Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie
SERIES. Matched
RELEASE DATE. November 30, 2010
PUBLISHER. Dutton Juvenile
PAGES. 366
FORMAT. Hardcover
AGE GROUP. Young Adult
GENRE/S. Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction
FIND IT. Amazon | Goodreads

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.

THOUGHTS. I was never hesitant on reading Matched. The cover fascinated me so much and the hype had me convinced; plus that it’s dystopian, which is becoming a favorite genre of mine after binge-reading The Hunger Games series. In the beginning, Matched didn't live up to my expectations but as I kept flipping the pages, I realized this book had something good going on in it--and readers just need to dig deeper into it.

As much as I want to fully like Matched, there was still something missing. I think the problem of this book was the world building because it was quite bland and boring. I don't have the exact word for it but it was not that epic as one might expect from a dystopian story: no thrilling chase, no action-packed scenes, no dystopian feel. Yet, in some way, Condie had convinced me to dislike the appalling, idealistic Society and its Officials. Can you imagine a world where you are controlled from what you should do in life to what you eat, from who to love to when you die? I couldn't imagine how I would be if it happened today.

Cassia’s world might not have been my favorite but the romance was what drawn me to read it more. It was the main conflict of the story after all. I was so intrigued about Cassia and Ky’s developing feelings towards each other especially of how their romance was a forbidden act against the Society. It redeemed my interest of this book because Condie perhaps thought of two questions (that I will most likely ask myself if I were to write a dystopian book differently): What if a forbidden romance could be the beginning of an uprising? What if this forbidden romance would save many? Thankfully, Cassia and Ky's romance have saved Matched from it's impending doom.

Naturally, the romance will not work without convincing characters. Cassia’s character is far different from the characters of the same genre I've known. She has more depth in terms of thinking and more emotionally independent which I surprisingly liked a lot. On the other hand, Xander and Ky are two typical male lead characters you read every day: one is your best friend and the other wields some mystery. I have no problem with both of the male characters except that I need to get to know their stories (which, hopefully, I'd expect to read in the succeeding sequels). 

It's hard to forget the impressive writing of Condie. It sure worked well with the story. It's poetic, emotional and not something you read everyday; something Condie should be proud of because not all authors could write like her.

Matched is a unique dystopian book developed around a forbidden romance story and punched with a poetic appeal, in replace of the cliché ones. As a huge fan of dystopian, this may not be the best book I've read but I believe that this story has much more to tell, so I guess I'll stick with this series for awhile to see how it'll all end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Ally Condie is the author of MATCHED, a number one New York Times bestseller, its sequel, CROSSED, and the third book, REACHED. She is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.

1 comment:

  1. I never liked this genre, but I read this last year. Will probably never read further in the series. Not my kind of thing.


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