Thursday, March 17, 2011

Read This: Matched

by Ally Condie

The Short Story
 The Giver meets Uglies with a less self-interested protagonist.  Cassia has the perfect life, in a perfect world, and soon with the perfect guy.  Until a "mistake" makes her wonder if she'd rather have choice over perfection.   Thought-provoking, super clean read.

Come for the...
I fought the buzz on Matched until my library was plastered with promos for the book.  Turns out Ally Condie is a local author.  Soon the cover with the gorgeous green (for St. Patrick's Day!) dress was in my hands.  I read the whole thing in one sitting. 

Most things about the book worked for me.  But I have to highlight how incredibly clean it was - all while being suspenseful, mysterious, and interesting!  Sometimes I feel like authors use sex or profanity as a crutch to show strong emotion.  (I am so mad.  Look at my string of expletives!  We really like each other; watch us spontaneously burst into nakedness.)  Matched doesn't have that problem.  The story is generally successful at showing emotion, especially in Cassia's relationships with her family.  I loved her interactions with her grandfather:
I try not to look at the timepiece on the wall.  I have to leave soon so I can make curfew, but I don't want Grandfather to think that I am marking the minutes.  Marking time until our visit is over.  Marking time until his life is over. Although, if you think about it I am marking time for my own life, too.  Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes a part of theirs.
Grandfather senses my distraction and asks me what is on my mind. I tell him, because I won't have many more chances to do so, and he reaches out and grips my hand. "I'm glad to give you part of my life," he says, and it is such a nice thing to say and he says it so kindly that I say it back.
Matched is just plain good without content that would make a reader uncomfortable, and I would recommend it to anyone. 

Stay for the
writing that starts out simply and grows more complex as Cassia's view of her world changes; the grandpa; contraband poetry; cursive lessons; a love triangle where neither guy is a jerk; the sequel, Crossed.

Don't think about this too hard
  • This may be addressed later in the series, but I would have preferred if Cassia had chosen a guy for herself that hadn't been suggested by anyone else.  Ky was just as "picked" for her as Xander.
  • To go with that, I wasn't completely sold on Cassia and Ky's relationship.  I think I actually like Xander better.  This series may break my trend for picking the love triangle winner.

The Big Three
Language: not an issue
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: not an issue


  1. Great review! The cover is perfectly outfitted for today!

  2. I agree so much with the idea that sex and profanity can be a crutch to up the tension. I was impressed with Condie for being able to do without it. And I liked both Xander and Ky as well. I think I like Ky a little better, but I'm not sure. Can't wait for the next book to come out.

  3. Stacey thanks! I'm a tiny bit Irish, so I guess I have to represent in some small way. :)

    LL I'm sure I'm in the minority with my Xander preference. But I like Ky, too.
    Do you have a blog? I figure you found mine from book blogs so I'd love to return the favor and visit yours. :)

  4. Ooo good review! I want to read it now. --Rachel

  5. LOVE this book.
    So why aren't you sold on Ky?