REVIEW: Matched (Book 1) – Ally Condie


Ally Condie

Book 1

Paperback, 366 pages

Published June 2nd 2011 by Penguin

ISBN: 978-0-141-33478-3

– 2.2 stars

On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her match. Society dictates 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…”

This book was released two years ago by Penguin and I have always wanted to read it. And, after acquiring Matched and Crossed from a HSBC bank for only £1 each I was very excited to finally get stuck into this book. I knew it had mixed reviews on Goodreads, but it did sound very similar to Delirium and that’s the kind of book I like to read. So I presumed I would thoroughly enjoy this book. I was wrong. We begin at Cassia’s “Matching banquet”, where she will be introduced to her future “Match” (A.K.A husband). And of course like many other heroines at the start of a dystopian novels, she believes in the system of society; which in this book, is run by the Society. Wow, creative.  Cassia’s “Matching banquet” goes better than alright as she is “Matched” with her childhood friend Xander. What could go wrong there, eh?. But when she comes to review her “microcard” in the “portscreen” it’s not Xander’s face who she sees. This small glitch changes Cassia’s life forever. But not that much.

I enjoyed this book for the first, say, 100 pages. But to be honest, nothing majorly ground breaking particularly happened. Cassia just found out that the system of her society was slightly flawed- aren’t they all? Her character was kind of one dimensional and very transparent. I didn’t enjoy the “love triangle” one bit, it didn’t have the foundation that other great triangles have. Emotion from any characters was hard to gage, as they were all stereotypical teenagers: the smart good looking one, the mysterious hot guy who is always on the side lines, the teenage girl who’s heart is torn between the guy who’ll get her into trouble and her childhood friend. Also, the setting and world building was a little foggy at times, but was overall just average.

This book was written from Cassia’s point of view and was almost a strong point of the book. Condie has some moments of genius with her descriptions. I especially loved the metaphor of screams when the maple trees were being cut down. Unfortunately, sometimes there just wasn’t much detail in her descriptions. Major let down, is it really so hard?

By the end of the book, I had lost most of my interest in this book and was literally begging for it to end. But then it started to get climactic and I was drawn back into the book ever so slightly. However, I got extremely frustrated as there was no action scene at all, this should be a fundamental rule for writing YA-dystopian: action, because that’s who your target audience is: action and thrill seekers.

I would have liked this book to be paced much faster which bucket loads more action. We didn’t really see any antagonists, bar one- who lets admit it, wasn’t even that “evil”. And the Society itself wasn’t explored as thoroughly as it should have been, which surely should be fundamental in a first book? I felt myself skipping long drags of writing because I knew that they wouldn’t be important; this, for me, was very concerning.

Overall, I was so disappointed with this book I don’t think I can bring myself to read the second book Crossed but I might by the final book Reached just because a) it completes the trilogy, and b) it looks pretty. But those would probably be the only reasons. If you enjoy slow paced books or are really, really anti-fictional-violence-slash-action-of-any-kind, then pick this book up it’ll be perfect for you!

Please like and comment below if you have read this trilogy, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.




3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Matched (Book 1) – Ally Condie

  1. rayshine

    I read this series last summer (as a part of my dystopian novel binge!) It was okay. I do agree with your review. Nothing earth-shattering and I’m glad I simply checked them out at the library instead of buying them! I definitely recommend the Ashfall series – I haven’t yet read the third and final book but it’s been a pretty intense series for the YA genre!

    1. Bonfire Books Post author

      I am glad I only paid £2 for the first two after reading Matched, too! I don’t know if I am going to continue the trilogy as it isn’t really my kind of thing (a.k.a yawn worthy).


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