Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars248
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£4.99
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 9 March 2011
As everyone knows this book has a lot of attention surrounding it, a big percentage of bloggers have read it and a lot loved it so when my library got this in l reserved it and went and got it as soon as l could, very excited to read it!
When l first started to read this, it was clear Ally is a great writer. She writes in a lovely way where the story flows really well and nothing in the book, e.g. emotions & actions, feel forced. What l did feel is lack of 'excitement' which l usually feel around books which keep me wanting to read the next page, l didn't think it was a great page turner and until the last 70 pages l felt l could easily put the book down and not care about how it ends. This is a big thing for me and can be because of different reasons. I felt this time l just didn't connect strongly with the main characters, although l liked them it felt like a circle of the same thing happening over and over and not a lot actually happened in the first 200ish pages when you compare it from the beginning of the book.
Matched has often been compared to other books like Delirium and while l think there is a comparison to be made l do feel Matched stands out on it's own and has lots to offer by itself. Ally has created a world which feels very real but l felt it gives you a lot of unanswered questions. For example (as it says in the blurb) the government chooses who they are matched with and will marry. While this is explained in some ways, for me it didn't explain it deep enough and l felt it could of made the book feel much more real if things were explained more.
For me, the ending made this book go up from a 3 star rating to a 4. It really improves in the end l can see the second book will be much better now the characters are introduced. l just hope that more of the world around them is explained a bit better and why some rules are in place.
Overall this is a good read, l did enjoy it but it won't be in my top reads like l thought and hoped it would be.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 2 December 2010
Cassia lives in a future world where everything is controlled by Society. People where different colour uniforms depending on their status, meals - all nutritionally tailored for the individual - are supplied. Even death is controlled.

The story starts with Cassia about to attend the ceremony where she gets to find out who she is to be Matched with,.ie. who she'll marry when she's older. For most people this is usually someone they've never met before but Cassia's match ends up being her best friend, Xander. The matchees are given data cards with information about their match, obviously pointless to Xander and Cassia, they grew ip together after all but Cassia decides to take a look anyway, only to have a picture of another boy flash up on the screen briefly. Cassia wonders if there has been some mistake. Could it be that this boy is actually her match. It's strange because Society doesn't make mistakes and even stranger because she also knows the other boy, Ky.

In lots of ways, Matched is very typical of dystopian fiction. An 'ideal' world where everything is controlled to the extreme, supposedly for the good of the people and a protagonist who starts to doubt the rules. It's a very well written and interesting story. There's probably not enough depth to some of the characters but I think that will come with future books in the series. It would have been too overwhelming to go too much into this as well as setting up and explaining the storyworld. Saying that however, I adored both the relationship between Cassia and Xander and that which grew between Cassia and Ky.

Throughout, the book was really enjoyable and was one that I could have quite easily read through in one go if I'd had the time to be able to do that. The only part I was slightly disappointed in was the ending as there didn't really seem to be one. However, having now seen that it is the first of a planned trilogy, it wasn't such a bad way to finish up; especially as it's left me wanting the next book right now!
22 comments|60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Matched is without a doubt one of my favourite books of 2010. I loved every single page, and could have quite easily read the sequel straight away. Unfortunately there's a bit of a wait for that so, as always, I'll have to be patient. I started Matched at about 1am in the morning, and read right through to 7am. I didn't sleep at all that day, and spent my day trip to London (to meet John Green) looking like a zombie out of one of Carrie Ryan's books. It was so worth it though, because there's no way I could have slept without knowing how the first part of Cassia's story ended.

The first thing that struck me about Matched was Ally Condie's writing. I know some people will probably disagree with me, but I thought it was brilliant. Certain passages were so beautifully written that they almost read like poetry, and I couldn't tear my eyes away. It's such a strong start to the series, and you wouldn't guess it was Condie's first dystopian novel. It's SO GOOD

Condie's world building was also fantastic. The society was mysterious and suffocating, and the idea that choice and free will no longer exists was a scary thought. I think I speak for everyone when I say that a world where you couldn't choose who to marry or how many children to have would be a nightmare. Not to mention the fact that, in Cassia's world, even your death is preordained. Nothing is left to chance, and to me that's the worst thing that could ever happen to individuals in a society. It would lead to mundane existences and a neverending routine filled with rules and regulations. No thanks. I have no idea how Cassia coped with it, though when it's all you've ever known, I guess it's easy to.

At first, I thought Cassia was quite a bland, nondescript character. She didn't seem to have any stand out qualities or memorable traits, though that was before she fell in love with a boy who wasn't her match. I was happy with Cassia's best friend Xander as her match -- they were compatible, they fit well and they knew each other inside out. It wasn't until Ky first appeared that I thought there could be any other person for Cassia. Wow, was I wrong! Matched uses a dangerous, epic love triangle to emphasise the society's role in Cassia's life, and it's beyond anything I was expecting. I couldn't have predicted some of the plot twists if I'd tried, and instead they hit me like a fork of lightning.

Cassia had some ridiculously hard choices to make in Matched; had I been in her shoes I would have crumbled under the pressure and emotional weight of it all. There's no way I could have lived like that and been afraid for my life at the same time. She deals with everything thrown at her, which shows incredible strength of character. By the end of the book I absolutely loved her, as well as the boys and her lovely family. I haven't read a book with such a well-rounded, diverse set of characters for a long time, but in Matched there was no-one I didn't like.

Well, I think that's just about enough gushing from me. Go and get yourself a copy of this as soon as possible if you haven't already. Hopefully you'll love it, and won't forfeit a night's sleep like I did. Until then, here's a tip for you: don't start Matched late at night. You'll thank me in the morning, I promise!
44 comments|25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 March 2014
In Cassia's society, Officials dictate everything: where you work, where you live, and when you die. They also analyse every bit of data they have on everybody to ensure everyone meets their perfect Match. When her best friend Xander is revealed to be hers, Cassia is delighted; but just for a second, someone else's face flashes up on the screen. The Society does not make mistakes, so why is this boy's face there? And why is it someone she knows?

First of all, I have to express how in love I am with the cover of Matched. It was immediately attractive to me; I felt like I might die if I didn't purchase the book with the girl in the lime green bubble on the front. Props to Condie for selecting such a wonderful design!

The society Cassia lives in runs like clockwork - meals are measured out and prepared for each individual, they are tested repeatedly to discern what kind of work they're suited to, and Officials have so much data on each person that they can correctly predict what their course of action will be in any given situation. It was a very interesting concept, so it's a shame Condie didn't focus on it a little more; I would happily have read another hundred pages just giving us a better feel of the place.

While it seems opinion is divided on the topic, I actually liked Cassia. She's interesting; she's not a Mary Sue, but she's not totally screwed up, either. She's just a normal girl living in a normal family, getting through every day without any significant events prior to her Matching. It's not that I don't love heroines with tragic back stories - on the contrary, I really do - but her sheer normality made it very easy to step into Cassia's shoes. I also LOVED the fact that Cassia's family were really close. While missing parents and distant family members are perfectly understandable in dystopian novels, it was wonderful to see a family who love one another unconditionally, who can talk about all manner of topics and who deeply care about one another. I come from a very tight-knit family, so I was able to relate to this element very well indeed, and it made a refreshing change not to have family dramas at the centre of the plot.

Matched wasn't perfect by any means - it had a few major flaws. For one, the Society wasn't explained awfully well, to be honest. The Match Banquet was beautifully written and made perfect sense, but other elements - like the sorting, and the technologies people use in Cassia's world - were skimmed over to the point that I found myself getting muddled. I also didn't understand how Cassia fell for Ky so quickly; to me he seemed pretty boring until well over halfway through the book, to be honest. She said she was falling for him when they'd barely exchanged a few sentences; I can see why he might be interesting to her, given his murky past and his status as an outsider, but surely you need something a bit more significant than that to actually fall for someone? Eventually he begins to speak a little more and you can see the appeal; but even so, one can't fully understand why Cassia would jeopardise her entire future with the infintely loveable Xander for a guy she's barely said four words to.

Despite my misgivings about certain elements of the book, I can't wait to read Crossed - I need to know what's going to happen after the sudden and very shocking ending! I also desperately need to know who Cassia will choose; it seems kind of obvious at this point, but thus far, I'm 100% team Xander. Ky's silent schtick doesn't really do it for me, and Xander is such a great guy! I think I have a pretty good idea how this trilogy is going to end already, but let's see what the next book brings to the table- I'm intrigued enough to go along for the ride!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 August 2013
Every dystopia has a different "cure" for today's problems. Whether it's teenagers fighting to their death in an arena to pay for society's historic crimes against the government; dividing society into factions depending on the different virtues people exhibit, at the expense of all other virtues; or eradicating love and calling it a disease, every dystopian society has based itself on one ideal in particular to make the "perfect" society. In Matched, the main idea is control. If the government makes all life's big decisions for its people (who you marry, where you live, what job you do, how many children you have, even when you die), there will be no more crime and everyone can live in harmony. When the government even controls what information you have access to (choose from the 100 Songs or the 100 Poems or the 100 Stories or the 100 Paintings etc. but you won't be able to get your hands on anything else, and forget about being taught how to write - creativity is discouraged), how can you ever know not to trust them? How can you ever know that once society was very different and that it wasn't so bad? That's the situation our heroine Cassia is in until the day she is Matched - the day she finds out who she will spend the rest of her life with. On that day, everything changes. Why? Because not only has she been matched with her best friend from childhood Xander, but another face also flickers on the screen as her Match: the face of Ky, an Aberration who is permitted to live in society but without privileges, such as being Matched. So if Ky is not supposed to be Matched, why did Cassia see his face?

This "glitch" changes everything for Cassia. It doesn't matter how much Society tells her that she should not have seen Ky's face, the fact that she saw it causes her to wonder about Ky. Is he her perfect Match after all? And if he is, does that mean that Society's system has failed because he's an Aberration or does it mean that it works because it Matched her with someone she now finds herself drawn to? Now the more Cassia sees Ky, the more she is intrigued by him and the more he draws her into a world she barely knew existed. He teaches her how to write and he teaches her that there was once more to life than what Society would have people believe. At the heart of it all is poetry, and some beautiful poetry is included here, so treasured by Cassia because not only is it a gift from Ky, but because society completely outlaws it. Matched chronicles Cassia's journey as she wakes up from the controlled slumber everyone in the Society is under and begins to question what is going on around her for the first time.

The reason Matched works so well is because most of us live in a society where freedom is one of our most precious commodities. For many of us, to live in society that controls our every thought and action Nineteen Eighty-Four-style is the worst society imaginable. For dictators, the best way to crush rebellion is to prevent original thought and to limit what information your subjects have and as there are societies in the world today similar to this, it's not hard to conceive of the Society of Matched really existing. Likewise, it's easy to see how a teenager who sees a flaw in a perfect society might begin to rebel. For me, that was the best part of Matched because it felt so real in that sense.

The problem it does have is characterization. Honestly it's the same flaw a lot of YA novels have, but I found the characters to be almost a little bland. Cassia definitely has her moments, though, and you have to admire her courage to rebel the way she does and her desire to seek freedom. I can't say the lack of real depth in the characters stopped me from enjoying Matched, and while the story isn't full of action, Condie's writing is detailed and descriptive making it a pleasure to read.

The trilogy is now available for the whole of Matched and I wholly encourage everyone to read the series, though Matched is without a doubt the best of the three. It's thought-provoking and an interesting take on the YA dystopia; a must-read for lovers of dystopia!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 September 2012
I really liked the idea of this book, that people are 'matched' to their perfect partner but this time something goes wrong.

Cassia gets 'matched' to her best friend Xander which is strange as most people are matched to someone they have never met before, she is then given a data card with details about Xander which Cassia doesn't view right away as she feels she already knows everything there is to know about Xander, eventually she views the card but she briefly sees another boy flash up and she knows him too, Ky.

This begins a difficult time for Cassia where she wonders who is it she is supposed to be with, the society doesn't make mistakes like this so is it Xander or Ky she should be with?
I had reasons for wanting him to be with both so for me it was difficult to chose who I wanted to see her with in the end.

At first Cassia (the main character) annoyed me but then she grew on me because you soon realise that her opinions are only what shes been taught to believe by the 'society' she lives in.

Some dystopian themed books are difficult to believe but I found this one to be believable that some day there could be someone who decides who we should marry, what job we should have and how many kids. So for me this book was really well written that I could actually relate to it, I could also relate to the characters and what they were feeling as the author really gives you an insight into each character.

The ending of this book was a bit disappointing (reason for only 4 stars) but as it is only the first book in a trilogy I'm hoping that it gets better.
A good dystopian themed book and I can't wait to read the next.

If you liked this book I suggest you try Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 May 2012
If it is possible to be both a self-confessed pessimist and a hopeless romantic then that's me. This is perhaps why Matched appealed to me so very much.

Matched is a young adult dystopian romance which brings many Orwellian questions home to a younger audience.

These days the idea of Big Brother brings to mind a voyeuristic television show where exhibitionists parade around a glaringly bright house, making fools of themselves in hopes of making a quick buck.

Thankfully, Condie reminds us what Orwell and Huxley were trying to say with their original dystopian masterpieces. She takes familiar ideas of society being controlled by government indoctrination and propaganda, and manages to rejuvenate them. The pessimist in me thoroughly enjoyed hating the society in which Cassia, the heroine, lives. It is a society which controls where people work, when they die, how many children they have and even who they love.

Of course, anyone who has ever had a crush on completely the wrong person, (and surely that's everyone?) knows that love and lust cannot be weighed and measured. It cannot be controlled.

Matched provides an interesting love triangle between the three main characters. Cassia and Xander are matched and you are glad that they are! Xander seems like a great guy: a sensible choice. But what teenage girl, what woman, chooses "sensible" when shown the option of "mysterious" and "exciting"? Ky provides both and is the proverbial spanner in the works.

As a reader I was drawn into this triangle and really felt for Cassia. Because hers is a tough choice! I found myself rooting for both the male leads, especially at first.

The underlying conflict of the seemingly "ideal" society of Matched, works to beautifully highlight the conflict raging in Cassia's own heart.

We live in a world where we are pretty much always on somebody's CCTV, where advertisements corner us from every form of media, and where Internet dating sites tell us that they can "match" us to a perfect partner based on deep aspects of our personalities. Matched is a poignant and intelligent book which will leave you both asking questions and positively drooling for the sequel.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 December 2011
Part of the problem when coming to Matched was one of my own making and individual to me - I'd been reading a lot of YA and a lot of dystopian YA at that, so Matched didn't feel so much unique as retreading familiar ground. Girl growing up in a controlling society, who begins to doubt the rules and starts to flout them, with ominous consequences. We've seen this a lot now, since the Hunger Games presented the idea originally.

Matched does succeed in its worldbuilding, where other dystopian futures can feel very contrived (I'm thinking about the Factions in Divergent). Here we have a society which is so controlling that it is determined to 'match' citizens i.e. use their genes, personalities, and a number of other factors to present them with the perfect person they should marry. We join Cassia as she discovers that her perfect match is, most unusually, her childhood friend Xander. However, when she examines the information she is given on Xander (to see if it matches what she thinks of him) she sees another face - that of the boy Ky, who came late into the society.

I found the love triangle very difficult, in all honesty, because Ky is presented (at least to me) as being so much more attractive and yearned after than Xander. Despite her fondness for Xander, I never actually believe that she would want to be with him. Ky was the only obvious choice. At that point a love triangle is distinctly redundant.

The other aspect of Matched that I wasn't sure about was the slow, dreamy pacing. There was not much get up and go about the novel. I liked the way we drifted from situation to situation without the frenetic pacing of some of the other YA dystopian novels on the market, but it went almost too far the other way.

I find myself unconvinced by Matched, but I will certainly try Crossed to see whether the trilogy improves.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 September 2011
There's something about the struggle for identity that most teenagers experience that makes the YA genre especially suited to dystopian tales. And Matched is another great example of how well the partnership between YA and dystopian fiction works.

The cover for Matched suits the story and manages to convey a world of meaning in a seemingly simple image. Cassia is shown in her green dress from her Match Banquet, the night her ordered world begins to unravel. The model pressing against the walls of the bubble that encloses her is symbolic of Cassia pressing against the rules of a Society she has always accepted without question. The bubble is a very effective visual metaphor for the contained and controlled lives that the Society values.

Dystopian worlds seem to have at least one thing in common - those who rule exert careful control over every aspect of the society they govern. But how each author chooses to describe this control is what allows for the great variation in dystopian tales. I really like the world that Ally Condie has created in Matched - I was swept up by Cassia's story and the world she lives in.

Ally Condie has created an interesting and absorbing view of the future. In this Society every aspect of an individual's life is carefully controlled - from how much and what they eat to who they will marry and when they will die. The level of control exerted by the Society in Matched was brought home for me by the fact that only one hundred each of songs, paintings, books and poems have been approved for people to hear, see and read. I tried to imagine having to choose and never being able to see those that had not been accepted.

Matched is well paced and engaging and Ally Condie's writing allowed me to become immersed in the story - which is something I love! As the plot progressed I could see the cracks beginning to form in the Society's perfect veneer. This only added to my questions and made me want to read more - what was really going on and what is the Society hiding from so many people?

Cassia is a well written, complex character and I immediately liked her. Matched is told from her point-of-view and I enjoyed seeing her character progression through her own eyes. I also fell in love with Ky right along with her! Ky is a mystery. He blends seamlessly into the Society, but there is more going on under the surface. As he tells Cassia his story through words and images he opens up and shows more of himself. Ally Condie has created real and complex characters who take active roles in the story and I loved them.

Matched is an intriguing dystopian tale that will win Ally Condie many fans and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 June 2011
If it is possible to be both a self-confessed pessimist and a hopeless romantic then that's me. This is perhaps why Matched appealed to me so very much.

Matched is a young adult dystopian romance which brings many Orwellian questions home to a younger audience.

These days the idea of Big Brother brings to mind a voyeuristic television show where exhibitionists parade around a glaringly bright house, making fools of themselves in hopes of making a quick buck.

Thankfully, Condie reminds us what Orwell and Huxley were trying to say with their original dystopian masterpieces. She takes familiar ideas of society being controlled by government indoctrination and propaganda, and manages to rejuvenate them. The pessimist in me thoroughly enjoyed hating the society in which Cassia, the heroine, lives. It is a society which controls where people work, when they die, how many children they have and even who they love.

Of course, anyone who has ever had a crush on completely the wrong person, (and surely that's everyone?) knows that love and lust cannot be weighed and measured. It cannot be controlled.

Matched provides an interesting love triangle between the three main characters. Cassia and Xander are matched and you are glad that they are! Xander seems like a great guy: a sensible choice. But what teenage girl, what woman, chooses "sensible" when shown the option of "mysterious" and "exciting"? Ky provides both and is the proverbial spanner in the works.

As a reader I was drawn into this triangle and really felt for Cassia. Because hers is a tough choice! I found myself rooting for both the male leads, especially at first.

The underlying conflict of the seemingly "ideal" society of Matched, works to beautifully highlight the conflict raging in Cassia's own heart.

We live in a world where we are pretty much always on somebody's CCTV, where advertisements corner us from every form of media, and where Internet dating sites tell us that they can "match" us to a perfect partner based on deep aspects of our personalities. Matched is a poignant and intelligent book which will leave you both asking questions and positively drooling for the sequel.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.