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Review: MATCHED by Ally Condie

Posted by on November 1, 2010
Matched (Matched, #1) 
Ally Condie
369 pages
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: November 30th, 2010
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: LOVED

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.

It seems like everyone was (and still is) raving about Matched by Ally Condie. So when my library had an ARC copy available through a program (where teens can review a book and receive a free book in return, once a month), I quickly claimed it. Matched reminded me of some other books at certain points, but overall, it was a pretty satisfying read.

Cassia Reyes lives in the Society, where everything is perfect. They pick who you marry, what you eat, and when you’ll die. This way, the citizens live perfect lives. But as you’ve guessed, everything is not perfect in the Society where the Officials monitor and control your every move. The story begins with Cassia on her way to her Match Banquet, which is coincidentally on the same day as her seventeenth birthday. To her surprise, the screen goes blank when her name is called, this means her Match lives in the same province as her, which hardly ever happens. Cassia Reyes has been Matched to her best friend.

Everything seems perfect, but when she inserts her microcard to learn more about her Match, Xander, the screen goes blank and another face pops up on the screen, another friend of hers – Ky Markham. Everything pretty much goes amiss from this point, when she finds out Ky’s status in the so-called perfect Society.

Overall, I liked Cassia’s character, but at some points I didn’t like the decisions she made, and wished she was stronger. But of course that would have changed the ending of the book, which was both hopeful and saddening at the same time. This was one of those books where there were meaningful messages rather than action, and I was caught on from the very first pages. Ally Condie really describes all the details vividly, and in a scene where cottonseeds were flying in the wind, I could almost see them flying outside my window! I’ve never read any of Condie’s novels, Matched was my first, and I can’t wait to read more.

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  1. I've read some positive, some negative reviews for Matched, but I like how balanced yours is, Hafsah :)

    And I totally agree with you on the cover! It's simple and gorgeous, very clean with a striking image to offset all that blank space.

  2. Excellent review Hafsah :)
    I think that is a terrific program your library has, by the way…have not heard of one like that before, but I am definitely going to mention it to our local librarian.

  3. I've heard some great stuff about this book, but I wasn't sure whether it was worth reading or not. Your review helped to make me determined to read it!

  4. Wonderful review! MATCHED was my first Dystopian and since I have only actually read 1 or 2 more. There was something I can't quite put my finger on, still to this day, about why I loved it so much. I wonder if Cassie's character is the way she is so she can grow up through the series – I love it when you can see the character develop into what they are meant to be (its like real life lol). I know I can't wait to read CROSSED!

  5. I didn't like this book very much, although I gave it two stars for the very few things that I did like. I like the idea behind the book, but I feel like it has the same pattern that many of the other dystopias out there do as well. I read this book and was in no hurry to read Crossed, book 2. Actually, I still haven't. Reached, book 3, is coming out later this year, and I don't know if I'm going to read that as well. The first chapter definitely was the best. I think there was little or no emotion- it's almost as bad as watching the infamous Twilight heroine onscren lol. But, you enjoyed it, which is good. Thanks for the review!!!

    Alyssa Susanna

  6. I liked Matched but I didn't love like I did with the Uglies. It seemed to similar to other dystopians and it didn't have enough action. :( By this point I have read so many dystopians were the future is so great, but (gasp)it is not. If there was more action and if the world was a bit different I think I would have loved Matched instead of just liking it. Anyways I do love the cover! :D Its the whole reason I picked up the book, honestly I want a poster of each cover! There all so freakin pretty!

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