Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525423648
ISBN-13: 978-0525423645
Source: Purchased from
Cover: This cover is stunning. I love how simplistic it is, using the ice green and white as it's only coloring. It really speaks a lot about what's inside the novel and works perfectly with how bland Cassia's world is. I also like the symmetry the model is creating with her hands up.
First Sentence: "Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?"

Mini-ReviewMatched is effortless in it's simplistic beauty, a tale about a girl who is brave enough to make her own destiny.

Book Summary:

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.
Book Review:

Matched uses words like gifts in a society that discourages fully learning any one thing. With fully realized and realistic characters, strong imagery, an interesting if not horrific society and a quiet plot, it whittles it's way into your heart slowly, like learning to write words into the soft earth.

Cassia is one of those main character who has this amazing mental transformation though out Matched. see, she had a bright future for her as far as the Society standards go. She was exactly what they wanted her to be and she was okay with that. Then, Ky opened her mind to other things, realer things and she starting thinking about the things she did not have (like freedom) and began to slowly question those around her. Her awakening was something great and beautiful.

I really liked Ky and Xander. They stood at the each end of the forks in Cassia's road. Xander was her best friend, what the Society wanted for her. He was strong in the safest ways he knew and he was smart. Ky was also smart, always playing the game and bidding his time. But he knew what freedom tasted like, how to spell it and draw it. He knew what it cost. The love triangle was a really great part of this one.

This world that cassia lived in reminded me why our world is so wonderful. It's full of differences, we celebrate them. But Cassia lives with the same schedule doled out every single day. They don't eat food for taste but rather nutrition so it is bland, they only have 100 songs, 100 poems, 100 pieces of art and aren't taught to learn how to create anything. Rather, it is all manufactured. Ky creates with words and drawings. Cassia finds that her hands long to create too. It is true that this plot is quiet but that doesn't mean there isn't action-- there is but a lot of it is mental. I really liked that.

For me, Matched was like The Hunger Games in the way it was writing. Like Ms. Collins, Ms. Condie was a master at giving her characters simplistic strong images. Katniss was the girl on fire, Peeta was the boy with the bread. Well, Ky was the boy with the words. Part of Cassia was the girl in ice green. The girl with the wings. These images meant something and worked together to really mattered. There were so many passages that I wanted to keep for my own and share with the world. For them to understand the beauty of Ky's poems and pictures, the meaning of creating one's name in the sand with cursive words.

Matched was one of those books that succeeded in making me really look at what I have. These basic things that Ky and Cassia and Xander are fighting for are things we take for granted. I absolutely loved this novel that made questions out of the air and never gave away easy answers, and that cherished words like they were the best kinds of secrets. If I didn't know any better, I'd think we were matched.


I know this is a love it or hate it book. What were your thoughts?


  1. Thanks for a fantastic review. I've had this sitting on my shelf since Christmas. I've really got to get around to reading it.

  2. what a great review! i also loved matched and couldn't wait for its sequel. and i agree with you when you said that what cassia and ky are fighting for are the same things we take for granted - number one would be freedom.

  3. I really loved Matched. It's about so much more than who Cassia chooses, it's about how Cassia chooses to live her own life. I'm waiting here for Crossed! And look at this cover, it's absolutely wonderful! :)

  4. Just found your blog, Amber. I think we should be friends, haha.
    I loved Matched and cannot wait for the sequel to come out. I definitely agree with you that Condie's writing was reminiscent of Collins' The Hunger Games (this is probably why I was so addicted). I will have to read them both again to figure out why I felt they related, but your idea does make sense. I'm a young librarian/growing YA writer addicted to YA books. Will be bookmarking your blog to keep updated! I'm still attempting to get my crazy life (newlywed, new house, new pet, new school...) under control, but hope to have more opportunities to write and read very soon!
    P.S. I'm on the unicorn side as well. No question! And they will be highly featured if I ever finish the current book...


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