Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Series: Matched #1

matched -ally condieCassia 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.

3 Drink Me Potions

In a world where it’s just plainly called The Society, things are strictly governed by people dubbed the Officials. Everyone carries 3 tablets at all times (green, blue and red), with the red one having an unknown purpose. People are reared for the most optimal health, even Matching couples to generate the best genes. The citizens are told they have choices. They can choose if they want to be Matched or if they’d rather remain Single with no children.

But in reality? Everything is governed by others. Even when and how you die.

This is the setting for Matched. It is a very intriguing world that sounds like it could happen down the road if people really thought that living long and amazing lives could only be dealt in this way. Enter our protagonist Cassia. She was so obedient and never wondered if there could be something more to life than the simple one they all lived out. Never dreamed of creating things of her own, just following along with what she was told to do.

I liked that she grew more restless of the course of the story. I really enjoyed the way her grandfather prompted her down this road of “not going gentle into the night”, to fight for herself and for others. It was a good premise – I just didn’t love the way Ally Condie went about writing it.

The pacing was a little too slow for me. I get that writing a dystopian novel requires time to get the readers acclimatized to the rules and general ideas of the world through world building. But, at the end of it, I still don’t know all too much about The Society besides that there are different ranking Officials and each are segregated into different departments specializing in various fields. That way, no one person would know how to do anything all the way through on their own. And other than their Matching program, most of the society seems to somewhat operate similarly to the present life. So you can see that I’m NOT impressed by the world building.

The plot centred too much on Cassia’s gradual awareness of The Society not always being right. It wasn’t exciting enough. Oh, and of course, her piqued interest in Ky after seeing his face pop up accidentally after Xander’s.

The “love triangle” didn’t interest me all that much either. I think it’s ’cause there really wasn’t much passion going on between them. The Society forbade any of the teens to really pursue childish crushes ’cause at the end of the day, the probability of being Matched to someone in the same town you live in is virtually impossible. So there was definitely friendship love going for them, but it was harder for me to see that she truly loved either boy in that manner. And frankly, both guys are really good people, so for once, I wouldn’t care who the author chose to put Cassia with.

Which, I guess, is a bad sign in itself because I’m ALWAYS worked up about a love triangle. Meh.

You can say that I’m feeling rather indifferent right now about Matched. I will read on with the sequels to see what happens, but I’m mainly interested in the demise of The Society now that rebellion may be stirring in some people’s hearts.

Overall Recommendation:
With a very promising and intriguing future world, The Society rules by compromising all choices that the citizens can make. Enter Cassia. She was initially a very boring and obedient girl who just followed along with what she was told to. Gradually, with prompting from her Grandfather, her character started questioning what exactly it meant to have a choice and whether it was worth ruining their way of life. Set at a rather slower pace than I would’ve liked, the first installment in this trilogy has left me feeling hugely indifferent about the potential love triangle as there really wasn’t much passion in them in that way. Here’s to hoping that it could only get better from here as the foundation has been set. Fingers crossed!

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