Monday, 9 June 2014

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie book cover

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 2.5 / 5

Add to Goodreads

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.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Matched begins with Cassie on her way to her Match Banquet, the event that happens once in each person’s lifetime when they turn seventeen years old. They attend a Banquet (bet you didn’t see that coming) where they are paired with their perfect match. This is the person they will love and cherish, and have however many children the Officials dressed in white tell them they can have, all before their thirty-first birthday. Then they will continue to work at their assigned job and go on and live the perfect life, just as Society dictated them to.

Naturally, there is a little glitch that happens for our main character, Cassia. She is matched with Xander at the Banquet, but a second face replaces his image when she looks at her microcard when she returns home. This created the entire plot for at least two hundred pages of the story: a love triangle smattered in with a daily account of Cassia’s life.

I had an issue with the book: I was bored! I don’t like repetitiveness, and reading about having breakfast, then going hiking, then Second School, then Sorting, then dinner, then sleeping and Cassia wondering if she will dream about Ky or Xander just became so tedious!

I’m going to do something I absolutely hate: I’m going to compare Matched to Divergent. Please, hear me out. I’m not comparing the plot or the characters; I’m comparing how I felt when reading both books.

Divergent starts out with Tris choosing which faction she will belong to. She attended an event, just like Cassia does. The major difference: Divergent’s plot never stopped. It zoomed on ahead and I never lost interest for one second. There was action and something jumping out at you on every page – basically everything I love reading about in a good dystopian. On the complete opposite: Matched started out semi-interesting, and it plodded on with very little action happening. We got a breadcrumb of information here and there, and then it was back to the same old account of daily life. I was so disappointed. With thinking of Divergent right at the beginning, I think I set myself up for disliking the book in a way. I was expecting the same fast pace with endless action.

This isn’t all doom and gloom. The last maybe hundred pages or so were so much better! If everything that happened at the end was dispersed throughout the book, I probably would have ended up really liking the book. Right up until then, I was contemplating a one-point-five star rating. Two things make me rethink this: the ending and Ky.

I really liked his character right from the beginning. I loved seeing his story grow through the book, and getting little snippets of his past. I think this is the main reason I kept reading for so long. Usually with love triangles, we have the good boy and the bad boy. Both Ky and Xander have both good and bad traits, which makes them more believable rather than having the shining golden boy and the moody bad boy. If I was in Cassia’s shoes, I would have made my choice pretty instantaneously – Ky – even though there is merit for both guys. Unfortunately, Xander annoyed me right at the beginning, and nothing that happened helped to change my mind.

I’m so glad I continued on reading. While the ending doesn’t discount the utterly boring middle, it has sparked my curiosity. I want to see what happens both Ky and surprisingly, to Cassia next. I didn’t take to her very quickly. It took a very long time for me to sort of connect with her. The choices she made early on infuriated me, and lots of things should have been pretty obvious to her. She has a “sorters” brain, so she should be able to pick up the subtle differences in things and get to the bottom of issues very quickly. I don’t feel this part of her personality was actually shown properly, certainly not at the beginning. Yes, we are told about it, but I didn’t see much initially to back these statements up with actions. I’m glad I can say she grew on me as the story went along. I much prefer the girl she is at the end of the story to the one at the beginning.

It’s a combination of the ending, and Ky and I’ll even tack on Cassia, that I think are making me want to give Crossed a chance. I’ve seen lots of negative things about Crossed, so I’m a little bit apprehensive. If you’ve read both books, do you think it was worth it? I have so many books I really want to read, and I’m not a hundred percent sure if I want to add Crossed to that list. Any help you can give me would be appreciated!

If I was rating the ending, it would get four stars easily and I would have liked to have given that rating to the book. Unfortunately it’s a case of too little too late, and I like to try to be as consistent in my ratings as I can, hence why I’ve given Matched 2.5 stars. I don’t feel it warrants a higher score just because I liked the ending.


  1. Ouch! I gifted this book to a friend of mine a while ago because she has always been intrigued by the whole dystopian world, and this one sounded good to the both of us. I'm afraid I'm with the minority, I still have to read Divergent (which I already own), so I can't make any kind of comparison, but I see your point. As for Crossed, I'd personally suggest you to follow your instinct instead of the mass. What is good for one is bad for another, so if you think giving a chance to Crossed is something you'd like to do, go on. Might get a while for you to pick it up, but you said there are so many books you want to read, so you have time to take the final decision ;)

    1. I am disappointed didn't like Matched. I found it just OK, I didn't connect with it as much as I was expecting. Right now, I'm leaning toward reading Crossed. When I start a series, I always have this little "what if" voice at the back of my head, particularly if I don't enjoy the first book that much. I always hope the series will improve, then I wonder if it has improved and I'm missing out! With a lot of people loving Matched and not liking Crossed, I'm thinking I could be the opposite! Thanks for stopping by Silvia =)



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