10 March, 2012

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Pages: 384

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Format: Paperback
Published by RazorBill

On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her match. The Society dictates that he is her perfect partner for life, except he's not.

In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love.
How many children they have.
Where they work.
When they die.

But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy,
she is determined to make some choices of her own.

And that's when her whole world
begins to unravel...

Matched is set some time in the future after the dissolution of our contemporary society and the simplifying of culture. The characters of this book live in a dystopian society that provides everything they could need while simultaneously controlling their life. The main character, Cassia Reyes, is a rule-abiding and ordinary citizen of the Society who is eagerly awaiting the next step of her life: her Match. Earning a Match by being a compliant citizen, the Society chooses for you who you should marry based on a number of compatibilities. Unusually, Cassia is Matched with her best friend rather than someone she’s never met before. But when she is handed a microchip with more information on her Match, another boy’s face appears on the screen and she can’t get him out of her head.

The story of Matched became fairly suspenseful in the latter half of the book when Cassia realizes just how little of her life she controls and she fights to hold onto that miniscule piece. I just wanted her to fight harder. At the end of the book, I got the feeling that Cassia began to play along with Society in the hopes of being able to be with Ky. And to be honest, I didn’t understand why she wanted to be with Ky so much. He was the handsome and silent type that gave her pieces of his story drawn on napkins. Perhaps the second book will reveal their actual relationship rather than Cassia’s longing of something she can’t have?

This book got such a high rating from myself because of how well Ally Condie writes and introduces a new world. Though some may say that the descriptive parts of the book explaining why Society works the way it does are slow and non-eventful, I have to disagree. These parts are highly interesting from the perspective of someone interested in world building and are completely necessary to books of the Fantasy and Science Fiction persuasion. The Society, though a fascinating concept and fruitful addition to dystopian fiction, left me wanting more from Condie. Perhaps I base too much of my experience with dystopian fiction on the likes of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, a book which delves deep into the inner workings and emotions associated with the oppression of citizens.

Condie has an amazing talent with the English language and writes with such an ease and intelligence that it makes me want to read more. Usually, I’m not a fan of the first person present tense, but this is easily forgotten. Though I have yet to finish the book, I think Condie’s Society is built up rather well, though not to the extent of something like Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Cassia, though at first apprehensive and understandably so, is a character of great strength yet vulnerability.

After having finished the book, I can honestly say that I was left thinking about the finer details of the book and Cassia’s emotions. The book really is a good read for anyone who enjoys forbidden romance and maybe some societal oppression. Thankfully, there will be two more books in the series! The next on the list is Crossed.


  1. Aw, that stinks that isn't the romance that propels the story but only the world-building. I like a hearty combination of both, but at least you enjoyed it so much :D


    1. The book is very much centered around the romance, but I felt she was more intrigued by him rather than in love with him. My opinion, but there definitely is quite a bit of the romance!


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