Thursday, 29 November 2012

Ally Condie – Matched (4/5)

Series: Matched Trilogy #1



Genre: Post apocalyptic romance

This is the book for you if you like:

- Really well-written love triangles

- Post apocalyptic with subtle world-building

Summary: (from author’s website)

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices, but she begins to question just how perfect her world really is when she notices things are not what they seem. As Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility, she 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.

Thoughts on covers:

Almost all the covers I could find where exactly this one, or a variation on it. And who can blame them? To be honest, the cover was why I started reading this book. I’m absolutely, totally in love with it.


The title is a good fit for the book. I like one-word titles and I think this one is different enough to grab your attention.


Matched is written from the perspective of Cassia, so her character is the one we learn about the most. She’s a strong character and I think one who goes through quite a lot of development in this book. At the start, she’s perfectly happy where she is, content in the life the society has written for her, but, following her emotions, she starts to question the world around her. I like that she’s not exactly naïve or rebellious; she’s somehow a mix of both.

The second most important characters are Ky and Xander; we learn more about Ky, because Cassia still has got to know him, so we learn about him, while Xander is already a known boy to Cassia. I liked Ky, he’s a really strong guy, someone who knows who he is, knows what he wants, even if his ideas and feelings go against the Society. Xander is a bit more of an enigma for me, but I really love his loyalty.


Matched is set in a future where the Society takes care of everything. The Society assigns your work positions, what you can do with your free time, where you live, what you eat and, on your seventeenth birthday, assigns you your Match. I love how this book starts with giving us the idea that the Society might not even be all that bad (for example, I really liked the idea of people being able to chose to stay Single – while they’re not allowed to have children, they are allowed to date). As the book goes on, however, you realize that aside from that, the Society also regulates everything you think and create: all the creative input is very, very limited and they oversee everything, from your conversations to your dreams.

General story:

The story follows Cassia, from the moment she is Matched with her best friend Xander. Due to circumstances, though, she starts getting interested in Ky and after a while, falls in love with him. While using a love triangle might just be the oldest trick in this book, Matched does this beautifully; there is no moment at all in which I thought their love story was contrived or forced. I can also see why these two people are both a good fit for Cassia, which made the choices she had to made painful to read.

While the world-building is very subtle, especially at the beginning, once you have finished the book you feel just as Cassia does: shocked by what the Society entails and even a bit disappointed that it’s not all as beautiful as it was made out to be. The situation with Ky, together with Cassia’s grandfather, forces Cassia to see the world in a different light. There are some really heart-breaking moments in which Cassia sees her world falling apart in little ways.

I hesitated for the longest time between 3 and 4 stars; I’d like to give out 3.5 stars. I struggled a bit with the beginning of the book, wondering why everyone was so blown away by it, but the more I read, the more I started to understand it.

Will I read the other instalments in this series?

I’ve already started on reading Crossed, because I really want to know more about this world and how it will all come together.

Overall rating: 4/5

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