Matched Book Review

My heart stops, and I can’t believe what I see. A face comes back into view on the port in front of me.

It’s not Xander.

Book 2: Crossed

Matched by Ally Condie

In Cassia’s world, nothing is up to you to decide. When you eat, what you eat, where you go and even who you will marry is decided by Officials, the keepers of her Society. The people here are blissfully living, and Cassia at the tender Matching age of 17 is ready to see who her future husband will be. When she goes to the ceremony, decked in a beautiful green dress she is excited to discover that her perfect Match is her best friend, handsome and charming Xander. However, when Cassia goes home and replays the matching ceremony, she sees for a second, a different face pop up on the screen, that of Ky, a boy she also knows, before it is replaced with Xander. Now left to question why that happened and what she will do about, Cassia finds herself making something she has never had to do before: choices. And how she decides will determine a lot more than just the fate of who she marries.

What I liked about this book was that it wasn’t really a my-heart-is-torn-between-two-great-guys damsel in distress story. Cassia, very quickly, makes up her  mind about who she likes more. So the rest of the story is her trying to figure out what to do afterwards. Which may sound boring, but it was quite interesting to read. Should she rebel against her Society? How will her actions affect the people she loves? Is her own happiness worth more than others? It was those kind of questions she tackled, not just “Who do I like better?”

Cassia was a great character. In many ways this story reminded me of the Hunger Games, in that it was a dystopian novel; however where Katniss is a spunky heroine from the surrounding Districts where life is tough, Cassia is from a prosperous province where life is easy. They’re each other’s opposites. So while Katniss knows that something is very wrong with her life and the way she has to live it, Cassia is blissfully unaware of the fallbacks of her Society.

Because of her 100% belief in her government, we don’t really question things until she does, since the book is first person from her point of view. For instance, while she thinks that the way things works are nice, I couldn’t help but agree. I mean, her futuristic technologies and easy lifestyle seem nice compared to the wreckage we lug around today (war, poverty, disease).

Astute reads will pick up on the subtitle discords woven into the tale earlier than Cassia does. Her lack of choice, for example, seems nice until you realize that you don’t even get to choose when you die– or anything else you do for your. Entire. Life. Not so fun in retrospect, right?

As her eyes are opened to the faults of the Society, Cassia becomes a much stronger character. She wasn’t kickbutt like Katniss, but she finds her own way and becomes her own person. The supporting characters seems sort of robotic for the most part, dutifully acting out their roles. Normally, I wouldn’t like that, but here, since the people are sort of just doing what they’re told it seemed right that they don’t suddenly start a rebellion in the middle of the city.

Between Ky and Xander, her potential love interests, I personally liked Ky more. He was vibrant and interesting, and Cassia seemed move alive when she was with him. Xander was sweet and a good friend, but he was quite normal. Not to say that Ky was the dangerous choice, but he was a choice, something Cassia doesn’t have a lot of. So he has a lot of new and interesting things that come along with breaking the rules, whereas Xander seemed stuck as the innocent boy-next-door.

Of course, as the story moves along, he and certain members Cassia’s family are given a little more spunk, but I still like Ky more and I still think he and Cassia are a better couple.

So, given that, I guess you could say that the romance in this book was finely written. It was sweet and had just enough stolen moments and smiles to add to the story, but not distract from it.

Actually, that was probably one of the greatest things about this book– the romance that happens between Cassia and her guy (trying not to give anything away) sets things in motion and supports a greater plot instead of turning the novel into another sappy romance.

The writing style was easy to read, and the story engrossing. I found that this book was just the right length. Everything was well paced and the ending was heightened enough that I can’t wait until the next book comes out.

As the Hunger Games trilogy has come to an end, for those of you who want more dystopian lit (I personally much prefer it to vampire crap) I definitely recommend this. It will perhaps be less startling and emotionally brutal as the Hunger Games, but is charming in its own way and has earned its place on my bookshelf  where I hope it will soon be joined by worthy sequels in years to come.

Ri’s Rating:


0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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