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Thursday, December 29, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Matched by Ally Condie


TITLE: Matched
SERIES: Matched, Book #1 

AUTHOR: Ally Condie
NARRATOR: Kate Simses 
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
DATE OF PUBLICATION: November 30, 2010

FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 9 hours and 54 minutes

GENRE:
Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia, Fantasy
ISBN: 978-
0142428634

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:
 

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.

MY REVIEW: 

This book will be among the top of the list for my favourite reads of 2011! It has won several literary awards, including: 2011 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and 2010 Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for Fiction.

Cassia Reyes is a 17 year-old teenager living in a dystopian world. Teens can choose whether they will remain single or be “matched.” Those wishing to be matched will be found a partner using a scientific balance of probabilities to result in the healthiest offspring. By gene-matching in this way, the Society effectively has wiped out cancer and other terminal and degenerative diseases.

At Cassia’s Match Banquet, her match is revealed to be none-other than her best friend, Xander Carrow. As is customary at the Match Banquet, Cassia receives a silver box containing a microchip that has background information about her match. When Cassia puts the chip into her system, she is shocked to see a picture of someone else flashed on the screen – and it is a picture of another boy that she knows: Ky Markham.

Cassia wonders whether a mistake has been made regarding her match. Was Ky intended to be her match instead of Xander? The Society doesn’t make mistakes, so how could this have happened? As Cassia tries to uncover the truth, she discovers that there is a lot about the Society that doesn’t add up.

I thought this was a fantastic dystopian novel, and dystopia is fast-becoming one of my favourite genres! I found myself daydreaming about what life would be like in the world that Condie has created: Obesity has been eliminated due to catered meals created and delivered for each mealtime that meets each individual’s caloric needs, recreational time that is scheduled into each day to allow everyone time to de-stress, a vocation that is chosen for someone based on their strengths and abilities. It sounds to me like it would be a virtually stress-free world! With debilitating diseases wiped out, each person can live a long and healthy life until the age of 80 which is age that is “chosen” for each person to die. Another interesting concept in Condie’s world is that life is structured to be as uncluttered as possible. This means that there are only 100 songs, 100 poems, 100 books, etc. Condie’s world-building is quite complex.

As long as you didn’t question the Society’s decisions, you could live quite blissfully in Condie’s world. That is, unless, you wished for free choice. Even the recreational time isn’t truly “free” because you can only choose one of the options given to you. Would you give up your right for free choice if you could live a relatively trouble-free life? Although such a life is tempting, I suspect that I would be one of those that would try to rebel against authority.

Narrator Katie Simses was a perfect choice for this book. Her voice as Cassia was believable and authentic, and I found her interesting to listen to.

I loved this book! Cassia is a fantastic character, and I love her evolution from one of the mindless Society followers to someone who begins to question the choices made for her. I may not have always agreed with the decisions Cassia made (for example, when she burned her Grandfather’s poem), but I thought the choices she made were true to her character.

I highly recommend Matched, and I can’t wait for the story to continue in the next installment, Crossed.

MY RATING: 
5 stars!! Loved it!!

This book qualifies as: 
#103 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#40 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#40 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge 

#22 for my 1st In a Series Challenge 2011 

2 comments:

  1. I read Matched last year, and really loved it. I'm reading Crossed soon and can't wait to find out what is in store for Cassia next.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My 3 daughters and I cannot wait to read Crossed!
    We loved Matched.

    ReplyDelete

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