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on May 10, 2011
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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on December 9, 2010
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 29, 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 "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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on June 15, 2014
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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on February 5, 2011
I was very excited to read this book with all the good reviews I was seeing. So many authors that I love had shown how much they loved it, along with a lot of other Y.A readers. As soon as I started this book I was immediately intrigued and had to keep reading. This book has the same feel to me as The Hunger Games. It has a different plot really, but maybe it was just the writing style... I don't know... but either way I loved it just as much as The Hunger Games. Now this book isn't quite as intense as twilight with the romance... (yet anyways)... but it does have a great love story and I think it will get more involved as story progresses. I found I had some conflicted feelings sometimes because I liked both of the guys Cassia was developing feelings for... Xander and Ky. When she was leaning more towards one of them, I always felt bad for the other and vice versa. They are both just great stand up guys that actually don't hate each other so maybe that was different. I loved the world this book takes place in; it's so different from anything we could even imagine. Having everything decided for you... no choices what so ever! I like when Cassia starts to put things together and starts to have her own feelings with what should be going on. Getting to the end of the book was so intense, I was so tired, eyes blurred and burning from long hours of reading but I just could not put it down... I had to find out what happened. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book "Crossed" due out Nov. 2011!
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on October 1, 2015
In a world where everything is controlled for you by the sorting of numbers. From who you’ll marry, the job you’ll have, they even promise you a fulfilling life all the way up to age eighty, where you pass away peacefully never feeling useless or unwanted. Your life is controlled by three tablets: green, blue and red. No one knows what the red tablet does, people believe it is a death tablet, but the Society fends off those rumors. The blue tablet is given at age 10; it is filled with enough nutrients to keep you alive for several days. The green tablet is given at age 13; it will make you calm, but you can only use it once a week. The red tablet is given at age 16, and is only to be used when instructed. Where the world is finally at a state of content, the Society seems perfect on the outside. But inside at Mapletree Borough, one girl finds the flaw that runs deep into the bones of the way of life.

Cassia follows the rules. She always had, and thought she always would. Her family consists of her mother, father and little brother Bram, who have lived in Mapletree Borough all their life. Everything was peaceful, or so they thought. The day of the Match Banquet was a series of preparation for the girls of Mapletree. As at age seventeen the girls will find out which boy they have been destined to marry, and a chance to show off their beauty by wearing colorful dresses, instead of their regular brown, black or gray clothes. Cassia was especially excited as this was the day she’s been dreaming of, showing up as the only girl in a bright green dress. Her match, well it was an unusual one as she was matched with her best friend since childhood Xander. It seems like a fairy tale as both families were excited, Cassia’s peers were jealous as Xander was a good cached, and with their memories of playing in the sandbox together, they were a perfect match.Cassia was happy, at least until she put her card in to find out all about Xander’s life and saw a face that wasn’t Xander’s staring back at her, instead it was a different boy, one she knew, but never got to know well. His name was Ky.

Ky Markham was Cassia’s second matched. This has to be a mistake as you cannot be with two people, yet the Society doesn’t make mistakes. It hurt Cassia even more as she knew Ky, they went to school together, and have hung out a few times. Where Cassia was perfectly happy to be with Xander, she couldn’t help wonder why she and Ky were matched up, even if it was a mistake. For her summer activity she picked hiking, and was shocked when Ky was there too, and the Offical had paired them up. For many trips with Ky up The Hill, Cassia starts to learn about his story, about the story of the Society, and how even though they told her to be with Xander, she wanted to be with Xander, she couldn’t help but fall in love with Ky. With a love triangle forming it is up to the Society to cut this tree down, before it can start causing real trouble.

Ally Condie had a good story line going, yet the characters fell flat. The Society (similar to the one in The Giver) had a good backbone, with a little mention of how our society fell; they had rules, normal and weird (no running outside of the track), and a general order to keep the people controlled. Yet I felt nothing for Cassia. Maybe it was the fact that the story was a love triangle, but the love Cassia has supposedly fallen for Ky and Xander never felt strong, let alone reality. It was a good start, but to keep this story going there needs to be a strong character development event coming.
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on January 6, 2015
A Dystopian plotline that follows the life of Cassia Reyes, a sorter who has reached the age where she will be matched with her mate. The book opens with Cassia being matched with her best friend, Xander. But as she opens the file that outlines her match's attributes a different face flashes onto the screen: Ky Markham.

As Cassia tries to make sense of what happened an official tells her that Ky's face showing up was an error. And furthermore, she reveals that Ky can never be matched because he is an Aberration.

The rest of the book revolves around Cassia's growing discontentment with her society's rules and regulations (of which there are many). As more and more corruption in the system is revealed, Cassia also finds herself having to choose between her best friend, Xander, and Ky, the boy she is developing strong feelings for.

I enjoyed this story to a point. I really liked the character development and how Cassia grew from an obedient citizen to a rebel as the story progressed. I didn't enjoy the love triangle theme of the book - as this was a significant theme in the novel. I find love triangles that dominate the main female character's motives tend to weaken the story's plotline for me as a reader. I would rather see the character develop on her own without romantic conflict.
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on March 25, 2013
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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on September 28, 2011
Summary
Cassia is pretty happy with her life. She has a good family, good friends, and she's finally on her way to her matching ceremony where her real future will begin! She's confident that the Society knows what's best. Her parent's long and happy marriage is proof of the success of the matching system, so when the Society gives Cassia her match, she knows that she's been paired with the right person. But when a tiny flaw in system makes Cassia aware of other options, her belief in the Society and everything they stand for slowly starts to crumble. Now Cassia is faced with a difficult decision between the easy life she's always known, or risking everything to follow her heart.

Review
Matched is set in a well-crafted and intriguing dystopian society, that strips away the pleasures and privileges we have become so accustomed to in today's high-tech, possession-driven world. The three main characters in the story are unique and well developed, though I found the secondary characters lacked depth. The intricate differences between Xander and Ky made for an enjoyable love triangle (and I'm often not fond of the love triangle). There is very little in the way of action in Matched, but the trials and tribulations of the people under the Society's control will keep readers engaged.

I'm a relatively new reader to dystopian fiction, but I couldn't help comparing Matched to The Hunger Games as I was reading. And while I thoroughly enjoyed Matched, in this comparison it falls a little short.

Verdict
If you're able to let go of comparisons and enjoy it for what it is, Matched is a fascinating story and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 7, 2011
Cassia lives in the perfect Society. She attends a school with the optimum of classes perfectly designed to provide her with the education she will need for her future employment. After sufficient testing and observation, the Society selects the employment that she is most suited for. Prepared foods, with Cassia's exact nutritional needs are delivered to her prior to each meal time. The Society even functions to the extent that they select the perfect mate for each marriageable member, and when you time on earth is at it's end, they arrange a peaceful demise.

It is at Cassia's matching ceremony that she first notes that there might be something amiss in her very structured Society. When reviewing the disk that should only contain biographical information about Xander, her perfect mate, she is shown the photograph of another young man, Ky Markham. While and official tries to reassure Cassia that this was and error, she knows that her Society does not make errors and she begins to wonder what it might mean for her, for Xander and for Ky.

I was fascinated during my visit to this dystopian society. At first, it did seem like a comfortable place to live, where you would be healthy and employed till your final days. Then, like Cassia, I came to see that there really was no freedom. Yes you could chose which activity to attend, as long as you did attend. You couldn't enter anyone else's dwelling, I won't call it a home since Cassia never seemed to do anything there beyond eating dinner and sleeping. She didn't play there or even relax, there were other places where that was to be done and where she was continually observed carrying out those activities. Even at her house, she couldn't be sure that she wasn't being observed via the 'port'.

The Society had no outlet for creativity. All poetry had been culled to an acceptable 100 poems, as had artwork and history. arg, that is not freedom.

Finally, it was the constant fear that Cassia and her family lived in everyday that proved that there was something fundamentally wrong in this world. Fear that their conversations would be overheard, fear that what they had done would be perceived as wrong, fear that they couldn't live up to the expectations of the Society.

Even with this variety of challenges to living in this Society, I can see that for many it would be perfect. They could mindlessly live each day and not be concerned what might happen during the next. The Society would have taken care of that for them.

This is the first book in a trilogy with the next book, Crossed, due out in November 2011.

I listened to the unabridged audio version that was read by Kate Simses. She did a wonderful job of portraying both the male and female characters. I would definitely listen to other books read by her. 9 hours 49 minutes. Penguin Audio. Suitable for ages 14+.
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