Lori Redman's Reviews > Matched

Matched by Ally Condie
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's review
Jun 29, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: teen, dystopia, trilogy

Matched tells the story of Cassia Reyes, a beautiful young woman who lives in the City of the Society, a dystopian society where everything is determined for you. She has just reached her 17th birthday, when she gets to be "Matched" to her significant other. She is pleasantly surprised when her best friend, Xander, is her match. But then- she sees another face... that of Ky Markham, quiet boy from down the street. Who is her true Match? Why did the perfect System fail?

I won't give this book any credit for originality. The story has been done before (The Giver) and I'm sure it will be done again. And, having just read "Divergent", I almost felt like they could have been the same story. I was also a little disappointed in the love triangle, for the following reasons:

1. It was rated G. Is there a lower rating than G... E? They held hands, they pecked on the cheek, they had a brief and dispassionate kiss. Not juicy enough for me. Give me scandal and torn dresses and passionate embraces!

2. It was incredibly cookie-cutter. Xander is the typical boy-next-door best friend- her bland choice. And Ky Markham is the mysterious new love interest who quotes poetry and cries in the dark- her exciting choice. Hmmm. I wonder which direction she'll go.

3. You never hear about Xander. You know about 20 pages in that she'll never choose Xander, even when he kisses her and she says she loves him- there is no compelling reason to like Xander as a character, or to trust in Cassia's decision.

So- when the love triangle- the main storyline of the book, really- is lacking, the rest of the story just sort of trudges along. I knew I was in for a doozy when the review on the front cover was from MTV, and then again when I saw that Disney picked up the movie rights for this trilogy *before the book was even published*. Yikes. I can't wait to see how they do that G-rated kiss.

HOWEVER. For all it's copying of The Giver, the bland love-triangle, and trudging along.. I still liked it. I'm a sucker for dystopian stories and I'm not picky. I can recognize the flaws and then still finish the book in a day (which I did). I don't think Cassia is the best character I've ever read but you know what? I still want to know what happens. It's like watching an episode of America's Next Top Model and needing to see it through to the end to see who wins, even though you don't care at all. You just need to know how it plays out.

I read the preview for the next book and was curious to see that Ky gets chapters from his perspective; I'm not sure if he was so likable in the first book because we never heard his thoughts or just because he was a good character. Looks like we'll find out in the second book. And... based on the reviews of the second book, looks like I'm about to be disappointed.

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