Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "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."

Review:   Although I'm not a dystopian fiction fan, I enjoyed Ally Condie's Matched.  There is a delicacy and precision in the writing that makes the read feel careful in its storytelling.  Strangely, the story itself is not careful, which then lends it an eerie tone that warns of looming danger. 

Cassia is a likable character, and although I will admit that I rolled my eyes a bit at the beginning theme that unfolded of people being: matched (designated a partner), singleton (sad lonely folks), and aberrations (who would want these folks anyway).  The basic premise here is that to be happy, one must fit in and be "matched" up with someone else.  (This seems to reiterate and play on people's fears of being alone.  Valid, yes.  Necessary, I don't think so.)  Even getting someone you don't know or yet love is better than having no one or being an aberration like Ky, which is where the tension in Cassia's curiosity about him after seeing him flash on her screen comes from.

Crossed comes out November 1st
The social repression of this dystopian society almost feels subtle if you don't think about it too much.  For the common good of all, they arrange your marriages, determine your calorie intake, provide you pills to alleviate all stresses, and even designate your death date.  Strangely, however, no one is taught to write, so they are dependent on computers and machines.

Ky is a rule breaker.  He silently resists their society by learning to write, and by determining his own path.  Part of that path involves Cassia, and the two become drawn to one another.  The problem here is that choice is not part of the plan.  This I found intriguing, along with the society Condie created.  Honestly, I can see where teens would love to see played out this all-important idea of choosing who you love and what you want to do with your life.  The storytelling was well done, the writing style clear and precise, and the creativity of the plot intriguing.  Overall, I really did enjoy Matched, and with a cliffhanger like this book had, I'm ready to read Crossed.


  1. You're typing your blog during prep time, too? I thought it was quiet over there.

  2. I've read a few reviews of this book and it sounds like it has potential. I'm just so burned out on the dystopian thing right now, though--and I don't even read that much of it!

  3. Sarah--Well, yes and no. I had done part of it at home the night before. LOL. However, it's a nice, relaxing way to face a Friday morning!

    Heidenkind--It's one of the better I've read. Honest. I'm just not a big dystopian fan myself. I would give this one a try though!