January 13, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

PhotobucketSummary: 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.
Review: I have been excited to read Matched for ages now, I’ve read a lot of good hype about it. Although it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, it was still an enjoyable, though predictable read.
Matched starts by painting a dystopian world that has all but eradicated disease, obesity and crime. It almost seems utopian, but there is an inherent sense that all is not as it seems, with The Society deciding everything about all the citizens - their jobs, their spouse, how many children they will have, etc. We are introduced to the protagonist, Cassia, on the eve of her Matching ceremony - the ceremony that will reveal who she is to marry. She is matched with Xander, her best friend and is happy, until a friend from her past flashes on screen for an instant, confusing her. So begins her journey of disobeying the Society to claim the rights to make her own decisions.  
I was fairly indifferent to Cassia and Ky throughout the entire story and I never really understood the attraction between them. I much preferred Xander, and I wish Cassia could have seen past the glitch and accepted Xander for who he was. Ky seemed too flat to be the lead romantic interest and I never felt any emotional connection to him. He seemed to stereotypical to me, like the emo boy that Cassia felt she had to fix. 
I felt similarly to Cassia as I did to Ky - I couldn’t relate, nor develop any attachment to her. The author really needs to work on her character development, as this was the biggest flaw of the novel. If I had actually felt an attachment to the characters, the book probably would have scored higher, but as it is I didn’t particularly care about what happened to any of the characters.
There were some interesting aspects to the novel, like the idea of the 100 books, 100 songs 100 movies, etc. I thought that that was really interesting, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to only have 100 of all of these things for my entire life. The scene where Cassia’s dad was in charge of getting rid of an entire library was almost painful to read - all those books, just being destroyed. 
Ultimately, Matched felt too much like a lead up to the second book in the series. It didn’t feel like it’s own story and there was a lack of any forward motion for a large chunk of the book. However, with the way it ended, I’m hoping there’s going to be a lot more action in the sequel, and hopefully some serious character growth for Cassia. I’m interested enough in the series to give the second book a try, but if it is another letdown, then I won’t be really care enough to see how Cassia’s story pans out.
Rating: 3 out of 5


  1. Great review. I have heard this is not as good as the hype. It sucks when you can't connect with the main characters. My copy is waiting to be picked up. At least I know what to expect.

  2. Awww too bad this one wasn't for you! I adored it, but it definitely seems to be hit or miss with most people. Thanks for your honesty!

  3. I enjoyed this one, but it didn't live up to the super high expectations that I had for it (seven figure deal for 3 books, that's a lot of money). I definitely agree about Ky, I preferred Xander, and didn't really understand the immediate attraction that Cassia had to him.

  4. Great review! I have been considering reading this book for quite some time but don't think I will. There’s nothing worse than feeling unconnected to the characters.