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The Compulsive Reader: Matched by Ally Condie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia's entire world is ordered and precise: everyone is guided and instructed by the Society so that they may live a perfect, happy, and healthy life, and no one has ever questioned the Society's ways. But Cassia's life is changed forever when, after her Matching ceremony, she sees Ky Markham's face on a screen as her match, instead of Xander’s—her true match.

The Society tells her this is just a rare computer malfunction, and Cassia knows she should be happy--Xander is her best friend, and there isn't anyone else she would want to be Matched with. But things are changing, and now Cassia isn't so certain about her life. She is intrigued by Ky and his past, and by the events that formed the Society. But her curiosity will come at a price, and as Cassia learns more, she will be forced to make a decision that could cost her everything she values.

Matched is a spectacular debut. Condie's world is detailed and comprehensive, leaving little of mundane tasks and processes for the reader to wonder about, though Condie keeps you on edge by building little mysteries into many elements of the story and asking many small, yet probing questions. (For example, what is the purpose of the third pill everyone is required to carry at all times? How far does the Society stretch?) Readers who are fans of dystopian novels may even recognize tidbits of The Giver, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 in Matched, but despite that, Condie's novel is truly in a league of its own.

Cassia is a perfect narrator: she's smart, curious, and observant, and she can think things through, but most importantly, she’s just a normal teenager. The evolution of her thinking, from trust and complacency in the Society, to determination in discovering truth and answers, is the most remarkable and entertaining aspect of the novel. Before he dies, Cassia's grandfather imparts a basic and powerful lesson to her: it is all right to wonder, the main propulsion of the plot. And Cassia does just that, through many strange occurrences and tiny bits of forbidden poetry she discovers, until she is able to see the Society for what it is and, for the first time in her life, form her own opinions and decisions.

Blurring definitive lines between right and wrong and good and bad, Matched is an unparalleled and spellbinding read that is as beautiful and enthralling as it is powerful and galvanizing.

Cover Comments: I love how symbolic this cover is: Cassia really is trapped within her own bubble of ignorance and complacency, though as the story progresses, she does test the boundaries and try to escape. The colors and the otherwise simplistic nature of the cover are a good choice, and make for a very striking package!

ARC received from publisher.

And if you liked this one, be sure to check out the sequel, Crossed! It's just as awesome!

25 comments:

Sandy Shin said...

Great review! I've read and loved MATCHED as well. :)

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Wow, this sounds like a fantastic read! Thanks for the review!

Amber Skye said...

This one looks AMAZING! Now I'm ever more excited. Thanks for the review :)

Sara said...

Yay I'm SO relived to hear this one was good. It sounds really amazing. And tidbits of The Giver?! Eeee I'm so excited. Thanks for the amazing review (:

Sassy CC said...

Matched seems amazing and I loved the giver and brave new world (one of the few books I enjoyed reading for High School)
The cover is pretty reminds me of the Sara in the Labyrinth.It also matches your blog.

Seahn

Lori said...

I finished Matched a couple of days ago and haven't been able to get it out of my head! Great review!

AnimeGirl said...

Oh, I wants this book!
I likez you review, too, it made the book more real to me than just the summary.

You made it sound like the kind of distopian I would like - since I'm not into all distopian stories.

Great review

AG

Alison said...

This looks like a very interesting book. And you're right...the cover is very interesting.

Rhiannon Hart said...

This sounds perfect for my dystopia challenge. Thanks for the great review!

Fallenleaf said...

Can't wait to read it!

Melange said...

Lovely review! This looks good, and I really enjoy the cover.

I'm Sharyla from A Bookish Wonderland. I really like your blog. I'd love to have you stop by and check mine out as well.

I hope you have a lovely day, and I look forward to reading more of your reviews.

Jo said...

What a great review! I've got this one on my list to order for our library --- can't wait! :)

Kalyn said...

I've been wanting to read this one! You just made it sound better than I was expecting. Thankyou!

Anonymous said...

Weird question, but what colour is Cassia's hair?

The Compulsive Reader said...

Anon: You know, I can't really recall! I am sorry!

Dreambox said...

Approval can be a pleasant, engaging reading, but is more general, melodramatic and over time. What kind of story that certainly requires a willing suspension of disbelief otherwise you will be constantly.

jimkerin said...

fantastic views, Jenny. In fact,I have to start soon. And late at night.
Study Abroad in China

lavender oil said...

Condie blog I visited, it sounds good and all, but I'm sorry this book has failed me. Nobody with a brain who has read The concessionaire will appeal the original book.

homes for sale glen allen said...

Cassia has always trusted the company to make the right choice for her: what to read, what to see, what to believe.

Dutch Masters said...

This book is very much interesting and want to read. Thanks for its review, sounds are fantastic.

Safety cans said...

Well, this is very best for them who want to know unique about matched.

Kitchen said...

I like this book and its wonderful for me and other users, I like this review and its great sound. Thanks for the review.

Mens Trainers said...

Nice review! It looks good and it really has to cover. Sharyl bookish Wonderland than I. I really like your blog. I would love to have my out-of-the-box and stop by. I hope you have a nice day and look forward to read more reviews.

Mens Trainers said...

Nice review. It looks good and it really has to cover. Sharyl bookish Wonderland than I. I really like your blog. I would love to have my out-of-the-box and stop by. I hope you have a nice day and look forward to read more reviews.

Anonymous said...

I love the book it really takes you there,and when one of the people are upset you are to you can connect with it