Matched by Ally Condie (3 stars)

Matched by Ally Condie

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: November 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Format: Hardcover , 369pp
  • Sales Rank: 552
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Lexile: HL680LWhat’s This?

3 Stars

Matched is a dystopian novel reminiscent of Lois Lowry’s The Giver.  We meet Cassia on her seventeenth birthday.  She is heading to her match banquet to find out who her perfect match is going to be.  The society has perfected these matches to ensure healthy offspring.  The matches are done in the year of the person’s seventeenth birthday.  The courtship lasts until twenty-one.  At that point in time, the matched couple can perform a commitment ceremony.  Children are expected before the age of 31.  Only matched couples are allowed to have children, but people can choose to be a single and not be matched.  The Society seems to be in control of everything.  Officials destroy everything from the old ways, ensure that only sanctioned plants are grown, control how food is prepared and sent out to citizens.  They even control when people die (at 80).  Anyways, Cassia’s matched, but there seems to be an error when she looks at her data card.  Her match shows up, but then another face shows up.  This is when things get strange.  We follow Casia threw her journey of learning about the Society, and both of her matches.  We see her fall in love and learn about the sacrifices that she is willing to make for it.

We overall opinion of the book was that it was good, but just not gripping to me.  I kept thinking back to The Giver and it just can’t compare to that.  There were too many similarities, so it was really hard for me not to compare.  I just didn’t like Cassia.  I never felt like I was within her character like I usually do.  I’m very fickle I suppose.  I usually love very plot driven stories, but I noticed through this that I love very plot driven stories with relatable characters.  I didn’t ever feel like Cassia.  Going through her whole journey of love, I never cared that much about her feelings.  Everything about her seems too superficial and she is supposed to represent the awakening character.  It’s sad that I never really felt her development because I really like this idea.  I wonder if my students that have not read The Giver would like this story better than I did.  From a teacher perspective, this is a great book to have in my library.  It has no bad language or sexual situations.  It questions society and starts to show someone how to keep their eyes open to what could happen.  Just like any dystopian novel, it focuses on the warnings of being too compliant.  I think that is a good thing for teenagers, they are starting to form their own opinions about life.  I would like to encourage that questioning, and dystopian novels are a good, safe way to do that.  Even if I didn’t particularly connect with Cassia, hopefully someone else will.

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