Review: Matched (Matched Trilogy Book 1) by Ally Condie

With the release of book 3 ‘Reached‘ fast approaching on November 15th i believe, I decided that I owed it to myself to re-visit the series so that i was completely up to speed on what happened so that i don’t find myself re-reading things and scratching my head.  trust me – that’s happened before when there’s been a lag between sequels coming out.

The plot: we’re introduced to the leading lady – Cassia who is pretty much on par with many of the women that we find at the head of these dystopian tales.  She’s perhaps not quite grown into her full potential, maybe even on the edge of being a bit off-putting, but it’s not really her fault.  See, the society that Cassia lives in isn’t a great one.  People are segmented in a way that makes some positions coveted and others completely abhorred.  Lucky for Cassia, she’s not among the ones that are hated or looked down upon – she has an opportunity out there – assuming that she follows all the ‘rules’.  These rules are what keep society and everyone in order and what allows for a somewhat peaceful (if you can call it that) existence, but what we know to be the case with all ‘teens’ – it’s never enough.

When she ‘comes of age’ and is put to the ‘matching ceremony’ – a process that seems relatively fool proof, that’s when things start to go awry.  What was deemed to be a ruling system that rarely if ever makes mistakes shows a crack in their armor and Cassia finds herself right in the middle of that.

how do you figure that?  well…enter the love triangle! These 2 guys, Ky and Xander are woven through her life in a way that’s not quite what she expected.  See, the matching ceremony is supposed to  match you with your perfect mate, and that’s typically someone from another town/settlement or whatever that’s quite far away.  For Cassia, she was actually really lucky – when her match was revealed, it was none other than Xander – the boy that she has had a long standing relationship (be it whatever it was) and that couldn’t have been better.  but then….a glitch happens and Ky’s face is then revealed – who is also someone that she knows.  So what’s the likelihood of that happening right?  not only was there a glitch, but she knew both boys.  1 is of an acceptable class and the other not so much.

in any event, Cassia is then forced to choose to develop the correct relationship ad deemed by the Society and that’s one of the hardest things that she’ll ever have to do – to figure out exactly what’s right, if the Society is right, or if there’s something bigger and better out there.

What i really liked about this lead in for the series is that the end just leaves you hanging.  That’s how i judge if it’s a good story or not.  do i have more questions to be answered or do i know what to expect? is it clear which relationships are strongest?  do we know what the leading character is going to do and how those actions will ultimately affect their life?  (relationships aside?)  Matched did all that for me – i was left wanting more which was great since Crossed was just a few months away from release and that’s a story left for review for another day.


Review: The Selection (Selection #1) by Kiera Cass


Title:  The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins Publishers, 2012
Length:  327 pages
Series: The Selection #1


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Thoughts

I don’t know why i’m ever surprised anymore – but sometimes i still get that little shock/surprise.  I just started/finished ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass  and i really really enjoyed it.  that’s not where my surprise comes from since i kind of had a feeling that this book would be right up my alley, but it’s more to the point that it’s already being made into a TV show on the CW.  i think that it’ll do well, i just hope that it doesn’t give people and impression of the plot line since book 2 isn’t even out yet

the surprise that i keep getting though as well is that if you read about reviews on the book online, they call it very Hunger Games-esque and i’m not sure that i agree with that.  Let’s talk similarities:

  • it’s dystopian
  • there’s a class/caste system in The Selection that i suppose can be compared to the Districts in Hunger Games
  • There’s a love triangle

to me, that’s where the similarities end.  now onto the differences:

  • there’s a royal family who’s trying to keep the new country in order amongst threats from rebels
  • the ‘competition’ aspect is about finding love – not killing each other
  • the main character ‘America’ doesn’t consider herself to be super tough and have the ability to excel against her competition like Katniss did.  she actually kind of even takes herself out of contention so that she doesn’t have to fight (which is what i would do cause you know that’s how the winner is always determined)

anyway, i’m anxiously awaiting the next book, and kind of wished that i lived in NZ or Australia since i think it’s out there already, and and book 3 might be out there already too.  here…book 2 not until next year i think….

so to take it back to the topic at hand – I’m rooting for the book vs. the TV show which i know that a lot of eager readers find to be the case too.