Tuesday, February 26, 2013

REVIEW: "MATCHED" (Matched, #1) - by Ally Condie

Title: “Matched
Series: (Matched, #1)
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Purchased
My star rating: 4/5


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.


Looking at the cover, it’s not hard to see why I was sold on this book without having read the blurb. I mean look at it. It is a stunner! Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that the book isn’t as great as the cover promises with its beauty. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t leave me eager to read the next book. I’m positive I’ll be able to predict what’s going to happen in the rest of the series.


Dystopian is one of my favorite genres to read and Matched was a worthwhile read all in all. Unlike most dystopian novels, the protagonist in this one wasn’t rebellious or constantly attempted to overthrow the system. I mostly enjoyed the story because it was different in the sense that Cassia believed in the system which governed their existence. She had faith that all the decisions made on her behalf by the Society, were for her own good. The book starts off with a tone of excitement as Cassia, her parents, and her best friend Xander, is on their way to the matching ceremony in which she and Xander will be matched to their respective future life partners. As the story develops, the reader is slowly introduced into Cassia’s world and the way it is governed. Again, unlike scores of dystopian novels, this world is not a terrible one to live in, but rather one where the well-being of its citizens is of utmost importance, thus cultivating healthy lifestyles and extending life expectancy. The author really went out of her way to create a multi-faceted backdrop for this story which is utterly unique and complex. 

I really enjoyed the positive feel of the story through Cassia’s character. As I said before, she isn’t your typical rebellious protagonist, and because she has always tried to steer clear of trouble and did what was expected of her (before she met Ky, of course), the reader is granted the opportunity to explore this new dystopian territory with its slight undercurrent of disturbances. The lives of Cassia and her friends and family are managed to the extreme. What they eat, what they wear, which exercises they should be doing, what they should do with their free time, which career path they should follow, who they’ll marry, how many children they’ll have, and when they’ll die. This doesn’t sound like a great place to live, right? Yet Cassia, Xander, and all their loved ones accept this as normal – even the fact that they have to always carry three tablets with them. The blue and green tablets can be used at their own discretion, but no-one knows what the red tablet does (until later in the story) and should only be taken when an official instructs them to do so. The story is filled with so many interesting developments and discoveries, it was hard for me to put it down.  

Three things which I didn’t enjoy is that, one, Cassia’s inner-dialogue oftentimes tended to be too lengthy and, two, I simply couldn’t feel or comprehend the sudden love Cassia felt for Ky. It’s not that I preferred Xander to Ky, it’s just that the author never managed to make me believe how and why Cassia would fall for Ky when she was already matched to someone she loved since childhood. The reason the author gave for this sudden love interest failed to convince me. Also, the poetry just didn’t do it for me. Nope, I’m not a fan.

Another aspect of the story I enjoyed is that the author also brings home the importance of family and how the love shared between family members – specifically the love Cassia’s parents have for each other and their children – added a lot of depth to this story. I finished Matched in no time and I’m really happy I’ve read it, but I personally feel the book could’ve been much shorter as a lot of unnecessary lengthy descriptions were spent on day-to-day activities which didn’t add much to the story. Overall it is a really great read, but it would be some time before I continue this series – if at all.



Matched by Ally Condie has 16 715 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.

Matched by Ally Condie – Book Trailer



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