Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

cover from
Synopsis: Like everyone else Cassia has always believed in the Society. They trusted the Society's decisions; where they should live, who they should marry, what job to do for the rest of their lives, and when to die. Everyone has always followed every rule. And Cassia was prepared to be just like everybody else. That is, until a supposed glitch in the system makes her notice someone else other than the boy she was arranged to marry.

My Review: This is a straight forward novel. There's a love triangle, a conflict, and someone's heart is broken. Whose heart that will be is not exactly a mystery. It's all set in a dystopian society so if you like your romance novel with totalitarianism then go ahead and pick this up. 

While I was reading this book I thought that this dystopian idea was clever. At least compared to another dystopian book I read recently. I liked the idea of using IQ tests, personality tests, and probabilities to determine the optimal outcome of various aspects of life. I thought that kind of scenario makes sense.

But then I heard people say this idea is a rip-off of The Giver. I've never read The Giver (embarrassing, isn't it?) but if those comments are accurate then I'm even more disappointed that there's nothing original about Matched.
Like I said the love story is predictable. The love triangle consists of a pretty girl, Cassia (named after a plant, remind you of anyone?), who ends up matched to her childhood best friend. This best friend is sweet, loyal, and handsome. A total catch! But then another boy catches her eye. 

He's mysterious, different from anyone she's ever met, and an outsider. And he can write, a big draw because apparently no one knows how to write in their world. Plus, he understands poetry! The illegal kind, not one of those pre-approved by the Society. 

I really wanted the female protagonist to choose someone else. I think a twist like that would have made it more interesting. Also because I don't care about the guy she chose. His character and history, while not appalling, isn't compelling either. 

One thing I really liked about this book is that the plot also gave attention to the love between Cassia's parents - two people who were matched and married in the Society's terms. There's also the unconditional love that parents have for their children. 

As for the ending, I love that Cassia's parents gave her the best gift they could think of- a chance to live the life she wants. It's a beautiful gesture only parents can give.

As a whole, there's really nothing to get excited about, it's not a thriller/adventure. There's no twists or surprises. Matched is not a page turner that would catch your breath or make you gasp. Condie's writing isn't bad but the story just wasn't incredible. 

My Rating: 2.5 out 5

Have you read Matched
How did you like it? 
Will you be reading Crossed


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