Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

MatchedTitle: Matched (Amazon)
Matched, #1
Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Published: November 2010 by Dutton Juvenile

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.

Why I Read this Book: I first heard about Matched from folks who were lucky enough to go to this year’s BEA. I live vicariously through you people, I really do. There was a lot of attention focused on this book and the first thing that caught my eye was the cover – a girl in a green bubble. I thought this is interesting and went on to read the blurb, which definitely caught my attention. Back to the cover – the picture you see up there, doesn’t do the real life cover justice. The actual book cover has an iridescent background that doesn’t come out in pictures. It’s just absolutely gorgeous!

What I Liked: The world building in Matched is absolutely amazing! That aspect alone makes this book a must read. Every last detail, from the bylaws of the Society to each citizen’s thoroughly mapped out life to the love triangle between Cassia, Xander and Ky, was thought out meticulously and executed well. It’s an eerie, disturbing and haunting world camouflaged as utopia; definitely not a world you’d want to live in. The Officials believe their laws make for an ideal world. Obesity isn’t a problem because each citizen’s daily caloric intake and exercise routine is calculated specifically for that individual. There’s no crime because it won’t be tolerated and you wouldn’t want to face the consequences, whatever they may be. Natural Selection is a thing of the past. Officials have it all down to a science; everything is calculated to ensure a long (enough) life with an emphasis on quality of life.

It was easy to fall in love with Cassia. She’s likable in just about every aspect; she’s smart, caring, thoughtful and she wants to do what’s right. She starts questioning the Society she lives in, which is something you just don’t do. Ky is the monkey wrench thrown into Cassia’s love life. She thought her “matching” would go smoothly (as it should have) but with Ky being added into the mix, it shakes things up making for an interesting love triangle.

What I Didn’t Like: The background story is missing from this book which raises some questions, particularly why are things the way they are? I’m guessing (and hoping) that this will be covered in one of the next two books. Also, I was taken a back by the way the book ended; it was left wide-open and gave me no closure whatsoever. I was left with a gasp. I tracked down the author on Twitter and asked if there would be a sequel to Matched (my review rating hanging in the balance, dependent on her answer). I was very pleased to find out that not only will there be a sequel to Matched but that it will be a trilogy.

Overall Impression: Dystopian seems to be the next big thing. I’m new to the genre but I’m definitely hooked! Matched sealed the deal for me. I did notice some similarities between Matched and The Giver. This did not encumber my reading experience but instead only enhanced it. It has given me a new appreciation for dystopia and thus makes me want to re-read The Giver. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve read The Giver and I haven’t given the book a second thought until now. Now that’s the power of a great book!

Matched is a book to thoroughly enjoy, not to be read through hastily. You really need (and will want) to savor this book in order to truly appreciate the author’s creation. The author has clearly taken her time the plot out this highly-controlled world. I got this book via an ARC tour, so I wasn’t able to keep it. Matched is definitely a book I want on my bookshelf to read again and again so I’m definitely going to pre-order a copy. It’s timeless which will make this book a good read for years to come. It would truly be a shame to miss out on reading this book.

Brianna’s Rating:
4 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I read this book through a friend and loved this world. this is one book I want on my shelf to.

  2. Great review! There is a lot of buzz about this book so I am glad it lived up to all of that. :)

  3. So glad this book lived up to the hype!! And I love your new review format. :)

    I liked The Giver too, it was the first of its kind. Reading Unwind made me want to read it again, funny how a great book will do that. I can't wait for Matched to come out!

  4. I adored this one! It took me a little while to get into the story and the world, but once I was in I fell in love with it. Loved your review!

  5. I have to say that while I generally avoid dystopian fiction (just not my thing) this one has piqued my interest and I'm looking forward to reading it. Dystopian fiction is huge at the moment, so maybe it's time I got into it, right? Love you measured review - I'll try not to be too let down by the ending when I get around to reading this one!

    I'm stopping by via Radiant Reviews. Check out my pick for this week if you have the time! ;)

  6. I am also new to dystopian fiction but the premise of the book sounds really good. I'm not sure if I like the sound of an ending that is left wide open though. Even if a book is part of a series I still like a little bit of closure at the end of a book.

    Thanks for stopping by Radiant Reviews :)

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I am looking forward to it's release! :)

  8. I also like the cover of Crossed which features cassia breaking out of a blue bubble.Has anyone noticed that the bubble's order and colors seem to correspond with the order of the colored pills the society provides?

  9. The cover of Matched I am pretty sure is my most favorite book cover ever! Crossed is also beautiful. I loved the story and the society. I found the Match banquet extremely intriguing.


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