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Matched by Ally Condie

Published by Dutton Juvenile (An Imprint of Penguin)

Pages: 369

Ages: Young Adult (14 and up)

Publishers Summary: 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.

Every day is expected. Your life is scheduled even down to your opportunities for marriage and eventual death. When Cassia learns her “match” is someone she’s known forever, but is also suddenly shown an “alternative” choice she’s in an unknown land. The standard straight forward answers to the questions no longer apply and all she’s been conditioned to do is left to chance. In a world filled with certainty Cassia is left with a choice she never expected and her choice could determine the outcome for the lives of those around her.

Matched is without a doubt, one of the most anticipated Young Adult novels since The Hunger Games trilogy. Similar to The Hunger Games, Matched is set in a dystopian future. Although, unlike The Hunger Games, the world of Matched is nearly perfect; a place where everything from your free time to the number of children you can have is controlled. According to Cassia things are just how they should be. From the time she was a little girl all she’s been able to think about is her “Matching” ceremony, the ceremony in which she’s paired with her eventual mate. From the very beginning it was hard not to get caught up in the excitement Cassia had for this event, she lived for it and you could feel it. Unfortunately her certainty and happiness is short lived when she discovers she may have had a different “match” were certain circumstances changed. It’s not only this confusion, but the timing of her grandfather’s death (only the next day) that sends her into a tailspin.

Let me start by saying there were things I loved and things I didn’t love about Matched. What I loved… The world around Cassia – The Society. Condie has built a future so perfect and controlled that even for the innocent bystander, even the occasional “anomaly” is accounted for. There are even pills that help to manage certain situations such as anxiety, but even those are accounted for and reported. Members of The Society watch of the members of the community making sure that order is managed and that no one gets out of line. It was the attention to detail that I found so engulfing and actually quite reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry.

As I said, I truly did enjoy reading Matched, but there were a couple of things I’m hoping are resolved in future installments of the series. First, was the overall character development. I felt like the only characters you truly got acquainted with were Cassia and possibly Ky. Obviously Cassia is the one telling the story and her character is going to stand out quite a bit more than any other easily. But it was a lack of focus on any of the other character’s history, personality and feeling that left me wanting. I hardly felt a connection between Cassia and Xander, who was her supposed “match” and lifelong friend. I’m hoping that as the series goes on we’ll get to know more than just the two central characters in the story. At times it also got a bit tedious that Cassia was constantly pining over her unexpected “match”. For a girl who was obsessed with the rules it initially seemed a bit unusual and a tad annoying.

Ally Condie’s newest YA novel is definitely a series to watch for. With a brilliant world centered around the a perfect society and expected results it’s hard not to compare it to the likes of the award winning book The Giver.  Even with my few reservations about the novel, I’m eager to to see where the series is headed and find out where Cassia’s journey will take her next. If you’re a fan of dystopian novels and in search of a great new YA novel, look no further. Matched is certain to gain numerous fans and has the potential to be the next big Young Adult series!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 14 and up. A dystopian debut centered around a society bent on perfection and order. The perfect read for fans of The Hunger Games and The Giver.

Take a look at the Book Trailer for Matched and then head over to the Matched site to get “matched” yourself!
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This book was provided for review and giveaway by the publisher Dutton Juvenile/Penguin Teen. Thank you! Find them on Twitter here and take a look at the Penguin Teen – Young Readers site for up to the date information about their newest releases!
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15 Responses to Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

  1. I totally agree about the character development. I see a lot of people loved this book but I just liked it because I felt like we needed to learn more about Xander and Ky. Great review!

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  3. While I loved the world building in Matched too, I was also disappointed in the character development and like you hope some of those issues are corrected in the next book. Great review.

  4. Seriously fantastic review!

    I love that you broke down what did and didn’t work for you.

    Oooo and if it made you think of The Giver than I must read it.

  5. Gina says:

    Ooh…MATCHED. That was a great read (my review is coming up next week). I must say though, I was surprised by the few hiccups you encountered. I not being the author can’t clear up any of the concerns but one idea possibly on the lack of “getting to know” Xander who is her match is based in the fact that they’ve known each other all their lives so since the story was from Cassia’s viewpoint, there really was no need to invest much time in his particular story….just a thought. Anywho…definitely on my radar for the next release in the series…can’t wait. Thanks for the insiteful review! Happy reading…

  6. This is one I am interested in… Thanks for the review!

  7. Teddyree says:

    I’m so looking forward to reading this one, I love dystopian novels. I skimmed your review but glad to see you mostly enjoyed it!

  8. Kaitlyn :) says:

    i LOVE this book! LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Kaitlyn :) says:

    im reading it in class right now…..and once you get passed the first chepter, you will NOT want to even put the book down!!!!!! its AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

  10. Kaitlyn :) says:

    **chapter

  11. Mel says:

    I just finished this book!! Can’t wait until the sequel comes out!

  12. Emily says:

    I just finished this book for a school project. I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out in November. I hope Cassia finds Ky before he gets killed in the war.

  13. I’m back to reread why you didn’t love it 😉

    I see your points.

    I think I understood the underdevelopment of those characters as part of the bubble Cassia is in. You know what she knows – which isn’t much. I’m thinking as the series develops and Cassia starts to break out of her bubble more – we will learn more.

    As for your thoughts on Xander, I think what I took from the story is that people don’t connect really in general. Cassia barely knows her parents. It’s like even the intimate parts of relationships have been curbed and controlled by the Society.

    That’s why the relationships with her grandfather and Ky are so important. The realest relationships she gets are with those daring to give more.

    Ok so I’ve rambled enough 😉 Just wanted to share my thoughts with you.

  14. bhavi patel says:

    this was such a good book i loved it and others should read it

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