Mini book review: Matched by Ally Condie

Quick note: My Mini reviews take on a slightly different format, in that I don’t rewrite the summary of the book as part of my review.

Instead, I use the summary from Goodreads.

Matched by Ally Condie

Book summary (from Goodreads):

On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her match.

The Society dictates that he is her perfect partner for life, except he's not.

In Cassia's society, Officials decide who people love.
How many children they have.
Where they work.
When they die.

But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.

And that's when her whole world begins to unravel.

My thoughts:

Ok. I tried. I really, really did.

For two years, I've picked up and put this book down - each time hoping it would get better, and - blaming myself for not being in the right frame of mind when I inevitably tried reading it for the umpteenth time.

There are some books that make you want to dig your heels into the ground in an effort to resist finishing the book, and for me, Matched - after playing the pick-it-up-and-put-it-down reading game with it for the past 24 months - proved to be one such read.

It’s not that the book is irredeemably bad. It’s just irredeemably boring.

It’s such a pity, because I really wanted to like this book. In fact, the only reason I pretty much got around to more than the halfway mark (and the reason for the two-star rating) is because Ally’s prose is actually quite beautiful.

She also gets top marks for including the gorgeous Dylan Thomas poem, but for me, that’s how far it stretches.

I found the characters drab, dull and uninteresting – and Cassia in particular – quite annoyed me. I understand that characters often do selfish things – and usually tend to forgive them for it, because it is part of growth and development – but with Cassia, I just couldn’t find it in me to feel much sympathy for her, nor could I relate to her or connect with her.

Her fascination with love interest Ky felt very unnatural and improbable to me. I wasn’t rooting for them at all, and I was even less interested in her relationship with Xander (the boy the society thinks she should be matched up with).

The settings and environment had a really sterile feel to it that often had me feeling as if I was trapped and enclosed in a four-walled, stark white room. 

I can certainly applaud Ally for creating a desolate environment like this one if that’s what the aim was, but I definitely think the settings is something that will be an acquired taste that other dystopian fiction fanatics (including myself), probably won’t appreciate..

Would I advise you against reading this? Not quite – but I also won’t be telling you to rush out in a frenzy to buy yourself a copy.

It’s kind of a read it at your own risk read really.

Pick it up at the library or read it only when you’ve really got nothing else to read.


Aw! So sad when a book just can't hold the reader's interest. The book I'm attempting to read at the moment is hitting me almost EXACTLY the same as this did for you. I have out it down twice and each time I resume I'm right back into feeling bleh about it. I enjoyed Matched but I can see each point you made and felt a few myself. Great review!
Bookaholic 007 said…
Great review.

I totally understand what you mean! When I read Matched I also struggled through finishing it. I recently read the second one and I found I preferred Matched compared to Crossed, so if you didn't enjoy Matched you might not enjoy Crossed!
Elin said…
I think this book was okey, but I hate the genre this book is in. So in a way it was boring for me too. For me this was not a favorite bok. So I don`t gonna read crossed.
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Jenny said…
Awwww sorry this one just wasn't for you Tammy! I loved Matched, but I do agree it's a slow read. I ran into trouble with Crossed though, it felt even slower and was missing some of the tension I liked about Matched because Cassia and Ky are separated for nearly the entire book. I don't think I'm even interested enough to make my way through Reached which makes me sad because I like to finish trilogies:) Oh well!
I thought this one was okay, not great, but okay. I read it back when it first released and there was a ton of buzz surrounding it. It is slow moving though, and the second book is even slower (like really slow - so slow that it barely moves at all!) so you are right to give up on this series now!

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