Book Review: Matched

matchedTitle: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Series: Matched #1

Edition Read: Paperback

Seasonal Reading Challenge: Task 30.7, Option 3 – Chocolate – of course! It’s not Christmas in my family without a bar of Toblerone or a slab of chocolate to munch on. Read a book whose author initials can be found in “CHOCOLATE.” All initials count and letters may only be used as many times as they appear in the word “CHOCOLATE.”

Blurb: 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 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.

I don’t know what it is about dystopian stories, but I really do enjoy them. I had heard about this book for a long time, plus I had seen Ally Condie for the past two years at YALLFest. I was glad this year to finally get around to reading it, and it was worth it. I enjoyed this book quite a lot.

My favorite thing about the book was the setting, particularly how the Society was set up. It is very hard to make a controlling dystopian government sound perfectly reasonable and not at all oppressive, but Condie does it quite well. Everyone has a place and a purpose. The arranged marriage thing might seem a bit odd, but Cassia’s parents seem very happy.

Within the structure, you have a fair amount of freedom, even if you live in a world with literally no creativity at all. Art has been chosen for you, from the Hundred Stories to the Hundred Poems to the Hundred Paintings. Anything extra or superfluous has been cut out of the Society entirely. For example, Cassia doesn’t know how to write. Like, with a pen or pencil. No one does, or at least, very few people do. Everything they interact with involves touch screens or keyboards, so the skill of forming letters with your own hands has atrophied. It was a nice touch, since writing seems so easy and commonplace.

Sure, there was the typical YA love triangle, but it wasn’t over done. The characters came off as flat sometimes, but I think that was mostly intentional, since that’s what the Society did to people. This was a fun and interesting read that I polished off in one weekend because I didn’t want to put it down. This is definitely on my list of series that I will finish this year.

GoodReads Rating: 4 stars

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