Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched written by Ally Condie
Genre: YA Fiction – Dystopian Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Page Count: 366
Format: Paperback
Rating:  it was amazing! Couldn’t put it down! I want to shout it from the top of a mountain!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #7

This book starts off with seventeen year old Cassia Reyes  getting dolled up for her matched banquet which in her society is  a really big deal. At the banquet Cassia will be “matched” with a boy in another community that will be her husband when they turn 21. She will stand and face a screen that will show her the face of her match and they will smile at each other, it will be the first glimpse of their future. For Cassia, it doesn’t quite work out this way. It’s a rare thing to be matched with someone in your community and it hasn’t happened in many years but when the screen in front of Cassia turns out to be blank she knows her match is someone she knows…her best friend Xander.

Having known Xander since they were young Cassia and her family feel tremendous relief at their luck at such a match. That is until Cassia, alone in her home, views the microcard with Xanders picture and information that was given to her at the banquet, and see’s not only Xanders face but someone elses. Someone that she knows as well, someone who it is impossible for her to be matched with since he is not eligible to be matched (a.k.a Ky Markham). This of course causes Cassia to wonder and question, something that is dangerous for her to do living in a controlled society.

This is a dystopian novel set in a controlled society that takes place long after our time. Everything is literally controlled. “The Society” controls the food they eat, the clothes the way, the activities they do, the professions they have, and the romantic matches that are made. This is all so that the optimum results can be had…no disease, no dissension. That is until Cassia’s grandfather gives her a forbidden poem whose words, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”, continue to haunt her and cause her to question more and wonder. She is no longer satisfied with following orders. As her forbidden relationship with Ky grows and they spend more and more time together doing forbidden things like writing, drawing, and reciting the forbidden poetry, Cassia becomes more and more dissatisfied with her life as assigned by The Society. When Ky is taken by officials in the wee hours of the morning, Cassia vows to find him. We are left at the end with the promise of her beginning the search. Exciting!!

Wow!! This book reminded me of all the things I love about dystopian literature. They are always such a roller coaster for me to read and Matched was definitely no exception. At first I thought the pacing was really slow but in the grand scheme of things I think it all flowed really well and we learn things about the characters and about Cassia in a really great even flow which I think was essential to making me build a relationship with the characters. I literally did not want to put this book down. I just couldn’t. I hated the fact that I had to work today because all I wanted to do was read this book. Halfway through it I was texting my friends and raving about it to them. Just the whole idea of the story is crazy. I can’t even imagine how it would be to have everything controlled especially who you marry. That’s so creepy! Later in the book we find out a lot more about the things The Society does and we glimpse some top secret information about how they control things and it’s pretty terrible!

I love Cassia’s character and I love seeing Ky through her eyes. I loved experiencing her awakening feelings for him. Everything about their relationship/friendship was so dangerous it was like I was always on the edge of my seat. My heart literally broke like ten times during this book. I found myself exclaiming aloud. I felt a ton of emotion reading this…I was happy, sad, terrified, and heartbroken. I was going to write about my favorite part of the book but I had quite a few so it’s so hard to pick one. I really like the part where Cassia leans a bit toward Ky while they are the small Hill during their Hike and she whispers the first few lines of the forbidden poem and he closes his eyes as she says the words. I also love the part where she asks him what his match would be like if he was eligible and he says, “You”. My heart literally just died on that part. I also love the part where he gets taken by the officials and she is so desperate to look into his eyes and she points up at the sky and we read the lines “My heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him.” Oh my god. I can’t say enough great things about this book. There is just something about forbidden romances set in a dystopian atmosphere that just gives a book that extra oomph. I loved it. I highly recommend this book for any fans of dystopian literature or just really for anyone…read it!! I can’t wait to read the second and third in the series but I’ll have to wait until I can get to the bookstore later this week so in the meantime I’ll have to read something else. I am so curious!!! Ahhh!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

    • It’s definitely a good one! I had originally passed it up but when a friend started book club and they picked this book to read first I went ahead and picked it up. SO glad that I finally read it, at some point I’m going to have to pick up the second and third! I know what you mean about not having time, I’m having to fit reading time around work, school, family time and sleep. It’s hard!

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