Matched

Book 1
Narrated by: Kate Simses
Series: Matched, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3,407 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2010 Ally Condie (P)2010 Penguin

Featured Article: 10 Excellent Dystopian Listens Like The Hunger Games


The popularity of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy and its film adaptations has paved the way for so many great dystopian books and series in YA, imagining harrowing worlds where teens must fight for survival and define what life means to them. Although it's been more than 10 years since the first installment in the series was published, dystopian stories and the futures they imagine are endlessly fascinating to our imaginations.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Giver Goes Green

Cassia lives in a futuristic society where all decisions are made for her/them, including whom to marry. When paired with her handsome best friend, she glimpses the picture of another boy and spends the book getting to know him and questioning authority. The plot is just like Lois Lowry's, "The Giver". However, the characters and love triangle are more detailed and appeal to a teenage girl audience of 10-14. Good read for your teenage daughter and could be an interesting movie or CW series.

The narrator does a great job, but was an inappropriate choice. She sounds like she's 12 years old and not as intelligent or strong as the main character, Cassia. I may have enjoyed this one more if I'd picked up the book instead.

69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

I was worried about picking up this book because so many people were bashing it as a rip off of 'the giver'. I could not find many reviews that praised this particular story. I have not read the giver so i cannot agree with them, but i did read this book and i can say that i loved it. The structure of the society was not as big a part of the story for me as the events surrounding the characters was.

The book takes place in a dystopian society and you are immersed in it so much that when Cassia begins to open her eyes it is subtle. I really enjoyed that fact because in a lot of YA books the main character is really blunt with their epiphany. I enjoyed the way it was written and how realistic it felt even though the environment is like nothing we have experienced. I am excited for the next installment, but if the book were to end here i would not be dissatisfied. The main character is strong and she really kept the story interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story of teenage rebellion and strong characters.

The narrator did a great job. No complaints here.

28 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Kinder, Gentler Dyastopian Society

When my sister suggested this book to me, I wasn't sure I would like it. Genetically engineered societies means that disabilities are eliminated by default. That makes it difficult for me to "find myself" in the book because I already know going in that neither I nor my husband or son would be found in this oh-so-perfect society. But that wasn't a problem. Ally Condie crafted together such an artful weaving of character and setting with just enough ties to our own world to be believable that I was pulled in right away. Told from the point of view of someone who genuinely believes in the infalability of the Society and its statistics, Cassia moves right along as she reasonably explains away euthanasia or drug-induced amnesia while the reader's heart pounds at the deceptive logic of it all. There is a love story at the center of the book, but it wasn't the love story itself that pulled me in. Unlike other love triangle tales, one potential match isn't "wrong" and the other "right." I truly believe that Cassia would have been/will be happy with either Xander or Ky. To me, that's not the point of the story at all. Is it better to have the choice or not? No matter how perfect the society is planned to be, it will always come down to the power held in the hands of imperfect people.

Others have criticized the book for being nothing new, but I think that's unfair. Have dystopian tales been told before? Sure. Do others examine the same debates regarding personal freedom, secret knowledge, finding the right spouse? Absolutely. Matched, in my opinion, tells it well on its own merits.

I found this book to be so well crafted that it demanded my attention. Most of the time, I can balance reading multiple books at a time: one on audio, one on ebook, one on paper, etc. While I was reading Matched, however, it claimed my inner voice. I would try to read another book and find myself hearing Cassia and having to stop and remember that this was an entirely different world. For me to have that reaction alone says something.

On a lighter note, as a teacher who still emphasizes the value of cursive writing and poetry, I loved the twist Matched brought to those two arts often dismissed in today's society. There is a value in creating rather than simply sifting through facts and regurgitating the right ones at the right time.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I loved it, despite the mixed reviews

Any books that are about dystopian societies are a must listen in my opinion. I love this genre even if it's a bit formulaic at times. Throw in a good romance or love triangle and I am instantly hooked.

Although this wasn’t as great or as dark as some of the other’s in this category it was still a solid and enjoyable listen. If you like your dystopian novels more on the romantic side (Delirium, The Selection) then you will enjoy this one too. However, if you prefer them a little more on the action/adventure side (Divergent, The Hunger Games) then perhaps you should skip this one.

Overall I really liked this book and will continue with the trilogy. The narration was excellent and really made the story come alive.

4 Stars!

27 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Decently good YA read

Any additional comments?

This series was definitely written from a more juvenile point of view. It held my interest but there were times when I was bored and wanted to just get to the point. Also, most of the things that happen are incredibly unrealistic. Having said all that, I did still enjoy listening to the books. There was enough that was entertaining and creative that it kept me wanting to know more.

All the narrators were annoying except for Xander in the 3rd book. Cassia and Ky's narrators were reading the book like it was whimsical poetry and was really annoying.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

What happens when all choices are made for you.

This story is set in a dystopian future where everything you do is planned for you. The ‘Society’ decides what clothes you wear, where you work, who you will marry, when you will have children, and when you die. The story revolves around three main people: Cassie, Ky, and Xander. Cassie and Xander have known each other since birth and Ky since he was around 10.

When you are 17 you get to go to a Match Banquet and find out who you are going to marry. At Cassie’s banquet they call Xander as her Match.

Everyone is so happy that Cassie and Xander are matched, now neither child will have to leave to live in another city with their match. Even though Cassie knows just about everything about Xander, she puts the data card into the computer port at her home just to see what is on it. She is very surprised that Ky’s face pops up … just for a second, but it was there.

The Society rushes in to tell her it was a mistake. Because of something Ky’s father did, Ky has been given the label ‘aberration’ and will never be allowed to be Matched. Now she is curios and that curiosity will lead her to want to learn more about Ky. The more Cassie learns, the more she realizes that she is in love with Ky. Real love. The type of love expected from her by Xander as his Matched girl. But Ky’s love is against the rules. If Cassie breaks the rules not only will she be punished, but her whole family could be punished also.

We enjoyed listening to this book. When we picked it, we didn’t realize that it was a trilogy, so you can imagine our surprise when it didn’t have a final conclusion at the end. As a matter of a fact, there were many things hinted at but never explored. So you are left feeling that you only got part of a story. I am sure that is a trick by the author to get us to want to read the next in the series when it finally comes out. Which we will do, but still …

Kate Simes has the voice that sounds closer to 10 or or 11 than 17, but it didn't distract from the story

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Tiresome

Would you try another book from Ally Condie and/or Kate Simses?

I became almost as tired of the Society as the main character did. The reading felt a bit monotonous, the narrator over-enunciated just about everything; it felt rote. But the story itself also felt a bit plodding, so perhaps that wasn't the fault of the narrator.

What three words best describe Kate Simses’s voice?

Childlike

Was Matched worth the listening time?

No. Unfortunately.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Satisfying Dystopian YA Fiction

Another in the plethora of dystopian YA fiction that is to be found, Matched is actually quite good and different from The Hunger Games and Divergent. It's less death-defying, which is the huge difference. There's no violence.

But there is a controlling Society who manages every single part of a person's life, down to the person whom they are to marry. And this is where this particular dystopian story differs.

This story is told well. Some of the prose is quite lovely. The characters are full people. And as a first in a trilogy, it's a good start. I'm intrigued enough to want to read the second book, Crossed.

The narrator is very good, with the perfect youthful voice for the first person narration.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Matched

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would. I think hearing the voices, rather than just reading the book, added quite a bit to the story.

What about Kate Simses’s performance did you like?

I liked that she changed voices and used some emotion. Other narrators don't do that as much.

Any additional comments?

I do plan on continuing on with the series.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Poor narration, would have rather read the book

Would you consider the audio edition of Matched to be better than the print version?

No. I have not read the print version, but I can tell by the audiobook that I enjoy the writing and the author has a beautiful style. I chose the audio book because I commute 60-90 minutes twice daily, and audiobooks are great dsitractions. However, this narrator was not very good company and I regret paying for this audiobook. Her voice sounds kind of like baby talk, which makes the young adult book seem even less appropriate for someone like me in their mid twenties.

Any additional comments?

I liked the story a lot, although there have been many written like it in the past. I agree with the comparisons to the Giver and Brave New World (two books I grew up loving). I enjoy dystopian society books, which is why I chose this one, and in that sense I was pleased and entertained. I have a hard time with the young adult format these stories often take though, and the aim at a younger audience was very apparent throughout the book.

4 people found this helpful