Melanie's Musings
April 30, 2012

Matched by Ally Condie

Take the idea behind eHarmony, add in a controlling government and hormonal teenagers.

That’s Matchedin a nutshell.

In case you’re seeking something a bit more formal, here’s the official summary of Matched by Ally Condie:

In the Society, Officials decide.

Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

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

On the final day of National Poetry Month, I thought it would be fitting to review a book featuring poetry. Matched fits this description, just a little. The main poem in Matched is “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas. It’s a forbidden poem in the world Cassie lives in, at times a thorn in her side yet sometimes fuel for her fire.

The amount of control government has in Cassie’s world is terrifying. People are given just enough to make them feel comfortable. On the surface, it’s a little restrictive but nearly all of the inhabitants are well fed and living in homes. The people have been lulled into submission.

Yes, Cassie is a fairly interesting character, but I found myself wanting to get inside the brains of others, especially Xander and Ky. Alternating viewpoints would have been nice, since the two male leads don’t go around spilling their emotional guts out. Their respective feelings for Cassie are hard to make out, and I thought once or twice that Cassie was reading the situation incorrectly but couldn’t be sure. Is everyone being truly sincere?

Matched by Ally CondieMatched by Ally Condie
As for the Xander/Ky debate, I’m still not sure where I stand. This is a rare and pleasant surprise for me. Generally, I pick a side and stick to it till the bitter end. But I can honestly say I don’t know who would be better for Cassie. Or who Cassie would be better for.

Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy is one I intend on pursuing. In fact, I have a copy of Crossed ready and waiting.

Matched is available in hardcover, paperback, and audiobook format.

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Posted by Melanie at 9:00 am - Comments (4)
Categories: book review

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  • April 30th 2012

    I don’t read a lot of books like that but this one sounds really intriguing.


  • April 30th 2012
    Liz. R said:

    i’ve had matched on my tbr for absolutely ages and haven’t gotten to it yet! really glad you liked it. i usually pick a team and stick to it as well, so it’s really interesting that you’re undecided so far on which love interest you like best. great review! thanks :)


  • May 2nd 2012
    Gina said:

    Well said on the “side” issue. I don’t think after MATCHED we know enough about either option to really see who might be a better match. Book 2 is waiting patiently (even if I’m not) to surface in my TBR. Can’t wait!


  • May 2nd 2012
    Heidi said:

    I agree, this is one of those rare occasions where it’s really hard to choose between the two guys. I think when I read Matched, I was leaning Ky, but after Crossed, I’m leaning back to Xander. And the best part is I’m honestly not entirely sure which way it’ll go. I would love to be surprised for once.

    Crossed does have alternating perspectives between Cassia and Ky, so maybe you’ll like it better. I had a hard time with it though, because their voices were, to me, too similar. It was easy to forget which narrator’s head you were in because they were pretty much the same.

    I know that in Reached, Xander’s point of view will be added as well, and I’m looking forward to it, but hoping that the series ends more strongly than Crossed.