Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

I've had Matched on my wish list at Paperback Swap since its release but when I saw a copy at Sam's Wholesale Club for a reasonable price, I snatched it up. It seemed a likely candidate to help me break my reading slump and, as it turned out, Matched definitely helped me get back into my reading groove.

Cassia has always been very trusting and obedient. When the book opens, she's excited about her Matching banquet, where she'll see the name and face of the boy she'll eventually marry. She's particularly excited to find out she's matched to a good friend, Xander, but when she begins to read the data about him, another face briefly flashes onto her screen and then disappears. She knows that face, as well. Did the Society make a mistake when matching her? Why is the other boy, Ky, labelled in a way that makes it impossible for him to be matched?

When Cassia and Ky end up on a work team together and find that sparks are flying, Cassia becomes determined to find answers while fighting her urge to let go of her Xander, whom she knows to be an excellent match.

I was expecting a run-of-the-mill dystopian novel, to be honest, but I found smart, thought-provoking writing, likable characters and a dilemma easy to find yourself quickly invested in, along with a nicely fast-moving plot with moments of slow build.

In a Twitter chat, this week, author Jay Kristoff said, "I think the most important thing to remember when worldbuilding is that worlds are populated by PEOPLE. Character first. Always." That's where Ally Condie really shines. Her characters are believable and the world seems to be built around them not designed first and populated later. While there are times that you feel like, "Sigh, another dystopian. Same old struggle against the powers plotline," Matched is suitably unique and I'm quite anxious to read the next book in the series. There was a bit of a cliff-hanger ending but the book pretty much felt complete to me.

Recommended to lovers of Young Adult dystopian fiction. Light reading, quick-paced but with well-rounded characters and very good writing.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Fun dystopian? One hardly sees those words together, does one?

    But, it sounds like a good read so I'll be watching for it.


  2. CJ,

    It's somewhat less sinister than a lot of dystopian books and I liked the relationship. That's what I mean by "fun". :) I really enjoyed it.

  3. I am listening to this one on audio right now! I will have to let you know what I think of it!

  4. I have had this on my wish list for ages, too. Good review!

  5. I'm glad you got to read this one. I liked it but the second one wasn't that impressive.

  6. I really like Matched too, and Crossed (the sequel) is good as well. I totally know what you mean about the "same old" with all of the dystopian fiction lately - I'm wondering when the popularity is going to hit saturation and burnout. I love the genre, but there's definitely quite a mix of them out right now.

  7. Glad you liked this one :)

  8. Zibilee,

    I can't wait to hear what you think!


    I think it's a good one. Most notably, I really liked the three characters and could see the heroine going either way. It's nice when neither guy really stands out in a love triangle. Thank you!


    I've heard that! I went to my library to see if they had Crossed today, actually. Nope. They don't even have Matched, so I guess I'll just have to wait. But, I do want to read the second book, even though I've noticed several people referred to it more as a "placeholder" than a book that stands well on its own.


    Oh, good, I've probably read your review but I'm glad you liked Crossed. Your taste and mine run pretty close.

    It's a sad fact that publishing is trendy, so eventually the dystopian craze will die out (hopefully *after* we've all burned out on it) and then we'll either have to read the old titles when we're craving dystopian reads (there ought to be plenty) or just move on to the next trend. I've always found that kind of irritating, but it is what it is. TV is that way, too, I suppose.


    I did, I did. Thank you. I seem to recall that you liked this one, but I might be confusing it with another YA that I was dying to read. :)

  9. I also enjoyed this book for many of the reasons you stated. I agree with you and that quote that characters are more important than world building. You can have the most fascinating world ever but if you don't care about the characters, it doesn't matter.

    Good review!

  10. DT & SS,

    Isn't that a wonderful quote? I'm glad you enjoyed Matched, too. I'm going to be tapping my toes, waiting for the next in the series to come out in paperback. It could be a long wait.


  11. I just received this as a gift yesterday and CANNOT WAIT to read it. It sounds soooo good!

  12. Joanna,

    I hope you love it as much as I did!


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