‘Matched’ by Ally Condie

Matched.jpgThis weekend during my transition into a new apartment, my mom told me I wasn’t allowed to move again until I was married and my husband could do all the heavy lifting. I took this as a subtle sign she was tired of unpacking boxes.
I should’ve told her that if I lived in Cassia’s dystopian Society in “Matched,” I’d already be married — in the novel, men and women are matched to their mates in the year they turn 17. On the other hand, if my mother had lived in the Society, I would not have been born — childbearing is cut off at 31 by Society Officials.
Those are just some of the rules in Ally Condie’s first of three books in the “Matched” trilogy, which tells the story of a teenage girl who is matched to be married with her best friend at the formal ceremony hosted by Society Officials. But when she plugs in her Match microchip after the banquet, a different boy’s face flashes on the screen, and it leads her to question whether the Society’s predetermined plan is really what’s best for her.
I was sucked into the book immediately, but that may be because I am wildly intrigued by books about dystopian societies — “1984” by George Orwell and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood are two of my favorites.
It was a quick read and an intriguing one, and I was disappointed when I was nearing the end and I remembered it was indeed a trilogy and would likely end with a cliffhanger — and the next book in the series doesn’t come out until November!
“Matched” also reminded me heavily of “The Hunger Games,” especially with its love triangle thread and whispers of rebellion from the Outer Provinces. I’ll have to wait until the second and third book come out, though, to see if they measure up.
For now, it’s something I’d recommend to others for a beach read.

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
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3 Responses to ‘Matched’ by Ally Condie

  1. AVoiceAmongMany says:

    In a way, It reminded me of the Giver. I read The Hunger Games before it, so I feel it wasn’t that good as THG. The emotions weren’t as strong as I wanted. The rebellion wasn’t as firm as I wanted. The characters weren’t personalized. I hope the next two are good. To me, it was just like any dystopian series. At least Uglies had a new way to judge people. At least The Hunger Games had power in writing and emotions, and at least The Maze Runner left curiosity. I feel this author just played it safe, with a simple version of a corrupt government. I love dystopians too, put I feel they have to be the more powerful types of books, and I just didn’t feel that with this.

  2. Sarah says:

    @AVoiceAmongMany
    Good points across the board — my friend who lent me the book forewarned me not to compare it to THG because it would come up short, but I almost couldn’t help it.
    I hadn’t heard of The Maze Runner, though. That’s one I’ll have to check out of the library soon.

  3. John Dax says:

    I only just finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale a few nights ago (yeah, I’m really behind the times on that one). Fantastic novel. I also really enjoyed The Hunger Games, though both of those have very different tones.
    Matched does sound interesting in its own right, good dystopian novels are not as easy to find as perhaps I’d like.

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