Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Matched

Matched (Matched, #1)

Author: Allie Condie
Pages: 384
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Library
Challenge: Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge book 5
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.

Buy the Book (Amazon)

I couldn't wait to read Matched by Allie Condie. It had a beautiful cover, great premise, and it seemed like praise for Matched was everywhere. I felt though that Matched was lacking in many spots, though it was a good read. I wished I enjoyed it as much as everyone else.

Matched was about Cassia, an interesting character. She liked to be unique but was predictable. Cassia lived inside the Society who always knew what was best. The Society was killing culture and it was dull. Cassia always accepted the Society though till the day the wrong face flickered on her microcard. This face was of Ky, a boy she knew who wasn't her Match. Xander, her best friend was.

Cassia didn't really make me feel proud of her. She was a dormant character and so many of her actions made me want to scream. I could see how badly she was brainwashed and how impossible it was to resist but I still waited for her to rebel. Do something. But for most of the novel, she didn't. It took a very long time for Cassia to finally get to the point where she understood what was at stake and that's what I think I didn't like. The story was slow and character oriented, all about Cassia's discoveries. I tend to like stories with more action.

The great thing about Matched was the Society. There are many dystopian novels where you know right away the Society is bad. You wonder how the heck can these people accept their lives like this? In Matched, twisted as it was, most of the society made sense. Even later on, though I know what the Society was doing was wrong, I still couldn't help but notice how there were some genuine good ideas. I guess that was the organized, scheduled part of my mind. It wasn't till the end and all parts of the Society was revealed that I saw the trap the Society was. Alluring on the outside, rotten on the inside.

There was of course a love story that was very, very prominent. Cassia and Ky or Cassia and Xander? I hate to say it but they felt very cliché to me. Xander being the lovable best friend who every other girl wanted, and Ky being the artistic, quiet, tortured rebel. They didn't fit those roles perfectly (thank God) but enough that I didn't feel much for them. In the end, Xander grew on me. I think I'd love both boys if I could know more about them and their reactions.

Though Matched did have its problems, I think Cassia is in a position to be more active and do more by the end of the novel. I won't hesitate to read Crossed (the sequel) which I expect to be a better read. I think my problems mostly stem from my personal preference so I won't discourage anyone from reading Matched or any other book.

Ultimately, I wish I loved Matched. I honestly do, but all throughout the novel I waited to feel amazed but that never happened. Matched wasn't the novel for me. The star rating took a long time for me to ponder. Matched is not an ordinary book in any way. Yet it's not a book I'll eagerly re-read. There were many good parts to it too. Which is why Matched gets 3.5, an interesting read.

***&1/2 *


  1. I was somewhat frustrated with Matched as well. I could see the plot having so much potential but it wasn't really executed very well until near the end. I loved how the author used poetry within the novel though (probably due to the fact that I'm an english major :P). I thinkt that the second book will be much better as well now that the author has set up the background plot of the story. Nice review:)

  2. You're not the only one who felt this way. We were kind of split on this book, actually. Sarah LOVED Matched, while Kristan had a lot of the same reactions that you did. She felt intellectually stimulated, but not emotionally invested. So it was still a good book, but not magical, you know?

    Great review!

  3. Thanks for the review of Matched! It's awful to say but I bought the book last year when it first came out and I still haven't read it. I read a whole bunch of glowing reviews and then some... well, not so nice, so I guess it put me off from reading it right away. I should probably get a move on though so I'll be ready for Crossed!

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys! I think part of my problem was because I had such high expectations.

    @Midnight Bloom: I can't wait to see what you think of it. :)

  5. I really want to read this book, but i don't think i'll like it as much as everyone else seems to. Plus, i've recently fallen in love with Divergent and I don't think this will compare. I think i'll wait until i see it on offer or something. Great review!

  6. Great review! I pretty much agree with EVERYTHING you said. I actually read an ARC of this last year with all the hype going around, so I definitely had high expectations - and MATCHED was just... fine. I'll be watching for reviews of CROSSED and hoping it picks up.

  7. Thanks for commenting everyone!

    @Amy: That may be a good idea. You never know with books though...

    @Jem: I hate when that happens. Fingers crossed (haha, bad pun) Crossed will be better.

  8. Matched is one of the books I am dying to read, but didn't get a chance to pick up yet. With the upcoming release of Crossed I feel that I should get myself a copy and SOON.
    It looks like there's been a wave of raves over this book recently and it got me really curious. I am so thankful for your honest and insightful review! It's so easy to give in to the hype and just keep on raving, but your review was unbiased and thorough! LOVED it <3

  9. @Evie: Read it! I can't wait to see what you think. There's obviously something about this book that makes so many people love it. It didn't work for me but it may work for you.

    & thanks, I had a hard time writing this review while thinking of all the raving reviews I read. I hope you like it!

  10. I thought Matched had a lot of good stuff to discuss in it. I wonder if you will read Crossed and if you'll like it ...

  11. @Lenore: I'll be reading Crossed and I wonder if I'll like it too.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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