Sunday, July 18, 2010

Review: Matched

By Ally Condie
Publication date: November 30, 2010

My review:
Matched is set in a futuristic society whose citizens rely on its officials to make decisions for them from what they wear to whom they will marry and when they will die. All the rules they live by are designed to give them the most productive life they can have. The story starts on the night of Cassia's Matching banquet when young people find out who their future spouse will be. Usually the teens are Matched with people from outside their own communities but Cassia is surprised to find out that she has been Matched with her best friend Xander. She is happy and relieved until she gets home to view his data card and she sees the face of someone else. How could there be more than one ideal match for her? The society never makes mistakes. This leads Cassia to begin to question her beliefs. It also causes her to think more and more about Ky, her other potential Match. Do the Officials really know what is best and what are they hiding?
Matched is a blend of utopian fiction and romance. The world building is very detailed and well done. Ally Condie does an excellent job of giving readers a sense of the world in which Cassia lives. For some this level of detail might be too much. The story doesn't have the intensity of more action oriented dystopian/utopian fiction like The Hunger Games but I enjoyed being able to fully explore the society and its rules. Cassia is an intelligent young woman who has been raised to not question the Officials. She is prepared to accept whoever they pick for her future husband and to go along with their other choices for her so she will have a pleasant life. Cassia is inspired to change however by her grandfather, Ky, and in some way also by her parents. Cassia is genuinely torn between Xander and Ky but the book does not dwell overly much on this and it is quickly clear who she will choose.

While romance is a part of this story and her Match is a catalyst for change the bulk of the novel focuses on the concept of free will. In the world in which Cassia lives, the Officials have limited culture and history to the 100 best poems, works of art, history lessons, etc. Everything else is thrown away and libraries are demolished. Cassia's grandfather has an illegal poem that he shares with her: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. The poem is used very effectively throughout the book. I love how Cassia and Ky use poetry to stay motivated in the face of troubles. Cassia decides that no matter what happens, she will not "go gentle" but instead she will fight for what she wants. Fans of utopian/dystopian fiction will likely enjoy Matched and eagerly anticipate the sequel.

Readalikes: The Giver by Lois Lowry, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Inside Out by Maria Snyder

Thanks to Princess Bookie at Around the World Tours for the chance to read and review this ARC.


  1. It reads like the Giver? Oooooooo I like that.

  2. Hey Christina! Excellent review - I'm glad you enjoyed it! Still not sure if I'll read this one, but after reading your thoughts, I'm definitely thinking I might give it a try!
    I love the way you write :D
    Have a great week!

  3. Great review! I'll definitely read it :)

  4. I really can't wait for this. The more I read about it, the more I want it. Thanks for the fab review!

  5. Same as Rhiana, I absolutely can't wait to read that one!! Excellent review!

  6. I loved this book and I can't wait to continue reading the series! Great review!


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