Rummanah Aasi
  Ally Condie's Matched is one of the most anticipated book of the fall. Not only has the author reportedly gotten a seven figure deal to write this trilogy for Dutton, a subdivision of the Penguin Publishing Company, Disney has already bought the film rights to adapt the trilogy. And the kicker? Matched is not even out until November 30th! With this huge hype and lots of buzz surrounding the book, I had to get an ARC of Matched. Thankfully, the publishers from Dutton were so kind and sent me a copy to review. I had lots of expectations of Matched and I will say that this book met pretty much all of them.

Description: In the Society, Officials decide how you will live your life. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. All of the decisions are made because the Officials only know what is best for their citizens. Perfection only exists. Aberrations will not be tolerated.
   Cassia has always trusted the choices made by the Officials. Who would want to go against the perfect life? When she turns seventeen, she must go through the Matched ceremony, where the Officials arrange her marriage. When her best friend, Xander, appears to be her match, Cassia is relieved to already know her perfect mate...that's until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Someone she also knows: the mysterious and quiet Ky, who expertly blurs in the crowd.
Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she knows and a path no one else has ever dared to follow. Which will she choose?

Review: I really, really enjoyed this book! I started it late Tuesday night and by Wednesday I was already more than half way done with it. I will warn you that when you read this book, you will get sucked in! It is really hard to put this book down. I was completely captivated and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
  To put it simply, Matched is a dystopian romance. I loved the world that Condie created. It seems very gentle in comparison to the brutal world of the Hunger Games series, but it like Collins' series I also found Cassia's world to be disturbing. All of the citizens are dictated in how to live their lives. Choice does not exist, mostly because people either seem to be satisfied on how things are or can't remember on how things use to be. Besides, why ruin something perfect?
  Although the book might be considered a 'light dystopian novel' that focuses on romance by many, I personally think this is what makes this book so powerful and thought provoking. The trope of a love triangle is essentially an allegory on how Cassia wants to live her life. If she chooses her best friend, Xander, she chooses the status quo, safety, and consistency. If she chooses Ky, she chooses the unknown and the possible struggles that coming along. I definitely thought of many books such as Huxley's Brave New World, Banchorz's Candor, while reading Matched which for me is a sign of a good book. I especially loved the incorporation of Dylan Thomas' poems into the story. I thought poems brought another complex layer into the storytelling.
  Like the world building, I also loved the main characters of Matched. The book is told from Cassia's perspective. She is a teen who is a bit disorientated after taking her rose-colored glasses and seeing her world for the first time. She struggles to follow her heart and logic. Her internal monologue are excellent and I found her explanations of what she does to be really interesting. I found myself asking the same questions that Cassia asks of herself.
  Xander seems to be your typical best friend. He is extremely loyal, smart, and yes, handsome. Readers are told repeatedly how he and Cassia know each other so well. I just wished this was shown more than told in the story, which is what I thought was only lacking in the story and hope this will be resolved in the second book.
  Ky is a fascinating character. I had a lot of fun learning about him and his past. I haven't made a definite decision in whether to like him more than Xander, but I have a feeling there is more to him than meets the eye.He intrigues me and captures my attention right away whenever he appears on the page.
 The passion and tension between Ky and Cassia reminded me of Bella and Edward mostly because the romance between Ky and Cassia is very chaste. Their physical contact is very limited in the book, yet you can feel the heat and tension jumping right out of the book. There are lots of twists and turns in their relationship and I can't wait to see what happens next. Now, I have to patiently wait until the second book to comes out, which is going to be really hard. *Sigh*

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. I would easily recommend this title to Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Candor by Pam Bachorz, Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, A Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Brave New World by Alex Huxley, The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

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8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I just finished this one and loved it. I'm always wary of the highly anticipated ones and didn't expect to like this one as much as I did. Like you, I adored the characters, I thought they made the book:) Great review!

  2. Nena Says:

    Loved the review! I don't know how you do it but you describe something so well without giving too much and definitely leave me waiting for more. I can't wait to get this baby in my hands :)

  3. Openhome Says:

    Rum, this sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing the story with us. I can't wait to read it. I'm so happy that a hyped story is actually well written.

    Your blog is really impressive and very well done. I'm so proud of you.

  4. Safoora Says:

    The plot of this story reminds me little bit of The Uglies series. I really enjoyed those books, so I'm going to have to check this out. How long do you have to wait for the second book, Rum?

  5. @Jenny: Thanks! I was a bit skeptical at first too.

    @Nena: Can't wait to hear your thoughts about it!

    @Openhome: *Blushes* Thanks. I really should have started this blog a while ago. Glad that I took the dive last spring.

    @Safoora: Since it's part of a trilogy, my guess is next year. Until then I always have your discussion/reviews to keep me busy. :p

  6. Daisy Says:

    Great review! The book sounds amazing! Another one to add to my to-read list.

  7. Nat Says:

    I can't wait to read this one! All of the books you recommend like Matched, I have also loved. Am reading A Handmaid's Tale right now and loving it.

  8. Kelli: I'm also currently reading A Handmaid's Tale and enjoying it. Hope to have a review on it tomorrow.

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