Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie


I've been a reading machine lately, and I wanted to talk about one book in particular that I really enjoyed last month: Matched by Ally Condie. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I am a fan of dystopian literature and a few of my favorite books in the past couple of years have been the Hunger Games series. On a related note, if you're also into this kind of literature, I HIGHLY recommend The Handmaid's Tale by Margaraet Atwood, which is one of my most favorite books ever, in the whole entire world!

But back to the novel at hand. Matched was recommended to me by Amazon, and I promptly ordered the sample to my Kindle upon reading a snippet of the plot.  Two things you should know about me and my reading habits: one, I really love my Kindle for one reason in particular outside of its portability and convenience.  I'm obsessed with the sample feature! One of my favorite things to do is browse Amazon and order sample upon sample to my Kindle. When I go to turn it on later it's like Christmas, and the promise of finding at least one new book to love really makes me happy. And two, I really dislike reading in-depth reviews or summaries of a book. I typically just glance at it to get the main idea and that's it!  In a perfect world I wouldn't know anything about any book ever, and just go off recommendations. I really enjoy going into both books and movies with a completely unbiased opinion. So that's why when I review books I stay very vague and never, ever give spoilers.

So to give you a very brief idea of what Matched is about, here's a small snippet from Amazon:

For Cassia, nothing is left to chance--not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the "burden" of choice. When Cassia's best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until... 

See? I gave nothing away. But if you're intrigued even a little bit, I urge you to avoid reading any more of the summary on Amazon and just go get the book, or order it! I definitely enjoyed it and it was an incredibly quick read. I did feel like some of the writing was a bit "fluffy," but at the same time it is a YA book and that part of the charm.  I did like the main characters, but I thought that they were lacking just a touch in depth. I would have loved to gotten to know them a bit more. All in all though, none of these things were large enough flaws that would prevent me from very eagerly awaiting the next book (to be released November 2011) or recommending it whole-heartedly to a friend.  I read it in two sittings because the author did such a great job of keeping everything moving and her writing definitely has an appealing flow to it. Two thumbs up!

So, if you're looking for a great book, in the same vein as The Hunger Games, then definitely try Matched by Ally Condie! And if you do, please let me know what you think! Happy reading.

39 comments:

  1. i'm intrigued enough to be downloading the sample right now!
    i also love sampling books, and don't like reading other people's reviews as they can be very subjective. some of the best books i've read never made a bestseller's list. have a fab day :)

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  2. I have such a list (slash shelves) of books to read, but will add this one to the collection!

    Curious- do you have a very large book collection? Any cute ways of storing them all? :-)

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  3. thanks for the recommendation! i will definitely look into adding this to my list of books to read this summer :)
    ~Andrea @ http://hecallsmewifey.blogspot.com/

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  4. The Handmaid's Tale is a gooder for sure!

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  6. yay! i'm always looking for new books to read. and since i've got two small children, i have to have my list ready before we head for the library.

    i've got a new feature on my blog, called 'tales from the crib.' if you've got a crazy and humorous story about being a mama, i'd love for you to share!

    http://delirious-rhapsody.blogspot.com/2011/05/tales-from-crib-v3.html

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  7. Thanks for the recommendation! I love Handmaid's Tale too- I read it when I was much younger and didn't realize that it's actually set in Cambridge where I live! I'll have to reread it now. Requesting this one from the library for sure.

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  8. I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy after someone suggested it, in fact I have started it again already, and have been hoping to find something similar. I'm so intrigued by your little review I think I'm gonna have to make a trip to the bookshop before it closes. Thanks so much for the suggestion xoxo

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  9. I've now got this on my "to read" list. I loved Hunger Games and The Handmaid's Tale, so I'm very interested to read this book. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  10. I read Matched recently and I liked it. I'm eagerly awaiting for the next book to come out.

    I read reviews for other books on amazon and I would way rather just read the snippet that amazon gives as a preview.

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  11. I loved this book! Can't wait for the next one in the series. :)

    Adding the Handmaid's Tale to my goodreads list - thanks for the recommendation.

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  12. Oh this is SO on my list of books to read!!
    Have you read the Mortal Instruments series?! SO GOOD! You need to read those as well! :)

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  13. You know, I work at a bookstore and sell that book like CRAZY but have yet to hear any reviews about it, so I'm glad that it's really good! If you're a fan of Hunger Games and stuff (which I totally am too) check out a book called Divergent by Veronica Roth. It may actually be better ;)

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  14. We're leaving on a road trip for memorial day, and I was just thinking that I need to stop at the library and pick up a couple books. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  15. I'm usually not a big fan of dystopian lit, but I read The Hunger Games series this past Christmas and was in love. I've been debating whether this book is worth the purchase for the past few months. After this post, I'm certainly intrigued and I think I'll give it a shot! Thanks for the review! <3

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  16. I've read both the Hunger Games series and Matched and loved them both! I look forward to more book recommendations! I'm currently reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and next up is Bossy Pants. Wahoo for summer reading! :)

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  17. I'm a dystopian literature junkie as well and after feeling like nothing could ever top The Hunger Games, I'm glad there's stuff out there in the same vein (and that's good!) I downloaded the sample the other day and am so pleased! The sample feature is such an awesome thing.

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  18. Thank you so much for this! I am always on the lookout for new books in this vein - I'm a big Phillip K. Dick fan, and I have to say while I enjoyed (ok, cried through a bit of) Handmaiden's Tale, my favorite Atwood is Oryx and Crake. Have you read it? I highly recommend it if you haven't! It takes Handmaiden a few steps further.
    Thanks again!

    ps You have a gorgeous blog, I've been reading for a week or two now and am really enjoying it!

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  19. LOVED the Hunger Games series - so of course, I've gone right over to Amazon and added both books you mentioned to my Kindle Wishlist! Thanks so much for sharing - I'm always on the lookout for really good reads!

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  20. I can't believe I haven't read the Hunger Games books yet! I la-la-Love dystopian lit. If you haven't already, I second that you should check out Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. So good. They are "companion novels," not sequels and a third is still coming out. Eco-dystopian speculative fiction is what I'd call them. :)

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  21. I just found your blog today. I follow you now. Can't wait to read more.

    Love, Shellsea Blog - Giveaway today

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  22. Thanks for the rec - I love dystopian literature too - it's so creepy. Kind of reminds me of The Giver, my favorite favorite book :)

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  23. Hee hee. I do the same thing (previewing) but with movie trailers. I could watch them for hours! Love this review. Thanks.

    xo
    Kacie
    www.acollectionofpassions.blogspot.com

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  24. I'm also a big fan of dystopian literature. And, for the summer, I am willing to let poor writing slide in favor of a page-turning plot. Thanks for the recommendation-downloading now. :)

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  25. I read this book, but I just kept beind disapointed that it wasn't The Hunger Games. I kept thinking, "I wonder if Cassia's mom know's Katniss' mom becuase they both are so into plants.." or "Yeah! Run away! Gale will help you!."

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  26. I love when you do book reviews because we have the same taste! So far, I've read a bunch of books you've recommended and love love loved them! So keep it up, I can't wait to check this one out.

    And the sample feature on the kindle is the best thing ever!!! I love that it delivers books within seconds and I can just delete it when I hate it!

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  27. Too funny -- I just read this on my Kindle last week. LOVED it. Can't wait for the sequel.

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  28. I just bought this for my Nook after you mentioned it in a previous post! I'm on the last of the Hunger Games and am completely addicted! Can't wait to read Matched next!

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  29. Purchased! I loved the Hunger Games trilogy which I bought on your recommendation and The Handmaid's Tale is one of my all-time favourite books.

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  30. Thanks for the recommendation. Matched sounds like a really good read. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and The Handmaid's Tale offers a truly terrifying vision of the future.

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  31. great review! I didn't hate Matched, but I didn't love it either - definitely felt too cushy for me. based on the ending though, I am looking forward to the next one! if you liked this one, you should check out Delirium... amazing book.

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  32. Love The Hunger Games & The Handamaids Tale! You might also want to check out The Giver. It is a childrens novel, but so good.

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  33. Ooo~ I love Dystopian!

    I just finished Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (published in 1932). I'm also a lover of old books and their smell! That's my reason for not going digital. People can't smell the nook/kindle.

    Have you read 1984? Don't get me wrong I love The Hunger Games (waiting for the movie! IMDB.com has the cast list up!) but I also love older books. Are you the same way?

    Jessica

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  34. This has been added to my "to-read" list

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  35. I've read The Hunger Games trilogy and absolutely loved it! I'm a little in love with the boy with the bread :) I've also read Matched and really enjoyed that book as well, and I agree with your saying that the characters were lacking some depth. That seemed to be the only negative for me, other than that I really liked it and am definitely going to read the next book! Now, as as a fellow lover of dystopian novels I HAVE to recommend Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Here's my non-spoiler snippet! :)

    "Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable."

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  36. I bleeding love my kindle! I just got it a week ago, and it's totally won me over. Thanks for the review-this is on my goodreads to read list. I think I've read all the other books mentioned in the comment thread! Excellent choices!

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  37. I love the Hunger Games and I love Matched. I can't wait for Crossed!

    So are you team Xander or team Ky?

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  38. i agree with the recommendations for delirium by lauren oliver & divergent by veronica roth, but you might want to break them up a little because they're both in the same vein as matched, which i loved. i also loved delirum... and divergent. ha.

    also if you do read lauren oliver's delirum & you enjoy her writing style, her debut novel, before i fall, was heartbreaking and wonderful and stunning. the it had me crying into my pillow at three a.m kind of stunning.

    okay, i'll stop now. books, woo!

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    Replies
    1. Same here. I would follow every method taught.

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