Sunday, May 8, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie


In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one... until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's ever known and a path no one else has ever dared follow - between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic. (from the book jacket)


I was so excited to read Matched - I love dsytopias, I love love triangles and I heard a lot of good things about this book. However, while I liked Matched, I wasn't totally blown away, which disappointed me.

What I love about dystopias is the superb world-building. I always have to give kudos to an author who can successfully create a new world that feels real. I think it's much harder than writing a book that takes place here and now. I thought Ally Condie did a good job building Cassia's world. I know a lot of people on GoodReads are saying that Matched copied The Giver, but I don't really think so. Many dsytopias are going to be similar and have similar themes, and I don't think Matched was super close to The Giver.

I would hate to live in the Society. You literally have no choice of anything. No choice of clothes, of food (I thought this was really weird), no choice of job, and no choice of husband/wife. Everything is decided for you based on your personality and what the Officials think. What was also really interesting was that the culture was very limited. There were a bunch of "Hundred" lists. So Officials went through history and picked a Hundred Songs, a Hundred Poems, a Hundred Historical Events and that's it. Anything else of literary, historical, artistic or musical importance was tossed away. Can you imagine only having a hundred books to choose from?

Going beyond the set up of Matched, things got weaker. The character development and plot development definitely needed some work, in my opinion. I liked Cassia but she didn't really do anything the whole book. A lot of it is her thinking about some illegal poems she had read, which is nice and all, but can be boring. There were a lot of times that I was annoyed with her character. And one reason why was because of the love triangle. I usually enjoy reading love triangles but this one was not well done at all. Xander and Ky, her two potential choices, were too similar to make such a love triangle plausible. Xander was the nice boy next door who she was Matched with and Ky is the nice boy next door that has some secrets. So pretty similar and it's obvious who Cassia is drawn to. The "relationship" (or lack thereof) between Cassia and Ky did not develop well at all. I didn't really see what the appeal and then suddenly they were in love, which confused me a lot. For a book that moved slowly action-wise you would think there would be a lot of character development.

All in all, I did enjoy reading Matched, if for the world building and nothing else. I still haven't decided if I'm reading the sequel, Crossed. If Cassia and Ky become better developed and the plot picks up I might give it a chance.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

FTC: birthday gift.

2010/Dutton/366 pages.

1 comment:

Green Lillipads said...

Great review! I've been wanting to read this book for a while, but wasn't sure if it was good.The review helped! :)