Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Hey, everyone! It's Monday, which means today is book review day! Today I have a review of Ally Condie's young adult dystopian novel, Matched--the first novel in the Matched trilogy. Enjoy!

Synopsis: "Cassia 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 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."

Genre: Young Adult--dystopian

First Sentences: "Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren't white or feathered; they're green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I move--first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention." While these first few sentences are very beautifully written, they didn't grab my attention. What kept me reading was the synopsis/back-cover blurb which I've listed above. I was hoping that it would soon get down to the good stuff--the action.

Brownie Points: Something about this book kept me reading. Though at the beginning I couldn't pin-point what I liked about it, something was driving me through this book like a compulsion. If you'd asked me if I was enjoying it within the first few chapters, I would've said 'I'm not sure, but I want to keep reading for some reason.' Over time, I found that it was just getting used to Condie's writing style and the more I read, the more I enjoyed it. The style is definitely unique and different than most of the YA I've been reading lately. My hat goes off to the author for her ability to incorporate the values of poetry, art, and creative freedom into a love story.

Beefs: While I gradually grew to care about the characters and their relationships, the book's plot didn't feel centralized to me. The middle of the novel was a little long and dragged on with most of the action happening in the very beginning and very end of the book. I felt like I was watching Cassia (the heroine) on her journey, but I didn't feel like I was along for the ride with her.

Ending: Condie did her job correctly in the fact that I immediately purchased the next novel so I could keep reading. However, the reason I felt this way is because the story finally began to build and blossom at the end, tension began to rise; but right as I was getting really into it, the book ended. I'm almost finished with the second novel now.

Recommendation and General Comments: While I grew to enjoy this book, I do not recommend it for those who like action-packed, high-tension/high-stakes novels. But I recommend it to those who like more relaxing, non-edge-of-your-seat reads with memorable characters. Plot takes a back seat in this series and the internal conflicts and emotions of the characters take the forefront. Personally, I like an equal balance of both internal and external conflict in novels, and found that this weighed just slightly too heavy on the internal emotional side. For this reason, I give Matched by Ally Condie a rating of half moon.

I like this book and despite some of my qualms with it, I recommend it to those who are interested. I enjoyed this novel and will finish reading the rest of the series.

Would I aspire to write like this author? 

I enjoyed this book and the author's writing, but it is just SO extremely different from my own style that it wouldn't make sense for me to aspire to it. 

Don't forget to stop back in on Wednesday! I have some VERY good and EXCITING news to announce! You won't want to miss it! Til then ;-)


  1. Catie--They're enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend =)