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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book Review: Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

My Rating:
Book: Matched (Matched #1)
Author: Ally Condie
Publication date: November 30th, 2010
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 Review:

If you are seeking for poetic writing style, a mild 'love triangle' romance, an insecure and constant self-doubting protagonist, and a slow 'suspension-less' plot, then this is the book for you...

Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? Not entirely... For many months I was familiar with this book and because I am drawn to dystopian novels and love stories (especially love triangles!!) I was excited to start reading this book. But more and more throughout this book my expectations were quickly let down due to the lack of suspense and action in the plot. Let's start with the synopsis of this book...

Cassia, the protagonist, lives in a dystopian society which basically controls all of the inhabitants way of living: education, food type and dosage, work specification, dreams and most 'importantly': relationships. We come to know Cassia as a timid and compliant character who primarily loves and trusts the society she lives in. This all changes once it is her turn to be matched. There seems to be a glitch in the system of her selection process where she is not only matched with one boy but two. A boy who not only also lives in the same society Cassia, but is also known as an 'Aberration'- who acquired his status due to an Infraction on behalf of his father.

The main thing which disturbed me the most of this book was the pace. There is no other way to describe the pace of this book other then that it was utterly slow, slow, slow. In every other chapter I was hoping for something exciting to happen, some action, a twist, or some hot romance, but on and on I was disappointed. I appreciated the author's writing style, which was intensely poetic and full of metaphors, but the paragraphs and pages Ally Condie decided to spend on to describe one single emotion was just at times unbearable to a point I had to take a break from all the sappy and corny portrayals.
Another thing which disappointed my expectations was Cassia. Her thoughts and constant doubts of her self annoyed and bored me. It was not until towards the end she became a bit more independent, brave, and confident. 90% of the book was filled with, 'should I pursue this love? Does he really love me? Should I reveal my 'secret'?, is the society really controlling us? Oh noo what should I dooo..?', etc, etc. She was overall a dull character who didn't entice my 'nerves' to find her in any way exciting or interesting.
The love triangle was basically in my opinion non existing and not romantic, inspiring or enthralling at all. The love between Ky and Cassia just didn't do it for me, and her 'love' for Xander was from the first page already boring. Overall, again, my expectations for a thrilling love triangle was let down completely.

The amount of information revealed to the reader about the society was scarce. How did the society come to be? Why and how could this entirely work without constant rebellions? What war is precisely going on outside of the borders and why? Not only the information exposed of the society but also the backgrounds of the characters was sporadic... Overall, due to the lack of emotion and information revealed on the society and characters made it extremely hard for me to feel any emotions for them or care for them at all.

I have given this book 3 stars thanks to Ally Condie's expand imagination and beautiful writing syle, which was unfortunately often too overloaded with poetic associations of emotions and descriptions. Unfortunately the characters, their romances (which I did not care much for), the dystopian society (which confused and annoyed me to boredom), and the complete lack of twists and excitement was a complete let down.

I have yet to decide whether I am going to pursue in the following books of the trilogy.

If you would like to purchase this book please click the Amazon Button below!

You can also get it in Kindle Edition by clicking here Matched


  1. I had a pretty similar reaction to Matched: It's alright. I own the second book, but it's been a few months since I read Matched and I haven't gotten to it yet.

    The love triangle doesn't seem particularly real to be here either; we all know which boy she's going to choose.

    These "love dystopians" seem tricky to pull off. I think Delirium is at least better written, though the premise is difficult to believe. I see you're currently reading from your sidebar. I'd be interested in seeing what you think!

    1. I agree with you completely that love dystopians are very hard to pull off in a way to convince the reader of its existence and 'power'. I am definitely also seeing a similarity between Matched and Dilirium, but so far in my opinion it is better than Matched. More emotions involved and the society seems slightly more realistic. The characters so far also seem more interesting and believable. Review will come up soon :)

    2. I agree that the Delirium characters are better. I think the Matched society seems more realistic in that they want to control everything, whereas I'm still confused by the government in Delirium--if they had to pick one emotion to eliminate--went for love instead of hate or fear or sadness.

    3. That's a good point to make and I agree. Seems like hate or jealousy for example would be way more destructive than in love in so many ways. With Matched I always found it hard to understand and believe how everyone (well, almost everyone...) could just adhere to the rules without constant breakouts of rebellions within the society, not just beyond the borders. Perhaps I should read book 2 and maybe I'll find out more about all of this ;)

  2. Me too! I felt that the book was MEH. Honestly, I didn't felt that it was good. With its slow pacing, annoying love triangle etc. Matched did not deserve the hype. :(

    1. True that! I am wondering if I am still wondering whether I should read the second book!