Matched Review

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Published: November 30, 2010
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Pages: 366
Source: Personal Copy

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.
Matched is the story of Cassia, a teenage girl living in a time where Society decides everything for you. She’s always trusted it, always believed it, and always looking forward to finding the one person that Society would match her with. So, when Society declares her match to be Xander, Cassia believes it, until an image of Ky flashes onto the screen, setting just a hint of doubt in her mind. Cassia begins to wonder…what if Xander isn’t right for her? What if it’s supposed to be Ky? And if Society matched her wrong, what else could they be wrong about?

Matched is certainly one hyped-up book, and I have to be honest, the premise promises something extraordinary in the realm of dystopian novels. Ally Condie presents a story of right and wrong, love and the freedom of choice, and the decision to create one’s own destiny. With a host of characters that are strong, poignant, and resonate feeling, Matched has all the makings of a great story, and Condie has an easy and fluid writing style that creates a fast-paced read.

That said though, I had some issues with Matched. While I loved the character development and the fact that I could get inside Cassia’s head and see a full view of Xander and Ky, I felt that Matched was extremely lacking in the world-development aspect. It felt a bit flat, if you know what I mean, and I couldn’t understand why Society was doing the things they were doing. Part of what makes a dystopian is the warped logic behind future society’s misjudgments, and I felt that while we saw what they were doing was wrong, I never really understood it. That, essentially, left the entire plot of Matched resting on the shoulders of the characters, and it’s kind of a hit or miss thing that way.

Overall, I don’t think Matched was a bad read by any means, but I have to say that I didn’t really love it either. I’ll definitely try the next book in the series, but I guess the main thing is that with the emergence of popular dystopian fiction, this just didn’t live up to some of my other favourites. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I’d recommend it to those who enjoy dystopian novels and a good, sweet romance.

35 comments:

  1. Lovely review Melissa, I feel like you told it exactly how it was. (: I've read similar reviews, especially about the plot. I think I'm going to pass on this one. :P

    Btw have an awesome weekend!

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  2. I rather enjoyed the book but I hope that book 2 progresses a lot more

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  3. I hope the next one picks up a bit and goes into more detail about why the Society "is".
    Great review.

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  4. Aww, I hate that Matched didn't live up to your expectations. It's sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

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  5. Thanks for your review Melissa !! I lied Matched but didn't love it : I really enjoyed the dystopian side of the novel but the romance didn't work out for me .. But I'll definitely read Crossed ;)

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  6. I read a lot of reviews about this book that said they were disappointed... I really have to make my own opinion, I'm really curious about it!

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  7. I was a little disappoint too with Matched. I felt it just lacked that something special. Great review Melissa :)

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  8. I agree with Pisinat - some book bloggers loved this one, some had issues similar to yours. I think I must read the book and find out on my own but your review helped to make up my mind anyway - thanks!

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  9. Love the review. It has definitely gotten me thinking. This is on my TBR and I'll definitely read, but it will be interesting to see the character vs. world building when I do.

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  10. I've heard mostly great reviews of this one and a few reviews like yours. I wonder which side I'll fall on. It sounds frustrating that the society wasn't described completely. World building is essential for books like these.
    Have you read Wither yet? I'm in the middle of it and I think it's a fabulous dystopia.

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  11. Matched was just an OK read for me too. It's one of those books that was hyped beyond belief, but I didn't see anything all that special in it. It was kinda slow and I didn't connect with the characters.

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  12. I competely agree! You said it better than I ever could. I gave it the same rating. I just needed a bit more "oopmh"...Does that even make sense? Haha. Anyways, great review! :)

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  13. I agree that this book was really hyped up and it did do a little disappointing. I really liked it though and I hope more explanation will come in the second book Crossed. Thanks for the review Melissa!
    -Danna

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  14. Now I got worried. I have seen so many 4s from you lately and now this one only got a 3...I do fear it would only be an ok read for me then

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  15. I enjoyed Matched, but there were problems in it, like ones you pointed out. I"m hoping to learn more about the Society in Crossed

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  16. Perfect review. I liked this book at first, but the more I think back about it, the more I dislike it... It actually was a disappointment, considering the hype.

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  17. Aw sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as I did Melissa! This one is one of those reads that seems to be pretty evenly split in terms of who loves it and who doesn't. I read it before I read a lot of the hype so I think maybe my expectations weren't as high and therefore I enjoyed it much more. Beautifully written review as always though:)

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  18. I've seen this book everywhere lately and I really must get myself a copy of it... Like you said, the premise sounds really intriguing. Hopefully the lack of world development won't bug me too much...

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  19. Thank you for the honest review, Melissa! I'm glad to see a different review for this one.

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  20. I enjoyed Matched, too, but also felt that the world-building was pretty much nil. That's supposed to be half the fun of dystopia! Great review. :)

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  21. You know I really loved this one...I think it was because I had read so many raunchy tick me off YAs in a row that this one came across -WOW teens not having sex- I liked it for its simple story, but can see why the world building would be bothersome.

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  22. I enjoyed reading your review. TBH, I've been putting off reading this one even though it's sitting on my shelf. I just had a feeling it wasn't going to live up to expectations. I will get to it, but I'm actually glad to find a review that wasn't 'glowing'. That sounds really awful doesn't it. I dont' mean it in a bad way, just good to have a different point of view and it wont make me feel so bad if it doesn't come out as a 5 star review for me either lol.

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  23. aww, books with so much hype...always a gamble! I loved your review, very honest, which is refreshing among all this gush :)

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  24. Hmm, that's too bad. I find that world-building is the most important aspect for me when reading dystopians. If the world is not fully developed, then I find it frustrating, the need to know more about it. Maybe the sequels will explore it a bit more.

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  25. Well, we'll see if I read it! I've heard so mixed things about this book...

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  26. There are so many extreme reactions to this book. I bought it but haven't read it since I lost all interest in the book after reading the negative reviews.
    Thanks for the review!

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  27. Thanks for being so honest in your review! I loved Matched whilst I was reading it at Christmas but then thinking about it afterwards, I realised it wasn't quite as good as I thought it was. I agree with you about their needing to be more about the world and setting and I hope there will be more development on that in the sequel Crossed .

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  28. Just got this one out of the library and hoping I'll enjoy it, but after DELIRIUM and its wonderful world building, I'm hoping MATCHED will live up to my expectations.

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  29. Very nice review of Matched! :D

    I loved the book, a lot, but I'll definitely agree that the world-building could have been even better. Thanks for this!

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  30. I've seen mixed reviews for thisi one! I've got it on my bookshelf so I'll get to it eventually. I really do adore the dystopian genre but I really enjoy the ones that have excellent worldbuilding...sounds like this one was lacking in that department!

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  31. Great review! I wasn't wowed by this one either, although I did like it enough to want to read the sequels, which is more than I can say about some of the other super hyped up books I've read recently...

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  32. Great review with lots of info I’m glad to know before reading Matched! It seems this one hasn’t lived up to the hype for many bloggers. Sorry it wasn’t everything you had hoped for. I think I’ll put this one off until it is time for the sequels release :)

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  33. I just finished this one :)

    It didn't feel flat for me. I think it's because I just figured her world was small and her view was narrow. I think we will get to see more of the world view in Crossed. Great honest review :)

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  34. This book fell flat for me too, though I think for different reasons!  I found Cassia and Ky to be rather dull and I wasn't invested in their relationship.  (I loved Xander though!)  I thought aspects of the world-building were well done: the tablets, the meal system, the sorting, the matching, the entertainment structure.  But I do agree with you that the purpose of this structure wasn't made clear.  Why would people opt to live in this kind of world?  Just to live a healthy life til you're 80?  Don't a lot of people live to old age in the present anyways?  What was so wrong with how people managed their own health?  That definitely could have been clarified.

    Great review!
     Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

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