sci-fi month

[Sci Fi Month] Series Reflection: Matched (Ally Condie)





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 with complete certainty that 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, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.


Series stats

Author: Ally Condie
Number of books: 3
Total number of pages: 1281


Opening line:

Now that I’ve found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?


Status on my shelves:

I don’t actually own any of these – I borrowed all three from the library!


Why I picked this series up:

I spotted this in the library and picked it up just because it sounded interesting.  I hadn’t read any reviews for it or anything, literally just saw it in the library and decided to give it a go.


Why I liked it:

In Cassia’s world, science and the Society regulate everything, so that individuals’ lives are seemingly perfect.  Life in the Society is easy, and all very civilized.  Individuals have their whole lives regulated, from their career to their diets to their deaths; everything is moderated to the perfect balance for each individual.

On the night of her Match ceremony, Cassia sees her best friend Xander on-screen, exactly as she’d hoped.  What she didn’t expect was to also see a flash of another face: Ky Markham, a boy she knows but doesn’t exactly spend her time thinking about.  Told that the appearance of Ky’s face was a glitch (but not a mistake because the Society doesn’t make mistakes), Cassia is strongly encouraged to stay away from Ky.  She knows she should – why should she put her match with Xander at risk? Xander is fun-loving, witty and her best friend.  The Society has matched them because they’re a perfect match for each other, genetically and emotionally.  There is no logical reason to put that at jeopardy, and yet Cassia is curious about Ky.  She can’t resist getting to know him better, slowly developing stronger feelings that put all three of them in an awkward situation.  Legally she has to stick to her match, and to break that match for Ky would put both of them at risk and break Xander’s heart.
Matched, Crossed and Reached all read slightly differently for me.  In Matched, I really enjoyed the world building, and I loved reading about Cassia’s family.  I also grew to love Ky and Xander, but became concerned I may end up hating Cassia.  She sometimes came across as very shallow and inconsistent in her affections, and there were times I got fed up of her.

Crossed was a much slower book than Matched, and I’d say this was the book that showed off Ally Condie’s poetic writing to the greatest extent.  Crossed felt much more character driven than Matched, and I started to feel more like Cassia had genuine feelings for Xander and Ky.

Reached is probably the most dramatic book of the series, with chapters from multiple points of view and various dramatic plot twists I can’t mention!  I enjoyed all three books despite their differences, though  Crossed was my least favourite and felt like a good example of middle book syndrome.

 

The love triangle in Matched is remarkably well done.  Both Ky and Xander felt well-developed, with both good personality traits and some bad ones.  Each had some great moments, and there were times when I felt like one was a great choice and times when I felt like the other was better.  Although Cassia’s dilemma felt very shallow to begin with, as the series went on it became more plausible and believable.  My only criticism really is that the final ending to the triangle felt a bit too manufactured.

One more thing:
Crossed is a very easy dystopian series.  I found it easy to read through quickly, despite Condie’s sometimes flowery writing style.  Crossed felt like it was aimed at a slightly younger audience than some other dystopian series, although I can’t for the life of me pinpoint why! Although the science behind the series isn’t particularly taxing, the storyline isn’t juvenile, and there are still some dark twists (it’s still a dystopian after all)I found that the slightly simpler storyline and more poetic writing were unexpected, but also quite a refreshing change of pace once I got into the flow of it.

3 thoughts on “[Sci Fi Month] Series Reflection: Matched (Ally Condie)

  1. So I’ve read the first two in the series, but kept hearing mixed reviews about the last book. Mostly, the people I’ve talked to said not to read it because it was a big disappointment. I feel like I’ll get to it eventually, but right now, I’m not rushing off to buy it.

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