January 23, 2011

Review of "Matched" by Ally Condie

Ally Condie


: Dutton Juvenile
Pub. Date: November 30th, 2011
Pages: 366

Synopsis: 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.

Another amazing book released in 2010! I absolutely LOVED "Matched", it was one of my favorite books released last year. I got almost halfway through the book and stayed up to read the remaining 200 pages because it was so awesome. I love books about dystopian societies and the struggles that characters face as they learn the secrets that their governments try to hide. I like how in "Matched" it is the matching procedures that lead to Cassia's questioning of the rules of the society she lives in. It kind of reminds me of prom, getting all glammed up and eating a nice dinner, hyped up as the biggest event in your teenage life, but for Cassia it leads to huge changes in the way she views her world. There were other events that lead to further questioning, but it definitely became the trigger.

Sometimes in books I feel there is an obvious choice when there are two love interests, but I thought both Xander and Ky were wonderful characters. They are really nice guys and were willing to sacrefice for their relationship with Cassia. It was obvious that both of them truly cared for her and were willing to break rules for her. According to the rules of the society, Cassia is not allowed to be with Ky for reasons that neither character can control, but Xander is officially Cassia's match- the man she is supposed to marry, have kids, and spend the rest of her life with. The choice may seem easy, matched couples are always happy, but Cassia can't help but question her feelings.

I love how Condie gave reasonable explanations for all the questionable acts of The Society. There is a limit on technology because of the disasterous consequences that older generations experienced. Knowledge is limitted because it is less stressful for people to only have to know about the specifics of their field. It makes more sense to have a focused knowledge about a specific field of study than to have to try to know about every subject. The pills that everyone had to carry on them at all times were a great touch, I was DYING to know the function of the red pill.

This book definitely reminded me of "The Giver" and there are a lot of reviews saying that "Matched" is a blatant knock off of it; I can't agree or disagree with this because it has been at least 10 years since I have read "The Giver" and my memory is pretty terrible. What I can say is that even though I remember some of the similarities, I still really enjoyed this book. It felt fast paced and I liked the romance aspect. I didn't really expect it to be super original because the ways that Utopian societies are run generally use the same methods and guidelines to ensure the control through the compliance of the people. Spartan society is a great example of this; the government decided where people lived, what thier jobs could be, and what they ate (thank you boyfriend for being wise and for taking some time away from Call of Duty: Black Ops to discuss Utopian societies with me). I understand why this would bother readers and I can see why there are such mixed reviews of this book. I think it comes down to personal preference. I loved this book so it is hard for me to imagine someone disliking it, but the people who dislike it probably think I am crazy for loving it so much. I think a lot of time the appreciation for a book comes down to what the person needed from the book while reading it. "Matched" gave me exactly what I needed and wanted making it a winner for me.

This was a fantastic beginning to the series. "Crossed", the second bok, is due to come out at the begining of November. It will definitely be hard to wait for the second book in the trilogy, but I'm sure it will be worth it! I think Condie added a lot of great details to her book that can be flushed out more in the next two books. Disney has the movie writes to the series, so it will be intersting to see what comes out of that.

P.S. I loved the use of green throughout the book. I just thought it was a nice touch.

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1 comment:

  1. Great review, I can't believe I still haven't read Matched. I think I'll like it though. And if it's similar to the Giver, all the better because I enjoyed that.