Review: Matched

I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: MatchedMatched by Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on November 30, 2010
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 369
Format: ARC
Source: ALA

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.

Matched definitely shares commonalities with Lois Lowry’s The Giver. The Society organizes people into tight-knit family groups, has hazy borders and guarantees long life to a certain point. Within the Society, everyone lives to their 80th birthday, at which point they die, having had a final meal and said goodbye to their closest friends and family. The people are matched up for compatibility, which has led to the elimination of almost all diseases. Food intake is controlled, as is exercise and behavior. Everyone is kept safe from harm.

Also as in The Giver, everyone in the Society has pills they have to take. In Lowry’s story, they had pills to prevent The Stirrings; in Condie’s, everyone has three pills: red, green and blue. The green pill has a calming affect, the blue heals and the red is a mystery to be used only in crisis situations. In Matched too, everyone’s jobs are given to individuals based upon their talents. Here though, they remain in school until the age of seventeen, not twelve as in The Giver. I think Condie actually threw in an allusion to The Giver, because Cassia at one point thinks about what it must have been like to be colorblind (the Society bred that out of them long ago); in Lowry’s book, everyone was colorblind.

Condie’s book is not all the same though. The Society feels more realistic than that of The Giver. The most interesting and powerful element of the story is that the society no longer teaches writing, so people are unable to really create and speak for themselves. While I was not entirely blown away Matched, I definitely enjoyed it and hope to see more from Condie in general and this series specifically. Cassia very much feels like a real teen in an odd situation, working through something difficult to contemplate.

Dystopia fans, this one is worth checking out!

3 responses to “Review: Matched”

  1. I’ve had this one on my wishlist for a while and I just love the sound of it. I haven’t read ‘the giver’ but I’m really looking forward to matched 🙂

  2. aLilLacey says:

    I loved this book and had oddly enough re-read The Giver a few weeks before and agree that i felt like i was having semi-de javu while reading this butt ina good way. I just got done with Crossed, the second book in the set and liked it even more than the first. It really kept you saying what’s going to happen next? Are they going to find each other? Now i have to wait till November for the third book. Ah!

    • Christina says:

      Haha, I did like Matched, but I didn’t read Crossed. I just couldn’t handle more poetry and the reviews told me I probably was not going to be a fan of it, so I decided to let the story end where book one stopped.

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