Matched by Ally Condie

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This is one of the books that tied for the February poll of what my lovely readers wanted to see me read and review.

 
If I could, I would give this book two ratings – one for the first half of the book, and a second rating for the last half.

The setting is very generic dystopian: a Society that controls everything, and is always watching. The slight difference between this tyrannical government and the others in dystopian books is that is relies heavily on sciences and statistics. People are given carefully controlled portions of food with the exact amount they personally need. Treadmills keep track of the people on them, making sure they don’t exceed the amount of exercise that they need, or if they don’t keep pace the way they should. People are “matched” (arranged for marriage) based on their genetics and personal data. In this world, there are very few relics of the past – people can’t handwrite anymore, they can’t choose how to dress, and everything is very technology-heavy (yes, it appears even more so than today). It was a very slightly different way of creating a dystopian society.

Cassia honestly starts off a bit boring – she’s a silly girl excited to be Matched, and only really concerned about the superficial. Her one redeeming quality in the beginning was her obvious love for her cool old Grandfather. When she’s matched to her childhood best friend (Xander) she’s pleasantly surprised until another face pops up on the screen also – that of Ky, another friend. It appears that she’s been Matched twice, which is impossible, and from there starts a whole slew of emotions that Cassia’s never experienced in her safe, sterile little community.

Eventually Cassia’s feelings are torn between her Match Xander, who is safe and predictable, and Ky, who can never be a Match for anyone and who has a mysterious history. This is where the book really starts to pick up – Cassia becomes a much more real character, the Society starts to look a lot more sinister, and there are big choices to be made.

Though the book started off really slow and kind of generic (or maybe it’s that there’s so many dystopain books out now they all start to look the same?), by the end I definitely wanted more, and wanted to see how Cassia would proceed and if she would succeed in her endevours. Unfortunately I’ll have to wait until the sequel, Crossed, to find out more.

Sarah Says:
First half of the book – 2 stars
Last half of the book – 4 stars

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2 comments

  1. I was wondering whether I should read this book eventually, and your review (and others I’ve seen scattered about online) have convinced me I would spend my time better on a different book. Thanks for the help! Your last paragraph suggests you’ve read a bunch of dystopian books. Are there any you are really excited about? (I suppose The Hunger Games might be an obvious choice.)

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