Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Matched

Matched by Ally Condie

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: November 30, 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Format: Hardcover, 366 pgs.
Source: Gift


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.

My Thoughts: 

The Society dictates everything: what you will do, when you will die, and who you should love. Cassia's Match couldn't be more perfect. She's the only one wearing the green dress, and her Match turns out to be her best friend Xander. But when she gets home and looks at Xander's data, another boy's face flashes before her, and Cassia begins to wander off the path the Society has chosen for her.

First, let me say that I really wanted to love this book. The premise is fantastic and the cover is absolutely gorgeous, not to mention all the glowing reviews it was getting. That being said, Matched kind of disappointed me.

Cassia is a fairly flat character, mind you she's been an outstanding member of the Society her entire life, so no surprises there, but I didn't think she really grew all that much throughout the story. Her Match with Xander could have been great, but instead she fell for Ky, which makes sense to me: he's everything she shouldn't want. The romance was the best and worst part of this book, meaning this was more romance than it was dystopia or anything else. When Cassia is with Ky nothing else seems to matter, even Xander, and I think that's what bothered me the most. Her romance with Ky wasn't the best, but it was good while it was under the spotlight; as soon as he was out of the picture, though, everything else came back into focus. Oh, yes, that's right: Xander exists. Her treatment of Xander and a couple of others at times didn't seem to fit Cassia's character at all, so it wasn't believable to me in parts.

Also, the world building was a bit of a let down. It was there, but there were no real answers about any of it. Who is the Society? How and when did it come into being? Why doesn't it seem to exist in the outer territories? Why does this sound oddly similar to Firefly and Serenity? It could have been so much more than it was, and I think the hype surrounding this book actually hurt it. I went in expecting something other than a love triangle (that wasn't much of a triangle at all), and I was upset when that was all there really was. There were some interesting secondary characters, like the grandfather and Cassia's parents, and there were some plot details I really liked, like the artifacts, but overall Matched was not a book I fell in love with.

I'll be keeping my eye on Ally Condie, because I think she's definitely got talent. Matched just wasn't the best match for me; in fact, I'm not entirely sure I'll be finishing this series. We'll see. If you've read it, let me know what you thought in the comments, because I'm curious to see how everyone else liked it.


Magan said...

This was actually a really thoughtful non-Fangirl review and post that I really appreciated!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I enjoyed the book, but I hadn't really followed all the hype, so I wasn't expecting anything. I think for me, the thing I enjoyed was the way it made me think about what I would do if everything was dictated to me. I'm a kind of rebellious soul, so it would be really rough for me.

I can see what you are saying though. If I had been expecting something, it might have been a different experience for me. My husband read it, too, and didn't really like it. The pace was too slow for him and he thought it was too much like a dystopian Twilight.

Amanda J. said...

Magan, I try. :)

Kayeleen, I enjoyed it, but the more I thought about it the more it bothered me. Which is why I always wait a bit before writing a review haha. My problem is mostly that it was supposed to be this great dystopian, but that aspect didn't get a whole lot of focus, it was all about her falling for the guy she wasn't supposed to like. Glad you liked it though and could connect with Cassia on her rebellion. :) Also, LOL at your husband's comment.

Danielle said...

I am so glad you wrote this review, I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt this way about Matched. I was so excited to read it and it definitely fell flat for me.

Alexandra Shostak said...

Firefly and Serenity! I love those so much! Simon and Kaylee! <3

(I had a lot of questions about the world building for Matched that I hope will be answered in later books).


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