Book Review: Matched Series

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Matched

by
Ally Condie

ReviewIcon1Cassia 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

ReviewIcon2This was an enjoyable read.  It’s a YA dystopian novel, which is becoming a fast favorite genre for me, and it’s well done.  While there is some foreshadowing of the “Big Brother” problems to come, there’s not a lot of action going on with the whole Society issue.  It’s much less in-your-face about politics than say, the Hunger Games series.  Yet, there are some things set in motion and unrest that tells us something big is coming (assumedly in the next book or two).  There is awakening to the idea that authority can be challenged.

Of course, at the heart of it, it’s really just a big love triangle.  The first half of the book, I felt like the author didn’t allow us to get to know Xander very well.  Because Cassia knew him well, the time was instead focused on her getting to know Ky, which was all fine and good, but I wanted to know more about Xander.  She does get a little better about this in the second half of the book, so I didn’t end it feeling quite so dissatisfied on that front.  I liked the smuggled poetry… the writing… the questioning of Society.

So, overall, I enjoyed the book.  I’m looking forward to finishing the series and seeing how things turn out.

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Would I recommend this to my BFF? Sure.
Would I recommend this to my teen daughter?  Yes.  I actually bought the series for her, but she hasn’t read them yet.

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It didn’t earn the 5 star “This-is-the-most-amazing-book-ever!” but it was good.  A solid 4 of 5.

Crossed

by
Ally Condie

ReviewIcon1The Society chooses everything.

The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.

Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.
And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.
But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems…

A rebellion is rising.

And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.

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Now we’re getting somewhere!  While I wouldn’t classify this as an “action” novel, it was much more “active” than book one.  Things were happening.  I liked that.  The voice in this book switched from only Cassia (in Matched) to both Cassia & Ky, in alternating chapters.  I liked that it gave you better information as to what each person was thinking/feeling, but their voices were so similar that I did have to go back a few times and look at the beginning of the chapter to check again from whose perspective I was reading.

We meet some new characters in this book, and Eli I loved, but I’m still not sure what I think of Indie.  Her character has a lot of mystery surrounding her, and I’m still not sure we need to trust her.  While Xander was only present for a chapter or two in this one, we do learn more about him (without Cassia doing so), so it will be interesting to see what happens with the little triangle (well, square now that Indie’s involved) as Cassia is back in “Society”.

There are many unanswered questions, and I guess that’s just part of being the middle book in a series.  (Why can’t they just write one long novel anymore?!?!)  However, there are definitely several ways things can go with the whole Society/Rising issues.  I am hoping that the third book will answer all the questions and not disappoint!

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Would I recommend this to by BFF?  Yes.  I thought it was better than the first.
Would I recommend this to my teen daughter?  Yep!

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4.5 of 5

Reached

by
Ally Condie

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After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

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I had high hopes for this one… I wanted it to wrap up all the loose ends that the other books left hanging, and it did.  Condie is a wonderfully descriptive writer, and I found myself wanting to move slowly through this book because I wasn’t ready for it to end.  I loved the way it connected all the dots.  Even though the love triangle (square–pentagon??) didn’t end exactly how I had hoped, I could see how she chose to wrap things us was for the best.  I loved the red garden day memory with Cassia’s Grandfather, and how the “answer” came from her mother. Chapter 44 — Wow.  I won’t say more, but wow!  Such a powerful writing technique.  Very unique.  You’ll have to read it for yourself and see.

This was definitely my favorite of the series.  It seemed much more “meaty” than the others, and I loved the new characters like Anna and Oker.  I felt like it was finally “bigger” than the relationship dilemma, and I loved all the little plot twists — like just who was emptying Ky’s medicine bag!

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Would I recommend this to my BFF?  Yes!
Would I recommend it to my teenage daughter?  Absolutely!  I’m trying to get her to read the whole series!

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5 of 5 stars.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, photographer, amateur chef, homeschooler, pretend gardener, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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