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Matched by Ally Condie


by Ally Condie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Matched (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,011524906 (3.76)243
  1. 420
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: Both books feature central heroines living in dystopian worlds that aren't quite what they seem. They each have an engaging romance and a story that digs behind the curtain of the society their characters live in.
  2. 240
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (Ynaffit27, Trojanprincess)
    Trojanprincess: The two worlds seem similar in the way that every aspect of their livee are controlled.
  3. 200
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (kqueue)
    kqueue: Another story about a 'perfect' society that is deeply flawed once you look beneath the surface. Both feature strong heroines who fight against the powers in control, and both have themes of independence and free will.
  4. 131
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (MzzArts)
  5. 121
    Delirium by Lauren Oliver (foggidawn, simonie, jfoster_sf)
    simonie: une autre dystopie
    jfoster_sf: Both are powerful love stories that take place in a future where the government controls their lives. If you love Matched you will love Delirium=)
  6. 110
    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (beckylynn)
  7. 90
    Wither by Lauren DeStefano (dizzyweasel)
    dizzyweasel: Dystopian novel about government control and arranged marriages.
  8. 52
    1984 by George Orwell (Kostyusha)
  9. 31
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Phantasma)
    Phantasma: Similar imagined world with similar outsider view changing the opinions of some insiders.
  10. 10
    For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund (coxy132)
    coxy132: Both have dystopian romance between groups that are not supposed to fall in love
  11. 10
    Nine tomorrows : tales of the near future by Isaac Asimov (Phantasma)
    Phantasma: Many of the short stories in this Asimov collection have similar ideas to the ones mentioned in Matched, such as matching a person's abilities and personality to their job and then giving them instruction in only that job. Most of the stories in the Asimov collection are distopian futures based on technology. And, for something originally written in the 50s... still quite plausible.… (more)
  12. 10
    The Selection by Kiera Cass (Aleana, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these series have young teens involved in a rigorous selection process to be matched with their future spouse. Political intrigue and the darker side of these dystopian societies set on a future earth add intensity and action.
  13. 10
    Die Verratenen by Ursula Poznanski (Moongirl)
    Moongirl: Ebenfalls eine Distopie, welche in der Zukunft spielt.
  14. 99
    The Host by Stephenie Meyer (alesi1)
    alesi1: It looks like a perfect world, but is it really?
  15. 11
    Possession by Elana Johnson (Anonymous user)
  16. 11
    Looking Backward: 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy (Phantasma)
    Phantasma: A Utopian novel with a similar world-view and premise.
  17. 13
    Girl Parts by John M. Cusick (meggyweg)

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» See also 243 mentions

English (521)  German (6)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (530)
Showing 1-5 of 521 (next | show all)
I'm usually not a fan of this particular genre but the author brilliantly balanced the need to introduce us to the society and the need to make us care about the characters. I didn't feel lost trying to figure out the setting, nor did I feel intellectually removed from the society's struggle. I can't wait for the second book in this series. ( )
  olegalCA | Nov 24, 2015 |
I did power throught this book quickly, but I actually didn't really like it too much. This is a young adult dystopia with a central female character in the middle of a love triangle. I really enjoyed figuring out the rules and culture of this futuristic society and thought the society was very inriguing, but I did not care at all about the romance and as the book went on the romance became more and more central and more and more roll-your-eyes-teen-ish (for lack of a better descriptive phrase). ( )
  beckyface | Nov 22, 2015 |
I did power throught this book quickly, but I actually didn't really like it too much. This is a young adult dystopia with a central female character in the middle of a love triangle. I really enjoyed figuring out the rules and culture of this futuristic society and thought the society was very inriguing, but I did not care at all about the romance and as the book went on the romance became more and more central and more and more roll-your-eyes-teen-ish (for lack of a better descriptive phrase). ( )
  beckyface | Nov 22, 2015 |
I did power throught this book quickly, but I actually didn't really like it too much. This is a young adult dystopia with a central female character in the middle of a love triangle. I really enjoyed figuring out the rules and culture of this futuristic society and thought the society was very inriguing, but I did not care at all about the romance and as the book went on the romance became more and more central and more and more roll-your-eyes-teen-ish (for lack of a better descriptive phrase). ( )
  beckyface | Nov 22, 2015 |

(Cross-posted to Knite Writes)

Thanks to cyber Monday, I snagged myself a Matched Trilogy boxset for under $30. I kept hearing good things about the books–another great dystopian trilogy, etc.–so I figured I’d pick them up and see what the hype was all about.


Setting: Dystopian future controlled by oppressive government/society

Ruled by "the Society," protagonist Cassia's life is based on statistics and probability. What job your work, who you marry, etc. is not left to up to choice. Nothing is. The Society systematically eliminated choice from human civilization by burying the past: they chose a "hundred" of everything (poems, songs, paintings, etc.) that fell in line with their ideals (servitude, complacence, passivity in the face of tyranny, etc.) and burned everything else. The only remnants of the past anyone is allowed to keep are called "artifacts;" they can be things like watches, compacts, rings, and other small trinkets. Each person is allowed one, and it must be passed down the family line.

People are kept in line through the fear of reclassification. For an Infraction, you may lose full citizen status and become an "Aberration," forced to work menial jobs, or an "Anomaly." "Anomalies" (apparently) end up in jail, judging by the bits of info about them in Matched.

My take: Neutral

The setup for this story is generally solid. Condie's dystopian world isn't all that original or fresh or new, but it is passable. You've got your oppressive Officials who are always watching everyone, invading their private lives. You've got the complacent population that's inwardly upset over their oppression but are too afraid to do anything to remedy it. Then you've got your headstrong, intelligent young protagonist who sets out to change the corrupt society for the better.

Matched's setting doesn't dazzle me, but it doesn't disappoint either. It's a solid foundation to build a story on.


Plot: Girl falls in love with wrong guy; love triangle drama ensues

So, the plot of Matched isn't all that complex. Thanks to an evil government experiment, protagonist Cassia's "match" with long-time best friend Xander is derailed when she sees another boy's face on her "portscreen" for a split second. She realizes she knows the other boy: Ky, the adopted son of a couple who live in her neighborhood (and lost their biological son to a murderous "Anomaly" who "escaped" from prison several years ago).

She begins interacting with Ky more and more and discovers he has "Aberration" status thanks to "something his father did." As their romance begins to blossom (poor Xander), several key plot points happen to Cassia: 1) her grandfather dies and gives her two illegal poems, which she shares with Ky, 2) she takes "sorting" tests to determine her work placement, 3) her mother submits a report saying that some farmers grew food illegally, and 4) the Officials begin to oppress people more by taking away their artifacts and cutting down their trees.

To keep this short: thanks to one of Cassia's "sorts," Ky gets conscripted into the army and sent to die in a mysterious war we learn nothing about in this book. Thanks to Cassia's mother's attempt to protect her family by telling the truth, the entire family gets relocated to the Farmlands and relegated to less prestigious work positions in order to keep them "from getting any ideas." And thanks to Xander (who is angry and disappointed that Cassia loves Ky more than him but is too good of a person to abandon her), Cassia is set up to embark on a journey at the end of the novel to rescue Ky. She hasn't started it yet, but I suppose she will in the next book. At some point. Maybe.

My take: Meh

I felt this plot was really slow. I mean, stuff happened, but it was an incredibly slow buildup. Chapter after chapter is spent with Ky and Cassia meeting in the woods/on a hill during their government-mandated "hiking activity" to do things like share poetry, have Ky teach Cassia to write cursive, have Ky gradually reveals his dark past through napkin drawings, etc. I mean, on some level, their "little moments" are sweet and all, but I kept waiting for all hell to break loose, and by the time it did, my excitement was gone.

Basically, it read like Ally Condie had written Matched specifically as a lead in to a more exciting sequel. It was bothersome. There were some great characters and some excellent scenes, but all in all, it was...boring. The highlights were finding out the "red pill" erases 12 hours of your memory, the Society poisons old people to death, and the creepy way that Cassia's neighborhood transforms at the end of the book (Ky's adoptive parents are dragged away into the night, Cassia's family is relocated, and they change the borough's name; thanks to red pill magic, no one questions how creepy this is except Cassia, who, of course, does not take the red pill).

There were a lot of things I wanted to find out but never did. Who runs the Society? Who are these people fighting a war with and why? I wanted to see the inner workers of this dystopia, and I did not get to. I know (I hope) such details will be revealed in the sequels, but I felt a lot more information could have been included in this book without stalling the plot at all (given how slow it was to begin with).


Writing: Simplistic first person, present tense

Condie's writing is by far my biggest issue with Matched. She pulls a mirror scene only a few pages in, complete with "My [color] eyes. My [color] hair." Oh, dear. But, you know, I can get past that. Or, I could have gotten past that if it was the only issue. The thing that bothered me the most was the dizzying number of times that someone answered Cassia's thoughts. By that, I mean, she would be thinking about some issue and positing some question in her head, and less than a page later, some character would come along and answer exactly what she needed answered. This happens over and over and over and over, and at one point, I was wondering if all the characters were psychic or something. Now, I can see the Official (the one who was controlling the Ky/Cassia experiment) being able to understand what/how Cassia thinks; the lady's been studying Cassia's actions and thought patterns throughout the entire book. That makes sense and would have been an awesome bad guy skill.

But it's not just her. It's everybody. It's like Condie works through Cassia's issues/questions first and then has a character pop up to answer them so she can keep the plot going. It grated on my nerves the entire novel. There's even a line where Cassia and Ky are talking that's tagged with "...he says, reading my mind..."

I thought I was going to lose my mind.


I should stop. You get the point. I was not a fan of Condie's writing for Matched.


Is it Worth Reading? Maybe

If you're a younger reader into YA, go for it. If you're looking for something more mature and developed, I'd pass. If you can ignore an overall poor writing structure, you're in the clear. If you nitpick about writing technique while reading, I'd skip this one.

It's a mildly enjoyable story situated in a decent dystopian setting, but it has a few big issues I just can't overlook.



2.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 521 (next | show all)
This first book in a planned trilogy feels just like that: a setup to a larger story rather than a stand-alone read. Having said that, we'll still be in line for book 2.
added by Katya0133 | editEntertainment Weekly, Sara Vilkomerson (Dec 3, 2010)
[Cassia's] awakening and development are realistically portrayed, and supporting characters like Cassia's parents and her grandfather add depth to the story.
added by Katya0133 | editSchool Library Journal, Anthony C. Doyle (Dec 1, 2010)
Condie's enthralling and twisty dystopian plot is well served by her intriguing characters and fine writing.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Oct 4, 2010)
Detractors will legitimately cite less-than-subtle morality and similarities to The Giver, but this one's a fierce, unforgettable page-turner in its own right.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus (Oct 1, 2010)
The stunning clarity and attention to detail in Condie’s Big Brother–like world is a feat.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Courtney Jones (Sep 15, 2010)

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ally Condieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aide, SamanthaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evangelista, Theresa M.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandervoort, IreneDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Laat je niet meer los....
(p 96)

Do not go gentle into that good night.
(p 96)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
(p 96)

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
(p 222)

at first when the rain fell
from the sky so wide and deep
it smelled like sage, my favorite smell
I went up on the plateau to watch it come
to see the gifts it always brought
but this rain changed from blue to black
and left
For Scott,
who always believes
First words
Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?
It is almost uncomfortable, this awareness of him. Each pause, each movement when he places a piece on the black-and-gray board. I want to reach out and grab his hand and hold it to me, right over my heart, right where it aches the most. I don't know if doing that would heal me or make my heart break entirely; but either way this constant hungry waiting would be over.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Book description
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one...until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between theonly life she's known and a path no one else has dared to go.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.
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No descriptions found.

All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, whom to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky's face show up on her match disk as well?… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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