Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: Matched by Ally Condie (Spoilers)

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

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely 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 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.

Review: **This is an ARC review, and Matched is not officailly released until November. There will probably be spoilerish info in this review, so if you prefer to wait until November to know about this book, you should jsut go ahead and stop reading now. For the rest of you- read on!**
So, I loved this book! As it turns out, the more dystopian books I read, the more I realize that I really love this subset of YA books. Matched first crossed my radar a few months ago when Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) said that it was "the best book you've never read", and since Matched doesn't come out until November, I hadn't read it- but I wanted to! Last week I recieved a ARC from the publishers and was completely sucked in from the get go.

The thing about dystopian for me is that when it's done well, it's not that hard to see how we can go from where we are now to the way the book depicts life. In Matched, the society sees everything, hears everything and decides everything. They control every aspect of life, meals and milestones and even who you marry and when you will die. They make all these decisions into big ceremonies so that the members of the society are excited about it instead of feeling angry about their free will being taken away. It's all a way to control everyone and everything. The Society even provides each citizen with pills that help with aother aspects of their lives- one which provides nutrients in case of an emergency, one that helps you relax if you are nervouse and the last which remains a mystery to everyone and can only be taken if an official tells you to. There is no part of your life that the Officials haven't got their hand in.

In this book, it's hinted that all is not well in some of the outer provinces and that those in control, the officials, are losing that hold on the masses. One clear sign of that comes at the end of the book (SPOILER ALERT- from here on out, you have been warned!) when Cassia's official comes to her to talk about why Cassia and Ky were torn apart. The official tries to act as though Cassia and Ky coming together was all a plan, an experiment, and that everyone had acted just how the officials had predicted. Essentially trying to take these personal and special moments away from Cassia. However, Cassia and the reader, can easily see that the official is fishing for information, that it hadn't been under their control at all, and that's why it had to be stopped.

Cassia is a wonderful charecter. She's poised at the edge of adulthood and the first step is go to her Matching Ceremony, where she will find out who the Society has paired her with for marraige. She is amazed and excited when she finds that she will be paired with Xander, her best friend. Then she's see's the face of another friend, Ky, flash across her screen before it goes blank, and from that moment forward nothing is the same. Cassia has a tough road to walk. She does truly love Xander, but not the way she finds that she loves Ky as she gets to know him. Together Cassia and Ky might be able to change the world.

I loved the end of the book, when after Ky and his family are removed from Mapletree Borough, and after Cassia's family has been notified of their impending departure, that you begin to see the seeds of dissent amoung other members of the community. You begin to see that the Official's control isn't as complete as they pretend it is, and that maybe Cassia and Ky are not alone in their feelings that everyone should have choices in their life.

The relationship between Cassia and Ky was beautiful to see as it grew from curiosity to love and partnership. In the same vein, seeing Cassia grow within herself as she begins to see, really see, the world around her for the first time is fascinating. From the outside we see it right from the start, but Condie did an amazing job showing us what it would be like to live within it and never know anything else. How these revelations are scary, but can also create a resolve to make it better.

This was a fabulous book. I'm assuming that there will be a sequel (right!?!) because Matched leaves off just as Cassia has made the decision to stand up for herself, her relationship with Ky and in a bigger way, for all the citizen's of the society. I can't wait to find out what happens next for all of them!


  1. I really am looking forward to reading this one!

  2. thank you for the review, but please proofread in future.

    1. I agree, even just to quickly read over... but I did love your review, even quoted parts of it for a book report.

  3. Omg! I read this book and I loooooved it. It turns you were right, there is a sequel coming out called "crossed". I cant wait!!!

  4. I found the main plot to be a good idea but the execution of it not so much. I found Cassia to be rash and unrealistic, I don't see how she fell in love with Ky at all and felt that it was rather forced and idealistic. I never know what really attracted her to him in the first place. It felt a little Twilight-y to me on that end, that she just instantly fell in love with him. So yes, Cassia is an idiot for me.

    and yes, Twilight is HORRIBLE.

  5. I found this book to be entertaining in the beginning, but as I went on, it became slightly dreary. I found myself skipping whole pages to try to get to more thrilling sections. If I had originally thought of this idea (a controlling Society where others decide your marriage, death date, meal times, and your job), I would most likely have written a slightly better version of the midsection. However, I am a fan of Ally Condie, and I do like her writing style. I simply believe the plot wasn't finely written.

  6. Wait so did she pick ky??? Please someone tell me!?