by Ally Condie | 384 pgs, published 2010matched

In the Society, everything is run by analyzing probabilities. People are matched with the best jobs for them, given the specific amount and types of food they need, and told who they will marry based on statistics of who’ll be the best matches. The main character here is Cassia, a teenager who is matched to her best friend Xander. But when she goes to review the data provided by the Society on Xander, it shows her someone else – someone considered an Aberration.

Of course, Cassia begins to see how things aren’t perfect in the Society, and she begins to fall for the other guy. Even though Xander seems pretty great. Soon more problems begin to present themselves and it becomes clear (to Cassia, at least) that there are a lot of secrets and shady dealings going on in the supposedly-perfect world she lives in.

Maybe some spoilers here. If you plan to read the book, don’t keep reading this review.

Matched was a quick read, but it didn’t captivate me the way some other dystopian books have recently. I think it was because the main story was a romance-ish thing, and the flaws in the Society were mostly there to drive the love interest. Also, I always have a problem when the girl falls for the mysterious stranger instead of her steady, solid best friend (Anne almost getting engaged to Roy Gardner after she rejects Gilbert – fortunately things got worked out; Jo turning down Laurie, which I still have trouble accepting; am I drawing too many parallels to my own life?). It doesn’t make sense to me – but then, I’m not a teenager anymore. And it’s hard to empathize with a teenage girl who’s doing enormously risky and dangerous things “for love” because . . . well . . . how much of teenage love is lasting? (We’ll get into my teenage relationship with Jarom some other time.)

At any rate, the love story was just not convincing or interesting enough for me. I am curious to see where the other storylines will go, but I’m not quite curious enough to read the next two books in the trilogy.

End spoilers. Summary: pick a different dystopian book. Then again, this is well-reviewed by a lot of other people, so I guess it depends who you decide to listen to.

Buy Matched on Amazon


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