Book Review: Matched by Allie Condie

Matched by Allie CondieLast night while my husband read my six year old son some of the last few chapters of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I snuck upstairs to finish the last few chapters of Matched by Allie Condie, which my book club will be discussing tomorrow night. Each month our club has the host nominate three books and then as a group we vote for the one we’d all like to read. Matched was one of my books, so I’m looking forward to hearing what the group thinks of a “typical Jen read” tomorrow.

All three books that I chose were dystopian YA stories, one of my fave genres along with historical fiction, celeb memoirs and light mysteries. And okay, books. All of them. This YA dystopian novel, the first in a trilogy (of course), tells the story of Cassia Ryes who lives in a futuristic society where the government makes all the choices for people – what to eat, what to wear, who to marry, what job you’ll have – all based on carefully documented DNA and information gathering throughout your life – so that you can have the ideal life.

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Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

So yeah, I was pretty excited to read this one. It’s a unique twist that had me very intrigued, plus can we all agree that the cover art is gorgeous?

Two weeks later, I can safely say that I’m glad our club picked this book – I definitely enjoyed reading it and the second I finished it, I found myself online ordering the sequel, Crossed, for my kindle. I thought the writing was well done, certainly not the finest literary gem of gems, but very good. It was very easy to read and as the story drew on, addictive and hard to put down. I finished it in under two weeks but I also had limited reading hours. It could easily be read in less than a week, maybe even a day if you had a whole day to read (does that sound like paradise or what?).

I was fascinated by the society that Condie has created, especially because I could really see it happening. It felt like an authentic progression of what might happen if the problems of today got worse. I can totally see it. And isn’t that what the best of dystopian fiction has to offer? A harsh light on the problems of today and where they could lead? I also really enjoyed the love story and how it unfolds. It definitely brings you back to those years of young love when every day feels like the most important day and every minute lasts too long or not long enough. I look forward to seeing where Cassia’s story takes her in the next two books and who she ultimately ends up with.

Have you read Matched yet? Tell me what you thought of it in the comments section below.