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"Matched" just another dystopian love story

staff writer

Published: Thursday, January 9, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 9, 2014 00:01

“Matched” by Ally Condie is another dystopian society book, a genre that seems so popular right now. The book follows Cassia Reyes, who lives in the “Society,” which controls every aspect of your life: who you marry, where you work, how you eat, what you say and when you die. It begins with Cassia’s Match Banquet, where she gets to find out who she will spend the rest of her life with. She ends up being matched with someone in her city, which is rare, but it happens to be Xander, her best friend. They both get a microcard in order to learn more about each other, like all other matches do. However, when Cassia puts her microcard in to read, it doesn’t show Xander’s face, but another boy, Ky Markham, who lives in her city.


Cassia tries to put this new knowledge aside, but when she sees him, she can’t help wondering. She begins to spend more time with him, and as she gets to choose a  summer activity, she finds herself in the same one as Ky. Curious about him, she befriends him, learning how to write for the first time. She begins to fall in love with him quickly and struggles between her feelings for both Ky and Xander as well as wondering if the Society really is perfect. She does know what her life should be like.


At around the same time, Cassia’s grandfather approaches his Final Banquet, which is when a citizen in the Society dies. In a final gift to Cassia, he shows her that her artifact, an old object passed down from generation to generation, contains two poems. The Society has 100 Poems, 100 Stories and 100 Pieces of Art it allows everyone to see, because they believe there was too much for anyone to truly be able to enjoy things before. But the poems aren’t like anything Cassia had read before, and one line hit her in particular. “Do not go gentle into that good night.” She begins to realize her life doesn’t need to be defined by the Society, and begins to wonder how she can fight back.


"Matched" is a great book to read if you're into dystopian societies and romance. Like many other dystopian society books, such as “The Hunger Games,” there ends up being more than just the romance that makes up the story. The twist comes into this book, unlike other books in the genre.


The book is pretty slow, and the major points come spread throughout the book. There isn't an excessive amount of detail about scenery, but it does focus a lot on Ky, but not so much on Xander. The amount of attention paid to certain details over others is frustrating, because readers can't see as much character development for one character compared to another.


Condie also didn't really show much about how Cassia decided to become part of the rebellion, or why she chose who she did. It doesn't show much of her thought process, which it should since it's in first person. It just tells the story while sometimes showing what she thinks when she reads a poem.


Some reviewers from have said "Matched" is similar to "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, but to what level is not agreed upon. Many have said it almost entirely follows "The Giver" but others think it's just more similar to the dystopian society in "The Giver" than something like "The Hunger Games."

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