Thursday, January 20, 2011

Matched, by Ally Condie- Review

Because Indigo/Chapters really badly wants me to go broke on buying books, right after Christmas they had their annual 30% off all hardcovers sale.  I mean honestly! don't they know how broke I am after Christmas? Yet how desperate I am to pick up some great, cheap, brand-spanking new hardcovers?? Cruel. Cruel and unusual punishment.

Well anywho, obviously I went, and went crazy.  I bought 5 new books (I had a gift card, that helped), I'd been eyeing up for ages.  This also meant I had to leave behind an easy 20 books or so for a later time, but alas how much can I read at once anyhow?!

Matched was one of the lucky five to end up on my bookcase at home.  With folks all over the net raving about what a spectacular dystopian novel it was, and kudos from authors I love like Carrie Ryan and Cassandra Clare it was an obvious top choice. 

Cassia lives in a world where everything is orderly, everything is pre-determined and nothing is a surprise.  It is pleasant and easy; she loves her family and is eager to find out who she has been Matched with so she can start the next stage in her life.  Yet with one small surprise, really the first of her life, she realises there is much more available to her in life, if only she had the choice to choose it.

Unlike other dystopian novels I've read, Matched takes place in very non-confrontational world.  This story isn't fast paced or action packed.  There are no Hunger Games-esq killings or obviously evil governments holding large societies under their thumbs through brute force.  And yet something distinctly unpleasant is afoot.  Cassia's slow discovery of the discrepancies and slightly more sinister aspects of her world are fascinating and were a total page turner for me.  But more than anything the mysteries of choice in this book were engrossing.  Has all choice really been eradicated from Cassia's world? Or can she actually choose something that hasn't been pre-determined by her statistics, not influenced by an official who knew what to suggest.  It was this almost philosophical dilemma that made Matched so enjoyable to me.

I cleared through this book in under 24 hours and am excited to see where it leads in book two Crossed, releasing in November of this year.  With very little ultimately revealed by the end of Matched, I am fascinated to see how this three-parter is going to unwind, is it going to stay predominately philosophical or get more action oriented and violent? But in the meantime I'm heading over to the official Matched site to get Matched myself! Hope he's impressive!

Matched, By Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile, November 2010


  1. I loved reading about your predictions for the next one. It's interesting because up until now, I hadn't heard that Matched is more philosophical than action packed but I'm pretty sure I won't mind it. Thanks for the review!

  2. Love this book, can't wait for Crossed. Didn't know about the Matched site, thanks :D

  3. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one. I'm a huge fan of the ever growing list of Dystopian Sci-Fi novels but I've been hesitant about this one because of some of the reviews I've read. However, you seem to be very enthusiastic about it and I think I trust your judgement! lol! So I think this might just have to be added to my Amazon basket! Thanks for the great review!