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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic dystopian novel! One of my favourite reads of 2011
This book will be among the top of the list for my favourite reads of 2011! It has won several literary awards, including: 2011 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and 2010 Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of the Year for Fiction.

Cassia Reyes is a 17 year-old teenager living in a dystopian world. Teens can choose whether they will remain single or be...
Published on Dec 29 2011 by Darlene

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't understand the hype. Try Hunger Games instead
I am trying to figure out what in the world the hype was all about for this book. I heard so many good reviews from it and gave it a try hoping it was good as everyone said it was. I fail to see what's so great about it.

The beginning chapters of the book did manage to get my attention to keep reading. It was interesting and I wanted to read more. The moments...
Published on May 10 2011 by Karoline


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't understand the hype. Try Hunger Games instead, May 10 2011
By 
Karoline (Richmond BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Matched (Hardcover)
I am trying to figure out what in the world the hype was all about for this book. I heard so many good reviews from it and gave it a try hoping it was good as everyone said it was. I fail to see what's so great about it.

The beginning chapters of the book did manage to get my attention to keep reading. It was interesting and I wanted to read more. The moments with Cassia and her grandfather were touching and did hit a soft spot for me. I enjoyed reading Cassia and Xander. They were literally, perfect together. Then Ky comes in.

It came to the point where I really started to hate Ky. It wasn't just Ky I started to hate. Cassia really got on my nerves. All the chapters were about Ky. Ky this. Ky that. What would Ky do? oh, I bet Ky would like that. Oh, Ky would have done something else. Ky is the light of my world. I want to kiss Ky but not yet. Ky looked so beautiful looking at the sun. Ky Ky Ky Ky Ky yeah..you get my point? I understand she's fallen in love, and fallen hard but it's almost a very unhealthy borderline obsession and it just about made me stop reading. I didn't know how I put up with reading endless pages about Ky. I don't care about Ky. I want to know more about the dystopian society the characters were living in. I wanted some action and I wanted the plot to move. It got even more frustrating because then she adds Xander to this mix. Then it became: I love Ky, but I love Xander too. Xander and I are meant to be. Yet I want Ky. Egads Cassia, what in the world do you want? you want your cake and you want to eat it too?? At this point in the book I wanted to get in there and punch her to let her come to her senses.

The descriptions on the world were slow to come out. They were given in fragments and it felt as if you had to pull teeth to find out more about this dystopian society. It certainly had interesting concepts and the usual characteristics of a dystopian fiction and I did like the 'three pills' idea. however I just don't get why the delay in explaining how the world was like? Why give bits and fragments here and there for the reader? It just made the book drag.

The plot was interesting at first, but it was slow moving and nothing really happened. Don't expect any action until the very end, and by that time, I didn't really care anymore and thought I wasted my time with this book.

If you just want a book with romance as the main central theme take this. If you're expecting a dystopian fiction with romance on the side, but with a good exciting plot I suggest you try Hunger Games instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic dystopian novel! One of my favourite reads of 2011, Dec 29 2011
By 
Darlene (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Matched (Audio CD)
This book will be among the top of the list for my favourite reads of 2011! It has won several literary awards, including: 2011 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and 2010 Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of the Year for Fiction.

Cassia Reyes is a 17 year-old teenager living in a dystopian world. Teens can choose whether they will remain single or be "matched." Those wishing to be matched will be found a partner using a scientific balance of probabilities to result in the healthiest offspring. By gene-matching in this way, the Society effectively has wiped out cancer and other terminal and degenerative diseases.

At Cassia's Match Banquet, her match is revealed to be none-other than her best friend, Xander Carrow. As is customary at the Match Banquet, Cassia receives a silver box containing a microchip that has background information about her match. When Cassia puts the chip into her system, she is shocked to see a picture of someone else flashed on the screen - and it is a picture of another boy that she knows: Ky Markham.

Cassia wonders whether a mistake has been made regarding her match. Was Ky intended to be her match instead of Xander? The Society doesn't make mistakes, so how could this have happened? As Cassia tries to uncover the truth, she discovers that there is a lot about the Society that doesn't add up.

I thought this was a fantastic dystopian novel, and dystopia is fast-becoming one of my favourite genres! I found myself daydreaming about what life would be like in the world that Condie has created: Obesity has been eliminated due to catered meals created and delivered for each mealtime that meets each individual's caloric needs, recreational time that is scheduled into each day to allow everyone time to de-stress, a vocation that is chosen for someone based on their strengths and abilities. It sounds to me like it would be a virtually stress-free world! With debilitating diseases wiped out, each person can live a long and healthy life until the age of 80 which is age that is "chosen" for each person to die. Another interesting concept in Condie's world is that life is structured to be as uncluttered as possible. This means that there are only 100 songs, 100 poems, 100 books, etc. Condie's world-building is quite complex.

As long as you didn't question the Society's decisions, you could live quite blissfully in Condie's world. That is, unless, you wished for free choice. Even the recreational time isn't truly "free" because you can only choose one of the options given to you. Would you give up your right for free choice if you could live a relatively trouble-free life? Although such a life is tempting, I suspect that I would be one of those that would try to rebel against authority.

Narrator Katie Simses was a perfect choice for this book. Her voice as Cassia was believable and authentic, and I found her interesting to listen to.

I loved this book! Cassia is a fantastic character, and I love her evolution from one of the mindless Society followers to someone who begins to question the choices made for her. I may not have always agreed with the decisions Cassia made (for example, when she burned her Grandfather's poem), but I thought the choices she made were true to her character.

I highly recommend Matched, and I can't wait for the story to continue in the next installment, Crossed.

MY RATING: 5 stars!! Loved it!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No depth, Dec 28 2011
By 
S. de Graaf "fiction addict" (Toronto, ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Matched (Paperback)
I am a fan of young adult fiction, especially books with dystopian themes. I bought this book after seeing an advertisement promoting this as a great read for fans of the Hunger Games trilogy.
This is nothing like the Hunger Games trilogy and the writing does not come close to comparing. The characters in this book are one-dimensional and uncompelling. I did not feel any connection to the main characters, nor did I understand their motivations. The author seemed to substitute for poor writing skills and character development by explicitly telling the reader exactly what was going on and what to feel.
The world described in "Matched" does not seem all that terrible. Health and longevity by forcing good nutrition? Now there's a compelling reason to rage against the machine!
There was nothing interesting about the plot. It was a string of dystopian cliches. There was no chemistry between the main characters. I did not care about them at all and did not understand why they were attracted to each other (don't worry the author will tell you why!).
If you like Hunger Games, skip this book and pick up Divergent, or even some classics like 1984, Brave New World, The Giver, Chrysalids or Fahrenheit 451.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Clean teen read. No YA-adult crossover here., June 15 2014
This review is from: Matched (Paperback)
Ally Condie's Matched is yet another YA dystopian novel for readers looking for another book to cure their Hunger Games hangover. It is a love story set in a society where young girls and boys are matched by "the system." And, of course, this young girl is different from the rest of society. She doesn't fit in the system and her wrong choice will mark her as a threat that must be eliminated.

Matched is the first book in Condie's trilogy and it is a New York Times bestseller. It will do well with teens who like love triangles and love story filled with difficult choices. However, Matched has less adult-crossover appeal than other YA books. It was a light and easy read about following your heart and falling in love, but if the love story doesn't hook you, you likely won't enjoy it.

Personally, I don't like Cassia and I think her feelings for Ky make her rather shallow. She acts every bit the seventeen-year-old girl that she is and compared to other dystopian YA heroines, she's less impressive. Cassia hates the system, but she's still technically inside the system by choosing Ky over Xander. A true act of rebellion (and a more interesting story) would have been where Cassia falls in love with someone she didn't see on the screen.

And more than that, why can't she fall for Xander? A case wasn't made for why Xander isn't the right choice for her. Xander's characterization makes him the ideal match, but because he's the system's choice, Cassia won't pick him. I'd argue that she's simply at an age where the bad boy is more appealing than the right boy. Essentially, I felt the story was driven more by teen hormones than anything else. And I'm old enough to see that Cassia's treatment of Xander makes her not worthy of either boy's affection. But again, I'm an adult reading a book that was written for a younger audience.

Ally Condie brings a unique twist to the extensive variety of YA dystopian novels out there. Parents, librarians and educators will appreciate that this is a "clean read" for those who like the dystopian genre, but who read more for the love story. I'm not dying to read the next two books, but I am curious to see where the story goes in Crossed and Reached.

3 Stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book series!, May 29 2014
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This review is from: Matched (Paperback)
These are great books for your adult and teenagers alike! We were very excited to get the books so quickly!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good series, Feb. 20 2014
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This review is from: Matched (Hardcover)
This was the first new world book I've read so I might be biased but I think it had a good story just wished the series and as storngly as it started
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars, March 25 2013
By 
SIKBookReviewer - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Matched (Paperback)
I've been wanting to read this series for a really long time, due to all the hype around it. I'm glad I finally got the chance to start it! It started off good with Matched. This novel is a YA Dystopia about a girl, Cassia, who faces the possibility that everything she's ever been told about the Society might be wrong. The Society, a type of government that controls and monitors everything and that is supposed to be perfect, might not be as perfect as it seems. They made a mistake of some sort with her Match -- a system that tells each individual who they are supposed to marry and be happiest with. But Cassia had two faces pop up on her Match. Which is the right one? She's not supposed to have a choice; in fact, no one in this Dystopian society is supposed to be able to choose when it comes to big decisions.

The story was good. It was interesting and unique and kept my interest. The world-building was very well done. This Dystopian world was easy to understand and picture. But, I felt like there was more world-building than actual story for about the first half of the book -- not too much happened in the first half of the story. I didn't overly mind though, because I hate when Dystopias don't have enough world-building. I like to be able to picture this world that I'm reading about.

The characters were pretty good. They weren't my favourite characters, but they weren't bad by any means. Cassia is difficult for me to describe. She has strong and weak moments, but I think she will be even stronger in the sequel. She is an honest and kind person, for the most part, when it comes to dealing with the people she loves. She has two love interests (of course, a love triangle). Xander is one love interest. I wish we would have been able to see more of Xander; I feel like we didn't get to know him as much as I would have liked. But, he seems like a really good character. The other love interest is Ky, whom I loved. Both Xander and Ky care about Cassia and are willing to risk things for her. They are both strong, with their weaknesses being her.

The writing was good. I found everything easy to understand and read, and I was easily captivated. I loved that it was in first person narrative, as that is my favourite to read and it's been a while since I've read a first person narration. So, that was nice. However, I do feel like something was missing from the writing -- a certain amount of depth, maybe. Especially with the romance...it was missing that extra something. It's hard to describe what I mean, but the story didn't seem to grab me and pull me in as much as some other books have.

I would recommend this book. I feel like this is probably the slower book in the series, though I don't know for sure yet. I just have the feeling that the other two books will pick up and be more exciting and intense. I thought the ending of Matched was really well done and it got me excited to read the sequel!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, March 6 2013
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This review is from: Matched (Kindle Edition)
Matched is an amazing book that I recommend to girls and boys between the ages of 12-16! The book is somewhat predictable, not many twists, but still a quick & easy read. I am most likely not going to continue the series because it isn't "my type" of genre..otherwise it is a good book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning book., Jan. 29 2012
This review is from: Matched (Paperback)
The world this author has created is so realistic, so eerily spot on to what we are setting ourselves up to be it's almost scary. The plot, though very simple and old (love triangle) has been made fresh with new elements, (such as the poems and the matching) and although it seems as if it could be overly sappy and romantic, the futuristic world which is described in such detail, and Cassia's desire to rebel evens it out and makes for a gripping, well though out book. The plot seems to unravel, as if we are piecing together the bits of Ky's story along with Cassia, as if our hatred for society grows with hers. And all the while we are engrossed in the technical, chilling future depicted. Overall this book is amazing and a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, Dec 9 2010
This review is from: Matched (Hardcover)
In the Society where Cassia grew up, everything was decided for her. The Officials decide where people work, when people will die, even who people will love. But all of this seems right to Cassia. After all, this is all needed in order to live a long, fulfilling life.

The Matching ceremony where teens find out who they are matched with is a big deal. And when Cassia's best friend turns out to be her match, she knows that the system works. Until she sees another boy's face flash on the screen for just a split second. And now she is torn between Xander and Ky. One boy will lead her towards the life she's always known - and the other will lead her toward an unknown life of passion.

Which path should she choose? Which path WILL she choose?

Wow, can you imagine living in a world where everything is decided for you? What you wear, what your job is, who you love, the age that you can have kids by, what you eat, when you die? Ally Condie paints this world in such vivid words that you can perfectly imagine it. And it's slightly creepy. I don't think I would do well in a world where everything is decided for you and you have almost no choices.

I really enjoyed all of the characters in the story. I love how Cassia grows so much from the beginning until the end of the story when she is questioning the ways of the Society. And Xander and Ky are both such great guys. Usually in stories where the girl is trying to decide between two boys, I find myself leaning towards liking one boy more than the other. But not so in MATCHED. I think I liked Xander and Ky equally. Neither of them had any bad qualities.

If I had one complaint about this book, it's that the middle got a little slow for me. I think it plod along and some of the story could have been told more quickly. That being said, though, the ending definitely left me wondering what happens next. I can't wait for the sequel!

Oh, and on a side note, I really love the cover of this book. The girl in a green dress in the bubble just really caught my eye!

Reviewed by: Andrea
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Matched
Matched by Ally Condie (Hardcover - Nov. 30 2010)
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