Book Review: Matched

by Ally Condie
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Big Themes: Choice, Freedom, Government Control, Secrets, History, Poetry, Love Triangle

Summary: In a future world, the Society controls everything from how many calories you eat to who you marry.  Cassia trusts the system, until there is a mistake after her Matching ceremony, and a second boy’s face flickers on her screen as a possible Match.

What I Liked:

The World-Building was really fascinating.  This dystopian novel did some interesting things that I hadn’t seen before: the different colored tablets, the Matching system, the loss of handwriting as a skill.  Yet the author still incorporated many of the standards of dystopian fiction: the feeling of being watched constantly, the threat of government, the oppression of the masses, the protagonist’s innocence being taken, and a curiosity with history and the past.  I thought the world Condie created was exceptionally well-done, and this was by far my favorite aspect of the book.

What I Didn’t Like:

The Romance: It just didn’t make me swoon.  There was one moment where Xander helped Cassia that was memorable and made me want there to be more between the two of them.  And maybe that was my problem, I didn’t really fall for Ky at all.  Cassia fell for him hard.  But I didn’t fall with her.  And I think if you’re writing a romance between two characters, the reader should feel it too.

Pacing: The plot slows down significantly about halfway through the book.  The blurbs on the book’s cover proclaim this as the “next Hunger Games.”  Hmmm.  It’s dystopian.  There’s a love triangle.  But Hunger Games had action, quick pacing, and much higher stakes.  Matched does not compare in this way, and they are doing the book a disservice by comparing the two because readers will go in expecting a faster paced book and then be disappointed.

My Rating: Three stars, I liked it mostly for the excellent world-building.  I’ve already bought Crossed (Book 2) on my Kindle, and have started it.  So I did like it enough to do that.  And bonus points for the author because she’s a former English teacher.

14 comments on “Book Review: Matched

  1. Debz says:

    The world-building was my favorite part of this book. I love good world-building in dystopia, and this book has some of the best. I really enjoyed the pacing, but I know others who didn't. Crossed is even slower, but I still loved it, so hopefully you'll like it, too. I hate it when anything is compared to the Hunger Games, because it isn't a fair comparison at all. It's just a marketing ploy to pull in new readers. Thanks for your honest review. Keep being awesome!

  2. LHughes says:

    I definitely agree with you that this book has some of the best world-building!I'm glad you enjoyed Crossed! So far I'm liking it because I find the parts from Ky's point-of-view interesting and refreshing.Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. fakesteph says:

    I'm sorry that you didn't love it. I really loved this one, but Crossed fell a bit flat for me (it is still half read next to my bed). It is WAY quieter than the Hunger Games, but I kind of liked it.

  4. I just got this one a couple of weeks ago. I'm sorry to hear you didn't love it! But I agree with you – publishers need to quit comparing all these books to The Hunger Games, because while it may cause someone to pick up the book and/or buy it, once they start reading, that comparison will most likely leave them expecting a story just as powerful as THG, and that's hard to do. Great review, Lauren!

  5. Yes, I agree with everything you said here. Unfortunately, I don't foresee you enjoying Crossed that much more, but I look forward to seeing your thoughts on it. 🙂

  6. I'm not terribly interested in this one, but thanks for breaking down what did and did not work. I do think the world the author created sounds pretty cool, but I do want the romances to work a bit more if they are going to be there…especially with a love triangle, since it's so overused these days.-lauren

  7. LHughes says:

    I was sort of enjoying Crossed, but I'm at 40% on my Kindle and it's moving pretty slow. And I'm being a bad girl and trying to read more than one book at once (I normally don't do that because I always pick favorites and one ends up getting less of my attention if I would just FOCUS and give it a chance.)

  8. LHughes says:

    I'd still give Matched a shot! It has some GREAT world-building. I'll be curious what you think if/when you do pick it up!

  9. LHughes says:

    I chugging away on Crossed. It's slow going though…

  10. LHughes says:

    I totally agree about love triangles being overused. And this one definitely wasn't one of the better ones.But definitely check it out (at the library?) if you want to give the world-building a shot. That part was fascinating.Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Aylee says:

    Great points here. I think I liked this one more than you because I completely agree about the world building and I seem to have a higher tolerance for slower paced books than the average reader. I'm still pretty hesitant to start reading Crossed though after reading some not so great reviews…. I don't know, I probably will before Reached comes out I guess.

  12. LHughes says:

    I have a really low tolerance for slow paced books. I'll still read them, but it's one of the first things I notice and comment on usually.Hopefully it translates into my own writing being fast paced if it's something I pay attention to. I'd probably cry if someone called something I wrote slow. Agh!

  13. Sorry you didn't love it.This is one of my favs. :)LOVE your background/wallpaper btw.

  14. LHughes says:

    I'd read so many good reviews and was looking forward to it so much that maybe I built it up too much.I'm glad I finally found a background I love :)I totally have a serious thing for typewriters. hehe

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