Matched by Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Published by: Dutton Juvenile
Series: Crossed (#2) | Reached (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
I’ve had this book on my Kindle since I first got it a year ago. That means it’s been sitting on my Kindle shelf for a year, neglected and gathering pixelated dust. After I found out my school library has the rest of the series, I thought it was time to read ‘Matched’. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this series. A lot of people say that it goes downhill as the series progresses, but I think that’s common in any trilogy. I tried to keep an open mind.
OK, first, I did like the world. It was explained in the smoothest way possible, and there were a lot of different things going on that didn’t really seem connected. Why euthanise the elderly? What is the purpose of the coloured pills and do they have any long-term effects? What’s the use of ‘sorting’ jobs? I hope that some of these questions are answered as the series progresses, as there were a few holes I felt needed to be filled.
The romance, and yes it was a love triangle, was not annoying. Although there were two guys, Xander, who Cassia was matched with and Ky, who she actually fell in love with, there wasn’t much competition between the two. Xander seemed to respect that even though Cassia was meant to marry him someday, with him was not where her heart belonged. I think as soon as two boys are introduced, people assume the love triangle will be drawn out and repetitive. I was surprised this was not the case. (Of course, we’ve still got another two book in the series, so Xander could change his mind…)
All parts of culture are limited in this Society. There are only one hundred songs, paintings, poems. Although a motivating quote from a poem ‘Go not gently’ spurred on Cassia to choice her own path in life, I thought the book itself did the exact opposite. The plot progression was kind of underwhelming, with a slow pace and no clear direction until there was mention of a rebellion in the Outer Provinces. (Just another cliched storyline: ‘What’s beyond the wall?’)
Overall, ‘Matched’ was reminiscent of ‘Delirium’ and ‘Divergent’, with the Society controlling the lives of their citizens, even their love lives, with the spark of rebellion at the end. In fact, it reminded me of every other dystopian on the Young Adult shelves. However, there was something about this book’s gentleness and subtlety that made me want to pick up the next in the series, ‘Crossed’. I hope that the next books in the series do well to advance the plot of ‘Matched’ and develop the world. I would, therefore, give this book 3 stars, as there is lots of room for improvement, but still lots of elements that I enjoyed. Yay!