Matched (Matched Trilogy Series #1)

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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...

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky's face show up on her match disk as well? She's told it was an error, but something once noticed clamors for attention, and now Cassia can't look away. Ky has many secrets, but the most stunning to Cassia is something she never suspected still existed: creativity. As they fall in love, Cassia's eyes are opened to the truth of the Society, and she knows she can no longer blindly follow its dictates. But the Society isn't through with them, and things get much, much uglier. Condie's enthralling and twisty dystopian plot is well served by her intriguing characters and fine writing. While the ending is unresolved (the book is first in a trilogy), Cassia's metamorphosis is gripping and satisfying. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Seventeen-year-old Cassia has reached an important milestone. According to the Society, she is now both eligible and suitable to be Matched with her life partner. She feels a blend of excitement and trepidation as she approaches City Hall. Then she sees it—the face of her life partner—on the screen, and it is Xander, the best friend she has known her whole life. It's remarkably unusual for a Matched pair to originate in the same province, but it feels right. Or does it? Didn't the screen also show Cassia another face, that of a mysterious boy she knows named Ky? Which one really is her Match? What does it mean to be Matched to two people? How could the Society—responsible for everything from nutritional servings to housing, schooling and job assignment to movies and culture, and health, life and death—have made such a mistake? The death of her beloved grandfather and a series of decisions by the Society cause Cassia to question the foundation of the government that both shelters and smothers her family. This dystopic love story is the first book in a trilogy. In spite of similarities to previous dystopia tales, Condie's work feels fresh and original. Cassia is a believable, complex, poetic character and her struggles for understanding and justice ring true. Librarians who select this book should be aware that they will also need to reserve funds for books 2 and 3 upon their release. Readers will be waiting. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
VOYA - Ava Edhe
According to the Society, whose Officials make all the rules and provide for all needs, Cassia's perfect match is a boy she's known all her life: Xander. At seventeen, the two have a dreamlike matching night in person, unlike most matches, which must be viewed on a screen due to physical distance. No one ever has two matches, but the next day when Cassia faithfully uses her microcard to view Xander's picture and information, his picture disappears, only to be replaced by Ky, another local boy. Ky is an aberration and therefore unmatchable, yet Society has matched the two as an experiment unbeknownst to them. Society has created a perfect world without disease or struggle, but it has stolen all freedom and choice in exchange. Cassia discovers the difference between loving and being in love, thanks to her grandfather's secret gift of a poem—"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"—along with his last bit of wisdom that it is okay "to wonder." This powerful debut novel, the first in a trilogy, demonstrates mastery of metaphor and characters that are strongly rendered. Reminiscent in tone and style to the Hunger Games series (Scholastic), this engrossing, futuristic, dystopian read will satisfy readers. The author does a frighteningly believable job of building a new world, and the romantic cover art symbolically represents Cassia's plight. It is a great read for fans of Meyer, Collins, and Lowry, and the story will linger with readers. Reviewer: Ava Edhe
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In a story that is at once evocative of Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), George Orwell's 1984, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Condie introduces readers to the "perfect" Society. Cassia Reyes is a model student, daughter, and citizen. How could she not be when the Society has everything planned and functioning perfectly? All of her needs are met: food, shelter, education, career training, and even her future husband are selected by officials who know what is best for each individual by studying statistical data and probable odds. She even knows when she will die, on her 80th birthday, just as the Society dictates. At her Match Banquet she is paired with Xander, her best friend and certainly her soul mate. But when a computer error shows her the face of Ky, an Aberration, instead of Xander, cracks begin to appear in the Society's facade of perfection. A series of events also shakes her dedication to Xander and puts her future in jeopardy. Cassia exhibits some characteristics of Winston Smith and Lenina Crowne in her silent rebellion against societal control and in her illicit friendship with Ky but ultimately, and more satisfyingly, she is more like Lowry's Jonas. Her awakening and development are realistically portrayed, and supporting characters like Cassia's parents and her grandfather add depth to the story. The biggest flaw is that the story is not finished. Fans of the Giver will devour this book and impatiently demand the next installment.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews

In a tranquil future with clean streets and no illness, Cassia excitedly anticipates learning who will be her government-dictated marriage Match. Shockingly, it's her friend Xander. But when Cassia slides Xander's microcard into her port to learn his data (a system designed for the more typical Match to a stranger), Xander's face on the portscreen dissolves—and another face appears. It's Ky, their friend who's an Aberration, prohibited from Matching. This unheard-of glitch, along with an outlawed gift from her grandfather, sows doubt in Cassia's mind. She begins to want the forbidden: to run outdoors, to write words with her fingers instead of manipulating them on a screen, to read poetry beyond the sanctioned Hundred Poems—and she wants Ky, who feels the same. Condie peels back layer after dystopic layer at breakneck speed, Dylan Thomas reverberating throughout. If the Society's at war, who's the enemy? Of the three tablets carried by everyone, what does the red one do? Detractors will legitimately cite less-than-subtle morality and similarities to The Giver, but this one's a fierce, unforgettable page-turner in its own right. (Science fiction/romance. YA)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525423645
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Series: Matched Trilogy Series, #1
  • Pages: 369
  • Sales rank: 143,173
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.24 (w) x 11.70 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.

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Read an Excerpt


Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren’t white or feathered; they’re green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I move—first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesn’t worry me; neither do the stars ahead.

I smile at myself, at the foolishness of my imagination. People cannot fly, though before the Society, there were myths about those who could. I saw a painting of them once. White wings, blue sky, gold circles above their heads, eyes turned up in surprise as though they couldn’t believe what the artist had painted them doing, couldn’t believe that their feet didn’t touch the ground.

Those stories weren’t true. I know that. But tonight, it’s easy to forget. The air train glides through the starry night so smoothly and my heart pounds so quickly that it feels as though I could soar into the sky at any moment.

“What are you smiling about?” Xander wonders as I smooth the folds of my green silk dress down neat.

“Everything,” I tell him, and it’s true. I’ve waited so long for this: for my Match Banquet. Where I’ll see, for the first  time, the face of the boy who will be my Match. It will be the first time I hear his name.

I can’t wait. As quickly as the air train moves, it still isn’t fast enough. It hushes through the night, its sound a background for the low rain of our parents’ voices, the lightning-quick beats of my heart.

Perhaps Xander can hear my heart pounding, too, because he asks, “Are you nervous?” In the seat next to him, Xander’s older brother begins to tell my mother the story of his Match Banquet. It won’t be long now until Xander and I have our own stories to tell.

“No,” I say. But Xander’s my best friend. He knows me too well.

“You lie,” he teases. “You are nervous.”

“Aren’t you?”

“Not me. I’m ready.” He says it without hesitation, and I believe him. Xander is the kind of person who is sure about what he wants.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re nervous, Cassia,” he says, gentle now. “Almost ninety-three percent of those attending their Match Banquet exhibit some signs of nervousness.”

“Did you memorize all of the official Matching material?”

“Almost,” Xander says, grinning. He holds his hands out as if to say, What did you expect?

The gesture makes me laugh, and besides, I memorized  all of the material, too. It’s easy to do when you read it so many times, when the decision is so important. “So you’re in the minority,” I say. “The seven percent who don’t show any nerves at all.”

“Of course,” he agrees.

“How could you tell I was nervous?”

“Because you keep opening and closing that.” Xander points to the golden object in my hands. “I didn’t know you had an artifact.” A few treasures from the past float around among us. Though citizens of the Society are allowed one artifact each, they are hard to come by. Unless you had ancestors who took care to pass things along through the years.

“I didn’t, until a few hours ago,” I tell him. “Grandfather gave it to me for my birthday. It belonged to his mother.”

“What’s it called?” Xander asks.

“A compact,” I say. I like the name very much. Compact means small. I am small. I also like the way it sounds when you say it: com-pact. Saying the word makes a sound like the one the artifact itself makes when it snaps shut.

“What do the initials and numbers mean?”

“I’m not sure.” I run my finger across the letters ACM and the numbers 1940 carved across the golden surface. “But look,” I tell him, popping the compact open to show him the inside: a little mirror, made of real glass, and a small hollow where the original owner once stored powder for her face, according to Grandfather. Now, I use it to hold the three  emergency tablets that everyone carries—one green, one blue, one red.

“That’s convenient,” Xander says. He stretches out his arms in front of him and I notice that he has an artifact, too—a pair of shiny platinum cuff links. “My father lent me these, but you can’t put anything in them. They’re completely useless.”

“They look nice, though.” My gaze travels up to Xander’s face, to his bright blue eyes and blond hair above his dark suit and white shirt. He’s always been handsome, even when we were little, but I’ve never seen him dressed up like this. Boys don’t have as much leeway in choosing clothes as girls do. One suit looks much like another. Still, they get to select the color of their shirts and cravats, and the quality of the material is much finer than the material used for plainclothes. “You look nice.” The girl who finds out that he’s her Match will be thrilled.

“Nice?” Xander says, lifting his eyebrows. “That’s all?”

“Xander,” his mother says next to him, amusement mingled with reproach in her voice.

You look beautiful,” Xander tells me, and I flush a little even though I’ve known Xander all my life. I feel beautiful, in this dress: ice green, floating, full-skirted. The unaccustomed smoothness of silk against my skin makes me feel lithe and graceful.

Next to me, my mother and father each draw a breath as City Hall comes into view, lit up white and blue and sparkling with the special occasion lights that indicate a celebration is  taking place. I can’t see the marble stairs in front of the Hall yet, but I know that they will be polished and shining. All my life I have waited to walk up those clean marble steps and through the doors of the Hall, a building I have seen from a distance but never entered.

I want to open the compact and check in the mirror to make sure I look my best. But I don’t want to seem vain, so I sneak a glance at my face in its surface instead.

The rounded lid of the compact distorts my features a little, but it’s still me. My green eyes. My coppery-brown hair, which looks more golden in the compact than it does in real life. My straight small nose. My chin with a trace of a dimple like my grandfather’s. All the outward characteristics that make me Cassia Maria Reyes, seventeen years old exactly.

I turn the compact over in my hands, looking at how perfectly the two sides fit together. My Match is already coming together just as neatly, beginning with the fact that I am here tonight. Since my birthday falls on the fifteenth, the day the Banquet is held each month, I’d always hoped that I might be Matched on my actual birthday—but I knew it might not happen. You can be called up for your Banquet anytime during the year after you turn seventeen. When the notification came across the port two weeks ago that I would, indeed, be Matched on the day of my birthday, I could almost hear the clean snap of the pieces fitting into place, exactly as I’ve dreamed for so long.

Because although I haven’t even had to wait a full day for my Match, in some ways I have waited all my life.

“Cassia,” my mother says, smiling at me. I blink and look up, startled. My parents stand up, ready to disembark. Xander stands, too, and straightens his sleeves. I hear him take a deep breath, and I smile to myself. Maybe he is a little nervous after all.

“Here we go,” he says to me. His smile is so kind and good; I’m glad we were called up the same month. We’ve shared so much of childhood, it seems we should share the end of it, too.

I smile back at him and give him the best greeting we have in the Society. “I wish you optimal results,” I tell Xander.

“You too, Cassia,” he says.

As we step off the air train and walk toward City Hall, my parents each link an arm through mine. I am surrounded, as I always have been, by their love.

It is only the three of us tonight. My brother, Bram, can’t come to the Match Banquet because he is under seventeen, too young to attend. The first one you attend is always your own. I, however, will be able to attend Bram’s banquet because I am the older sibling. I smile to myself, wondering what Bram’s Match will be like. In seven years I will find out.

But tonight is my night.

It is easy to identify those of us being Matched; not only are we younger than all of the others, but we also float along  in beautiful dresses and tailored suits while our parents and older siblings walk around in plainclothes, a background against which we bloom. The City Officials smile proudly at us, and my heart swells as we enter the Rotunda.

In addition to Xander, who waves good-bye to me as he crosses the room to his seating area, I see another girl I know named Lea. She picked the bright red dress. It is a good choice for her, because she is beautiful enough that standing out works in her favor. She looks worried, however, and she keeps twisting her artifact, a jeweled red bracelet. I am a little surprised to see Lea there. I would have picked her for a Single.

“Look at this china,” my father says as we find our place at the Banquet tables. “It reminds me of the Wedgwood pieces we found last year . . .”

My mother looks at me and rolls her eyes in amusement. Even at the Match Banquet, my father can’t stop himself from noticing these things. My father spends months working in old neighborhoods that are being restored and turned into new Boroughs for public use. He sifts through the relics of a society that is not as far in the past as it seems. Right now, for example, he is working on a particularly interesting Restoration project: an old library. He sorts out the things the Society has marked as valuable from the things that are not.

But then I have to laugh because my mother can’t help but comment on the flowers, since they fall in her area of expertise as an Arboretum worker. “Oh, Cassia! Look at the centerpieces. Lilies.” She squeezes my hand.

“Please be seated,” an Official tells us from the podium. “Dinner is about to be served.”

It’s almost comical how quickly we all take our seats. Because we might admire the china and the flowers, and we might be here for our Matches, but we also can’t wait to taste the food.

“They say this dinner is always wasted on the Matchees,” a jovial-looking man sitting across from us says, smiling around our table. “So excited they can’t eat a bite.” And it’s true; one of the girls sitting farther down the table, wearing a pink dress, stares at her plate, touching nothing.

I don’t seem to have this problem, however. Though I don’t gorge myself, I can eat some of everything—the roasted vegetables, the savory meat, the crisp greens, and creamy cheese. The warm light bread. The meal seems like a dance, as though this is a ball as well as a banquet. The waiters slide the plates in front of us with graceful hands; the food, wearing herbs and garnishes, is as dressed up as we are. We lift the white napkins, the silver forks, the shining crystal goblets as if in time to music.

My father smiles happily as a server sets a piece of chocolate cake with fresh cream before him at the end of the meal. “Wonderful,” he whispers, so softly that only my mother and I can hear him.

My mother laughs a little at him, teasing him, and he reaches for her hand.

I understand his enthusiasm when I take a bite of the  cake, which is rich but not overwhelming, deep and dark and flavorful. It is the best thing I have eaten since the traditional dinner at Winter Holiday, months ago. I wish Bram could have some cake, and for a minute I think about saving some of mine for him. But there is no way to take it back to him. It wouldn’t fit in my compact. It would be bad form to hide it away in my mother’s purse even if she would agree, and she won’t. My mother doesn’t break the rules.

I can’t save it for later. It is now, or never.

I have just popped the last bite in my mouth when the announcer says, “We are ready to announce the Matches.”

I swallow in surprise, and for a second, I feel an unexpected surge of anger: I didn’t get to savor my last bite of cake.

“Lea Abbey.”

Lea twists her bracelet furiously as she stands, waiting to see the face flash on the screen. She is careful to hold her hands low, though, so that the boy seeing her in another City Hall somewhere will only see the beautiful blond girl and not her worried hands, twisting and turning that bracelet.

It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.

There is a system, of course, to the Matching. In City Halls across the country, all filled with people, the Matches are announced in alphabetical order according to the girls’ last names. I feel slightly sorry for the boys, who have no idea when their names will be called, when they must stand for  girls in other City Halls to receive them as Matches. Since my last name is Reyes, I will be somewhere at the end of the middle. The beginning of the end.

The screen flashes with the face of a boy, blond and handsome. He smiles as he sees Lea’s face on the screen where he is, and she smiles, too. “Joseph Peterson,” the announcer says. “Lea Abbey, you have been matched with Joseph Peterson.”

The hostess presiding over the Banquet brings Lea a small silver box; the same thing happens to Joseph Peterson on the screen. When Lea sits down, she looks at the silver box longingly, as though she wishes she could open it right away. I don’t blame her. Inside the box is a microcard with background information about her Match. We all receive them. Later, the boxes will be used to hold the rings for the Marriage Contract.

The screen flashes back to the default picture: a boy and a girl, smiling at each other, with glimmering lights and a white-coated Official in the background. Although the Society times the Matching to be as efficient as possible, there are still moments when the screen goes back to this picture, which means that we all wait while something happens somewhere else. It’s so complicated—the Matching—and I am again reminded of the intricate steps of the dances they used to do long ago. This dance, however, is one that the Society alone can choreograph now.

The picture shimmers away.

The announcer calls another name; another girl stands up.

Soon, more and more people at the Banquet have little silver boxes. Some people set them on the white tablecloths in front of them, but most hold the boxes carefully, unwilling to let their futures out of their hands so soon after receiving them.

I don’t see any other girls wearing the green dress. I don’t mind. I like the idea that, for one night, I don’t look like everyone else.

I wait, holding my compact in one hand and my mother’s hand in the other. Her palm feels sweaty. For the first time, I realize that she and my father are nervous, too.

“Cassia Maria Reyes.”

It is my turn.

I stand up, letting go of my mother’s hand, and turn toward the screen. I feel my heart pounding and I am tempted to twist my hands the way Lea did, but I hold perfectly still with my chin up and my eyes on the screen. I watch and wait, determined that the girl my Match will see on the screen in his City Hall somewhere out there in Society will be poised and calm and lovely, the very best image of Cassia Maria Reyes that I can present.

But nothing happens.

I stand and look at the screen, and, as the seconds go by, it is all I can do to stay still, all I can do to keep smiling.  Whispers start around me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my mother move her hand as if to take mine again, but then she pulls it back.

A girl in a green dress stands waiting, her heart pounding. Me.

The screen is dark, and it stays dark.

That can only mean one thing.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3975 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 4003 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2011

    catching story line and characters

    this story reminds me of a twist on Hunger Games, Animal Farm, and growing up. it has a somewhat common story line, but well developed characters and a slight twists on the common boy meets girl, boy/ girl fall in love then are seperated, get back together plot. Like the Hunger Games and Animal Farm, it talks about the perfect society and the limitations and control that always seems to go along with it. This is a must read and very interesting!!!

    183 out of 213 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    162 out of 215 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great! Loved it! could I put this simply???? IT IS SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!

    Cassia lives in a world like no other. Forced to live by Society rules, Cassia has always did everything she was told, until now.... She see the face of Ky come up on her screen. After a talk with her grandfather, she can't help but wonder if he was her match. Ky, just move to their society and is a complete mystery. Cassia takes a chance and does things she is not supposed to do. If she wants answers there is only one way to find out.....

    My gosh, I can't even begin to express how much I loved this story. It was so unique yet mouth watering. Ms. Condie had me reading faster just to find out what the Society was hiding. Cassia's character I loved because she was brave. She stepped out of her bubble and broke all the rules. The male characters Xander and Ky were both great. The both had distinctive qualities that made them a perfect match for Cassia. Both guys were so real and very sweet.

    Matched is a book like no other. The drama, the plot, the writing is something mind blowing to read. The love triangle in this book was absolutely perfect. I can't even express how my emotions were being pulled while reading this book. And I love my emotions being played with! This is a must read!

    141 out of 171 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Dystopian romance done right.

    This is the book for those who enjoyed more the love triangle in The Hunger Games than the action etc. Seriously, skip if you don't care for triangles/romance in YA fiction.

    That said, the triangle is done correctly and it is pretty much resolved by the end of the book. It is easy to become invested in Cassia's torn feelings between Ky and Xander.

    There are other elements to the book, like in pretty much every dystopian book I've read so far the people in charge are not what they seem. So there's always some intriguing plot there.

    Will I read the next book in the series? Yes, I really want to know

    80 out of 99 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I'm probably not the first not the first to say this (and won't be the last), but Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Matched are to similar to be released so close together. But, I'm sure publishing companies think that dystopian fiction is the next big this after the huge success of The Hunger Games series. And I've noticed that how much you enjoy them seems to depend on the order you read them. I still really enjoyed Matched.

    Condie does a fantastic job with world building in this novel. So much so that it was my biggest problem with the story. I honestly did not like the world she created. I think my reasons revolve around the fact that I'm not sure why it was this way. Both The Hunger Games and Delirium (and even Uglies) gave reasoning behind the government in place. I wanted to know what happened that it was this way. It might have helped me accept that people had to die on their 80th birthday. Or that a person was only allowed to learn what was in their skill set and nothing more. I also didn't like the 100 items things. I can't imagine only knowing 100 specific things from history, or having only 100 classic books, poems, music, etc. As much as it bothered me, it also intrigued me. I thought it was a terrifying idea.

    The characters are outstanding. It's amazing how much Cassia changes throughout the book. It also interesting to see how the little seeds of rebellion are all ready planted all around her. All this slowly comes to the surface as you (and the characters) realize how diabolical the government really is. And, how low they will stoop to keep everything in control. I like Ky. But, I wasn't drawn to him the way Cassie was. It's really hard to enjoy a story when the entire time you want her to pick the other guy. I loved Xander. He may not have anything more than her best friend until they were matched, but he proved time and time again how loyal he was to her.

    But, I don't think dystopian fiction fans will be disappointed in this novel. I wasn't.

    60 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2010

    It was alright.

    The whole time I was waiting for something to happen, and nothing really did until the absolute end. Even then I was disappointed. I felt like the book was coasting along instead of actually building up to a climax that never happened. It was written well thought, but I would have liked a better storyline.

    52 out of 114 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    Don't Bother

    Reading this book felt like a bad mixture of the Hunger Games, The Giver, and Twilight. The end result was shallow and left me feeling sick. It was a okay attempt that just didn't make it anywhere close to the big leagues. A wannabe book with an annoying female heroine.

    50 out of 129 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    Matched is IMMENSE!

    I first heard about Matched by Ally Condie through Melissa Marr who posted on facebook a couple of months ago that she had read it and highly recommended it. I immediately loved the cover art and when I read the synopsis, I KNEW I was going to love this book. I KNEW that this was right up my street and I needed to read it. I tried desperately hard to get an ARC - entering every contest I could find and even requesting one from Penguin but alas to no avail. I was also extremely disappointed that I couldn't go to BEA since I live in the UK.

    I tweeted my frustrations and how I would just "drop my life" to read this book. Out of the blue I got a DM from an extremely kind fellow book blogger who offered to let me borrow her ARC of Matched. I was dumbfounded. I've done some nice things for bloggers before but it was so nice to be on the receiving end. I can't tell you how grateful I was to get this book and I'm not going to name the person (just in case they don't want to be named) but I will always be grateful and I sure do owe them one.

    Matched was everything I expected it to be and so much more. I think my very words were "I want to marry this book and have its offspring". If THAT doesn't tell you how good it is, then nothing will. I will admit that this is the first dystopian novel I've ever read (yes I'm ashamed to say that I have not tackled The Hunger Games or The Mortal Instruments books yet although they're sitting on my shelves, giving me the eye). I got lost in the dystopian world of Matched and more than that, I WANTED to get lost in that world. I find myself even now; days later wanting to dive back into the book just so I can visit Cassia and her world again.

    Let me tell you a bit about the world of Matched and what the story is about. Matched is set in a futuristic, dystopian world where everything is controlled by "The Society". Choice is taken away as everything is decided for you in order to live a healthy, extended life. The main protagonist is Cassia, who is approaching her 17th birthday and on that date she is to be matched. The Society will choose a match for her, one that fits her physical and psychological profile. Obviously nervous, Cassia is reassured when her best friend Xander is chosen as her match but what happens when another face flashes on the matching screen then vanishes just as quickly? Faced with impossible questions and impossible choices, just who is her match? And does she dare to find out?

    I think this book has huge potential to become a classic. Because it is set in the future, not one part of the text dates it in any way - no texting, no teen speak and no stereotypes. The characters were very well fleshed out and I felt like I bonded with them easily. I loved seeing the world from Cassia's eyes although it might have been interesting to see things from alternative points of view. I was certainly curious to know what Xander and Ky were thinking at times!

    As for relationships, there were some extremely sweet and touching moments between the main characters which made me pull funny faces and say "awwww" out loud. Luckily, I didn't have an audience so no explanation was necessary!

    I have to say that this is definitely in my top three favourite books of all time and believe me when I tell you that the ending will leave you breathless for more, thankfully a sequel is in the works!

    48 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unique Spin on Arranged Marriages

    The world building in this novel is fabulous! Ms. Condie does an awesome job setting up the rules our main character, Cassia, and the rest of the society have to live by. This novel puts a unique spin on the old school arranged marriage story even though our lovable MC gets matched with her male BFF, Xander. Being matched basically means you know who you are going to marry and have babies with by the time you are seventeen-years-old. No guessing. The decision has been made by 'The Society'.

    Ky, the rebel and outcast of the story, has been around Cassia since they were kids, but Ky comes from the Outter Providence which basically means he's a savage in the world of our story. Someone not able to be thrown into the match pool to have a family someday because he comes from a place where people don't follow The Society's rules. Cassia has always been aware of Ky, but finds herself strangely drawn to him after an error that reveals Ky may be her 'match' instead of Xander.

    I was pretty torn on who Cassia should choose. One one hand you have her best friend, Xander, who is awesome and loves her and you think how awesome to get matched with someone you know. Plus, Xander would do anything for her. Then, on the other hand, you have Ky, who is mysterious and seems to say the right things at the right times. Gah!!! I'm still torn! I will let you in on a little secret, though. There will be a sequel to this novel! At the end you find out which boy Cassia decides to be with and she is just about to start the true quest to make that happen in the last few pages. So this one leaves you hanging at the end.

    38 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012


    This is an amazing book! Easy to get into and a lot like the hunger games! Great read!!

    35 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Instantly Hooked

    If you are a fan of the Hunger Games series and The Twilight series you will absolutely love this book. I can't wait for the next one to come out! The future society that Condie creates is interesting and thought-provoking. In this future we only have 100 poems, 100 songs, and 100 paintings. Can you even imagine? I also enjoyed the relationship development between the main character and her love interest. *Don't want to give too much away :) Check it out I highly recommend it.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Horrible book, unfinished ending

    What was I thinking buying this book?! Previous readers have let me down, let me tell you a little something about this book. The author took up the whole book to describe the setting and what life was like in a "controlled society". The story was unfinished, and not in a good way like if there is another to follow. The author described all the wrong things in detail. The "love" portion of it such as the first kiss and touch are very poorly written. I was extremely dissapointed. If you want to read an awesome book, read The Host. All of the other books I have read are better than this.

    16 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2011

    On of theworst books I've read in a while

    I have yet to finish this book but it is taking me forever to do so. I am only 13 an my friend is reading it which she doesnt read much so i thought it would be pretty good. NOT AT ALL!!!! It was really good in the begining but she just repeated so much information so many times, this book is begining to annoy me. If you are just looking for a book to read find another one. Most of the plot seems to be pulled from other books (expecially The Giver which was much better) and is full of classic, predictable characters.

    15 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011


    Not impressed. It was uneventful and drawn out. I had high expectations for this book, based on the reviews. This book didn't live up to any of the hype in my opinion.

    15 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011


    Ms. Condie is a promising author that could have benefited from an editor that pushed her a bit more. While the story is interesting, plausible and a bit disturbing, as a distopic novel should be, it is also flatly written and lacking in a satisfying ending.
    It is as if Ms. Condie just finished reading 1984 and Harrison Bergeron and tried to recreate them using teen courtship as the plot catalyst.
    Good distopics show us a bit of unsettling truth in the world around us. Great ones inspire us to do something about it before our world mirrors the one in the novel. This one fails on both accounts. The parallels to our society are faint at best, and the characters are neither tragic nor very heroic and there is nothing inspiring about the novel at all.
    The end of the novel exposes the real problem with the story, and that is the author's lack of courage to show the actual struggle that her characters must endure. The entire novel was pointing to the characters gaining the courage to fight the system, but the fight never happens. She ends the story with barely a hint of the fight to come, and not in one of those "there is a storm a-brewin'" kind of ways, but with a wimpering hope that maybe someday things will turn out all right.
    If Ms. Condie would not show us the fight, it would have been better to have the characters give up hope entirely, thus enraging the reader and spurring the reader into action. Instead, the only rage the reader has is over the lackluster ending to what could have been a decent novel.

    15 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Good Book... but UGH!

    Honestly people this is a FANTABULOUS book but will you just shut up! A review is what you thought of the book! Half of you people are posting REPORTS! Save it for school, or your book club. Reviews are for opinions, and we want to know your opinion not the whole book. If someone reads your "reports" there probably not going to want to read the book because you gave it FLIPPING away! So shut your whole! SIDE NOTE: Great book! Must read ( if you haven't already read a "report!")

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    GREAT BOOK (but watch out.)

    This is a good book for anyone who likes romance and excitement. I'm 10, but, I've talked to adults who love this book. I would not recomend this book for all ten year olds. There are some details that you might call mature. Also, It might not be understandable for everyone. Over all, this is one of the best books l've ever read.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Freedom without Choice - An Inspiring Novel

    Can there be freedom without choice? Ally Condie addresses this question in a suspenseful and mind-blowing novel, set in a society where all the choices are made for you. Told from the perspective of a seventeen year old girl, Matched is an enthralling and fierce tale that will keep you turning the pages. The author does a phenomenal job keeping the reader entertained and deeply immersed in the story. I for one could not put this book down, and believe that this is a fantastic must-read.
    Cassia Reyes lives in the Society, a perfect world created so all of the past¿s horrible events would never happen again. White-coated Officials make all the choices- who you love, where you work, when you die. Cassia is Matched with her best friend Xander at her Matching Banquet when she is seventeen, and she knows that without a doubt he is the one. But later, when she looks at the Matching screen, another face appears for a single second. She is puzzled, for ¿The Society doesn¿t make mistakes.¿ Cassia¿s world is flipped upside down. Armed with forbidden words and longing to create and be something more, she tries to remain in love with Xander, telling herself that ¿I must stop this. The choice is made. ¿ I never had a choice to begin with.¿ Now Cassia MUST choose, between Ky and Xander, between a perfect life and a risky one. Romance and poetry are woven into a tale of rebellion against the only thing Cassia knows. Can there be freedom without choice?
    Ally Condie achieved her purpose. This book entertained you and made you think, about what could be and what should be. The plot of Matched is very well planned and written. It flows smoothly from one event to the next. The futuristic setting is believable ¿ for at the rate we are at now, the world could be in chaos soon. Perhaps a Society like Cassia¿s will form in order to prevent more destruction. ¿You should be free to make your own choices¿ is the theme in the novel, and is extremely relatable. Whether you are a little kid wanting to stay up late or a teenager going to a party, we all want to be able to choose. Cassia¿s grandfather and other supporting characters helped to shape this remarkable story. They added depth to an already deep tale. Cassia as a main character was believable, and her budding romance with Ky along with her feelings for Xander creates a perfect love triangle. There are many other futuristic novels out there, such as Suzanne Collins¿ The Hunger Games or The Giver by Lois Lowry, but Matched is truly unique. The author¿s style of writing spun a fantastic and emotional story. When Cassia first decided to rebel, that was definitely the most emotional part. She says, ¿That¿s when I realize that the statistics the Officials give us do not matter to me. I know there are many people who are happy and I am glad for them. But this is Ky. If he is the one person who falls by the wayside while the other ninety nine are happy and fulfilled, that is not right with me anymore. ¿ that is when I realize how dangerous this truly is¿. I cannot go gentle anymore.¿
    Matched is the best book I have read in a long time. Cassia¿s rebellion and forbidden romance is an epic tale that no one should miss. Cassia is denied the freedom of choice, which shows us that a perfect society is never truly perfect. All in all, I believe that Matched is an unforgettable novel that everyone should read and enjoy.
    I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. The plot and characters are real and flawless, and th

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012


    It remimds me of the hunger games

    11 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    Not even worth one star

    This may be the worst, most boring book iv ever read. I don't say that with exaggeration either, the story has no humor and the characters are simply boring and lack originality. This book is a cheap version of " the giver" and when i read the plot for this book i was so excited that it might be like that, sadly it was not even in the same league. Don't waste your money on this, even if to were to get it for free don't waste your time on it.

    11 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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