Monday, October 10, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie (Matched #1)

Matched by Ally Condie (Matched #1)
Pages:  366
Release Date:  November 30th, 2010
Date Read:  2011, September 18th-21st
Received:  Library
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  13+
Barnes and Noble

Summary -
Cassia lives in the Society, a near-future government controlled world where everyone lives perfect lives.  The government gives them jobs, free-rec activities, and even Matches - the marriage that will take place whenever a person turns twenty-one.  Nothing is done without an Offical, specific men and women sent by the Government to sort, help, and protect the people.  Cassia lives the perfect life - she is the best sorter of her complex, she has a loving family, and she has just been Matched with her closest friend, Xander.

But when a mistake is made - a cruel joke, perhaps - Cassia finds her attention drawn inexplicably to a young man named Ky.  He has always been there, ever under the radar, but always somehow exceptional.  With the help of her Grandfather, her father, Xander, and ky, Cassia will have to discover what it means to choose, to pick one thing above the other, to decide for herself.  To really, truly  live.  But there have been Infractions.  There have been Aberrations and Anomalies.  The danger is real.  How long before she and those she loves are punished severely for wanting to be free?

My thoughts -
I have heard everything possible about this book.  It seems like everyone's opinions are different.  Some hate the characters; some love them.  Some think the story is pointless; to others, it is everything.  Some thing Ally Condie stinks as a writer, some think her prose is some of the best.  All these different opinions had me wondering for a while, "Do I even want to try this one?"

Me, I'm in the middle, leaning toward a favorite.  Not quite, but I'm sure the series on a whole could someday be at the top of my list.  I'm seriously so glad I read this book.  I really loved the writing.  Her words, the way she placed them in each sentence, made me think about them deeply.  I had a few questions (such as:  what does this Society actually look like?) and a few issues (such as: there seemed to be a lot of someone thinking something and someone else guessing their thoughts to the exact).  But on the whole, I wasn't even a little bit unsure about liking it.  I liked it from the start; and I loved the story from the moment Cassia saw the "snow" in the beginning.  For me, it was as simple as that.

Character notes -
I liked Cassia from the start, even when she was "brain-washed".  The always trusting the Society thing was so hard to break when she'd grown up under that.  But I loved seeing her change.  First from obedient, respectable, Matched girl; to a confused, afraid girl; and finally to a passionate woman who has been and is being refined by love and the beauty of making decisions.

Ky and Xander are just...awesome.  Totally different, accomplishing two completely things, making me love them both.  I prefer Ky, for his bravery, his selflessness, his passion, his patience, and his consistency.  But I also respect and appreciate Xander, for all the same reasons, just in different ways.  They are both remarkable men and I'm so excited to see both of them again.  Especially Ky.  Beautiful, sacrificial, tragic Ky.

Cassia's parents struck me as great characters as well.  I loved their differences as a couple and how they were an example of love and marriage to Cassia.  She had a great relationship with them both, as well as with her brother Bram.  These are all characters I love and cherish and can't wait to read more about in Crossed.

Story notes -
There isn't a whole lot of heart-pounding action.  Actually, there was virtually none.  This whole story is built on suspense, whether with Cassia and the Officials or Cassia and Xander or Cassia and Ky.  I loved this, how the story was built on one secret after another, mystery upon mystery.  Quite a few were stripped bare, even more are still unsolved to leave the reader wondering.  The subtle evil of the Society, how well they had brain-washed the citizens, was chilling.

I also really loved how she used past experiences to help Cassia understand new things that came up.  It also helped me, as the reader, to get into Cassia's mind a bit more, as well as see the consistency in character for everyone.  It was definitely a part of the experience of the book.

Summing it up -
Clean.  White.  Precise.  And red.  Like blood.  I think these things when I see the cover or hear its pages rustle.  It's sharp in my mind.  As I write this I still feel the urge to think deeply about the story.

For those of you who have read it - When I was babysitting after I'd finished the book, the little girl of the family approached me with a soiled napkin and asked me to write my name on it.  I stared at her in shock (poor thing, she had no idea why) and asked her what she needed it for.  "I just do," she answered.  Still surprised at the coincidence, and thinking of Ky, writing his story, I wrote my name on the napkin.

For the parents -  Nothing.  SOOOO clean and highly recommended!

Read my other reviews!


  1. I definitely agree that there are a lot of mixed reviews for this one. I unfortunately fell more towards the negative spectrum of it. Looking back, nothing really stood out for me when I read this book. But I'm glad to hear that it was a better experience for you.

  2. I haven't read this book yet although I got it a few months ago. I'm hoping to have a positive experience with it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I'm of the group that disliked this book, but I enjoy books that bring about a large range of opinions.

    Glad you tried it and enjoyed it.

  4. Great review!
    I absolutely loved Matched. I enjoyed reading about Cassia and the Society. I do not think I will like the sequel, Crossed, as much though since it involves both Ky and Cassia's perspectives, however necessary multiple perspectives may seem...

  5. I read this book two months ago. It was amazing , I really liked it and I can't wait to read the ''Crossed''. I hope it will be a good book.

  6. I'm so glad you loved it! :) Please read Crossed soon, it was even better than Matched!