Matched Reviews

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Matched Reviews

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Matched

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“The hottest YA title to hit bookstores since The Hunger Games.”–Entertainment Weekly

A New York Times bestseller

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, a

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3 Comments

S. Power

June 2, 2016 at 8:47 pm
507 of 536 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Romantic and Thought Provoking, October 4, 2010
By 
S. Power (Detroit, Michigan, United States) –
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
  

This review is from: Matched (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)
Matched follows Cassia, a girl living in a Utopian/Dystopian society where everything is predicted and controlled by the government including who they will be mated with for life. Cassia’s government mandated match is a lifelong friend of hers but when she plugs her data card in to see his information another face pops up on her screen. Cassia falls for Ky and starts to question the rules of her society.

Cassia’s dystopian world is more like The Giver than other horrifying dystopian societies that have been popular in recent dystopias such as the Hunger Games. Her society is seemingly perfect but also heavily regimented and controlling. To make things more frustrating everytime Cassia does something that she feels is out of the ordinary one of the officials tells her that she was predicted to act in that way. She’s never overtly threatened and there is no risk of bodily harm but there is always a risk of being watched. The romance and love triangle which is heavily featured in the story is sweet. There is a large focus on poetry and art which could encourage younger readers to seek out the poem that Cassia treasures.

Age Appropriateness: This is a story that will be enjoyed by the entire YA audience. The story is complicated enough for older readers, yet the romance is set at a distance enough that younger readers will not be put off. The romance is the focus of the story (making this a girly book) along with the importance of poetry and creating things that are original. There is nothing in this novel that would disturb parents. The romance is G rated and there is no substance abuse or violence. The society is disturbing but in a thought provoking way as opposed to one that would give an easily influenced child nightmares. The lexile is 680 putting the reading level of the text around a fourth grade reading level making it a good book for reluctant readers.

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Tabitha

June 2, 2016 at 8:49 pm
175 of 196 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
a great story with one thing that bothered me, November 23, 2010
By 
Tabitha (Chicago) –
(VINE VOICE)
  

This review is from: Matched (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)
The premise to this story is very interesting, and I really liked the way everything was set up. The Society controlling everything, making the citizens dependent on it, making changes and interfering as it sees fit, etc. I loved the way the story unfolded as well as the direction it took. The pacing was spot on, the characters were interesting, and I thought the voice was just perfect.

In fact, there was only one thing that gave me pause…but it was a big thing, and bothered me throughout the story. And that was why Cassia went in the direction she did. I wanted to see more of her thought process here. I wanted to feel her curiosity in a palpable way, because I’m sure she was feeling it. But I didn’t feel it, and so subsequent actions felt…off. I think that with just a tiny bit more, this could have been a story that blew me out of the water. Instead, it was just good. 🙂

Since it was still quite good, I give it two thumbs up. Also, this is good for younger and older teens since the content is PG and still compelling enough to keep an older teen interested.

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Roxana W.

June 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm
281 of 337 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not enough dystopia, too much obsession over a boy., December 5, 2010
By 
Roxana W. (Los Angeles, CA) –
(VINE VOICE)
  

This review is from: Matched (Hardcover)
Some vague spoilers, nothing huge, but be warned.

So it was okay. I wanted to read this book because I’m a sucker for dystopian novels, but the few clear dystopian details were really the only things I enjoyed in this book.

The setting: I like that there are tablets that people carry, particularly the green one, because I find it interesting that they would end up creating a society that can’t really handle pressure naturally since they’re accustomed to “handling” it by taking the calming green pill. To me, it reflects a little on the way our society handles medication for things like anxiety, and at the same time it would be interesting to analyze a society that took calming pills over even simple nerves. But the novel doesn’t get that deep into the pills, not as much as I’d like it to.

The world, quite frankly, isn’t all that clear to me. At some point, I thought the author was going to leave us in the dark on a lot of details, as is often the way with dystopian novels, but it’s like she couldn’t fully decide on a clear setting. I’m probably being nitpicky, as I often am, but I’m used to authors being very clear on what they want you to know and what they don’t want you to know in order for you to fully grasp the world they’ve made. The author also unfortunately did not seem to know how to pace the information she *did* give us, because early on I felt overwhelmed with information that I didn’t even understand.

The characters: Cassia is an annoying- sometimes infuriating- protagonist. The girl sees the wrong guy on her screen and then obsesses over him like crazy. She decides she’s in love with him at a point that doesn’t make sense. For a good while her obsession with him is over his ~mysterious~ background. In other words, she doesn’t actually know what this kid is like (something she sort of acknowledges) but she’s pretty much already chosen to throw everything away for him. The girl also jumps into a streak of rebellion pretty easily for someone who was so content with following the rules to begin with. It just wasn’t convincing for me, and too much of Cassia’s story was centered around obsessing over Ky so there came a point early on where I stopped caring about her. I love me some romance in any novel, but when it starts to feel like that’s the only thing that matters then I get a little annoyed.

And we don’t really get a well-fleshed out character for Xander either, but with the way Cassia was obsessing, and with how cheesy Ky was at times, I was starting to really hope she’d just go back to him in the end. Since that doesn’t seem likely, I at least hope that someday he finds a girl that isn’t as irritating as Cassia was.

The writing: This was just… bad. This was one of those books that often makes you want to say, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” It was also obvious that too often the author was trying to sound poetic, thoughtful, and deep, but instead came off as awkward and nonsensical. She often had “deep” thoughts that didn’t fit well whenever she threw them in. It would be like, “I didn’t tell dad about the (insert secret) and I felt wrong keeping a secret from him for the first time. But maybe we all keep secrets from each other?” or “It felt strange to be rebelling this way against rules I was previously accustomed to. But maybe we all rebel in some ways?” She kept tacking on some universal thought to her personal experiences and I couldn’t help but laugh at how hard the author was trying to make her protagonist sound enlightened or thoughtful.

It isn’t mind-meltingly horrible, but I’m not really interested in the sequel. I’d really rather not read any more situations in which Cassia obsesses over Ky for reasons I can’t really comprehend. Try reading it if you must, but you’re way better off going for The Hunger Games. Now *that* is a good dystopian novel/trilogy.

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