperate teenagers, hopelessly in love with one another but doomed to never be loved in return. Very little attention was given to the overarching plot and I didn’t want to read yet another YA novel where the main character agonizes over who she should choose to be with. Thankfully, this was not at all the case!

Matched takes place in the fictional town of Mapletree Borough. To be a resident, one must accept that every minute of every day is planned in advance. School, work, and recreational activities are all that the citizens know. Their lives are devoid of color, taste, creative outlets and most importantly the freedom to make choices. Even death is something that must be planned in advance and scheduled. Cassia, like many of the other residents, is just another cog in a well oiled machine. She is at an age where important decisions need to be made, such as what occupation she should be placed in and who she should be matched with. Cassia never could have imagined that she would be given two matches, or that one of her matches, Ky, would be an aberration who is forbidden to marry and should never have been entered into the sorting. How his name ended up in the data pool is just one of the many mysteries that arise throughout this compelling tale.

What drives this story is the evolution of Cassia’s character and her constant internal struggle between doing what Society expects of her and living a life free from oppression. After the death of her grandfather—the one person in Cassia’s life who encouraged her to be more than just another drone—the readers begin to see a gradual change in her behavior. She is no longer content to just simply follow the rules. She wants to create, experience love and speak the words that rage deep within her. Cassia does not outright make a stand, but rather she rebels against the system discreetly. Hiding precious artifacts, learning to write, or sharing an intimate moment with a boy she is forbidden to love are just some of the ways in which she asserts some semblance of control over a life that up until now was never entirely her own.

I was very pleased with how this novel turned out. There were many twists in the story that I was not expecting, as well as some shocking revelations that should have readers anxious to get their hands on the next book in the series. The romance between Cassia and Ky may have started out sweet and innocent, but over time the love and trust that develops between them becomes something worth breaking all of the rules for. This is not simply a story about a girl who is torn between the man she should love and the man that she is forbidden to love. Rather, it is a story about making choices and having to deal with the consequences of those choices.  

Rating: 4/5 Stars


  1. Love the little dig you get in on 13 To Life, haha. I've read other reviews that say the same thing, that the beginning was a bit slow. I guess the author had to build the world first? Maybe the sequel won't be as slow. Thanks for the review! I don't think I could be any more anxious to read this book than I am after reading this review. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to get to it for awhile.

  2. LoL. You caught that, huh? The author definitely spends a lot of time building the world, which is important, but also a little boring. Once you get over that hump the story starts to get really good! I hope you don't have to wait too long to get your hands on this book!

  3. Good to know it starts out a little slow but then gets better. I like knowing things like that, so thank you. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

  4. Can I borrow it when you buy it?

  5. I keep seeing reviews for this all over the place, and they've all been favorable. I need to get to it soon, I guess.

  6. Small Review: No problem. I like knowing things like that too. I think you're really going to enjoy Matched :o)

    Anna: LoL. Sure. I'll let you know when I get it.

    Brenda: Yes, get it soon! It's a really good book!

  7. I can't wit to read this! Hopefully the slow beginning won't put me off...
    Also, thanks for entering my giveaway! I made a form to make it easier for me and you so if you can fill it out so your entry can count

    Last sacrifice

    Amazon gift card

    you get extra entries for commenting on both! Thank you!

  8. No problem! Thanks for doing it! I hope you reach your goal of 150 followers :o)

  9. I just finished reading this and I loved it! I can't wait to see what the finalized cover for the sequel will look like.