Reviews for Matched


Booklist Reviews 2010 September #2
"Do not go gentle into that good night." Cassia's feelings of security disintegrate after her grandfather hands her a slip of paper just before his scheduled death at age 80. Not only does she now possess an illegal poem, but she also has a lingering interest in the boy who fleetingly appeared on her viewscreen, the one who wasn't her match, the man she will eventually marry. What's worse, she knows him--his name is Ky, and he is an orphan from the Outer Provinces. How could she love him as much as Xander, her match and best friend since childhood? The stunning clarity and attention to detail in Condie's Big Brother-like world is a feat. Some readers might find the Society to be a close cousin of Lois Lowry's dystopian future in The Giver (1993), with carefully chosen work placements, constant monitoring, and pills for regulating emotional extremes. However, the author just as easily tears this world apart while deftly exploring the individual cost of societal perfection and the sacrifices inherent in freedom of choice.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
The Society has calculated every aspect of existence--meals, jobs, family, life span, marriage--for its citizens. When Cassia is unexpectedly "matched" with two of her (male) friends, she struggles between a safe, predictable Society life with Xander and the unknown world of passions, choices, and possibly danger in the Outer Provinces with Ky. Condie's dystopian setting is vivid and her story is thought-provoking. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 October #1

In a tranquil future with clean streets and no illness, Cassia excitedly anticipates learning who will be her government-dictated marriage Match. Shockingly, it's her friend Xander. But when Cassia slides Xander's microcard into her port to learn his data (a system designed for the more typical Match to a stranger), Xander's face on the portscreen dissolves—and another face appears. It's Ky, their friend who's an Aberration, prohibited from Matching. This unheard-of glitch, along with an outlawed gift from her grandfather, sows doubt in Cassia's mind. She begins to want the forbidden: to run outdoors, to write words with her fingers instead of manipulating them on a screen, to read poetry beyond the sanctioned Hundred Poems—and she wants Ky, who feels the same. Condie peels back layer after dystopic layer at breakneck speed, Dylan Thomas reverberating throughout. If the Society's at war, who's the enemy? Of the three tablets carried by everyone, what does the red one do? Detractors will legitimately cite less-than-subtle morality and similarities to The Giver, but this one's a fierce, unforgettable page-turner in its own right. (Science fiction/romance. YA)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 October #1

All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky's face show up on her match disk as well? She's told it was an error, but something once noticed clamors for attention, and now Cassia can't look away. Ky has many secrets, but the most stunning to Cassia is something she never suspected still existed: creativity. As they fall in love, Cassia's eyes are opened to the truth of the Society, and she knows she can no longer blindly follow its dictates. But the Society isn't through with them, and things get much, much uglier. Condie's enthralling and twisty dystopian plot is well served by her intriguing characters and fine writing. While the ending is unresolved (the book is first in a trilogy), Cassia's metamorphosis is gripping and satisfying. Ages 14-up. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 December

Gr 7 Up--In a story that is at once evocative of Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), George Orwell's 1984, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Condie introduces readers to the "perfect" Society. Cassia Reyes is a model student, daughter, and citizen. How could she not be when the Society has everything planned and functioning perfectly? All of her needs are met: food, shelter, education, career training, and even her future husband are selected by officials who know what is best for each individual by studying statistical data and probable odds. She even knows when she will die, on her 80th birthday, just as the Society dictates. At her Match Banquet she is paired with Xander, her best friend and certainly her soul mate. But when a computer error shows her the face of Ky, an Aberration, instead of Xander, cracks begin to appear in the Society's facade of perfection. A series of events also shakes her dedication to Xander and puts her future in jeopardy. Cassia exhibits some characteristics of Winston Smith and Lenina Crowne in her silent rebellion against societal control and in her illicit friendship with Ky but ultimately, and more satisfyingly, she is more like Lowry's Jonas. Her awakening and development are realistically portrayed, and supporting characters like Cassia's parents and her grandfather add depth to the story. The biggest flaw is that the story is not finished. Fans of the Giver will devour this book and impatiently demand the next installment.--Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA

[Page 110]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2010 December
According to the Society, whose Officials make all the rules and provide for all needs, Cassia's perfect match is a boy she's known all her life: Xander. At seventeen, the two have a dreamlike matching night in person, unlike most matches, which must be viewed on a screen due to physical distance. No one ever has two matches, but the next day when Cassia faithfully uses her microcard to view Xander's picture and information, his picture disappears, only to be replaced by Ky, another local boy. Ky is an aberration and therefore unmatchable, yet Society has matched the two as an experiment unbeknownst to them. Society has created a perfect world without disease or struggle, but it has stolen all freedom and choice in exchange. Cassia discovers the difference between loving and being in love, thanks to her grandfather's secret gift of a poem--"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"--along with his last bit of wisdom that it is okay "to wonder. This powerful debut novel, the first in a trilogy, demonstrates mastery of metaphor and characters that are strongly rendered. Reminiscent in tone and style to the Hunger Games series (Scholastic), this engrossing, futuristic, dystopian read will satisfy readers. The author does a frighteningly believable job of building a new world, and the romantic cover art symbolically represents Cassia's plight. It is a great read for fans of Meyer, Collins, and Lowry, and the story will linger with readers.--Ava Edhe 4Q 5P M J S  Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.

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