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MATCHED (Spoiler Alert)

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Just wanted to start a spoiler thread for Matched so I could talk more in depth about it.

I loved the world building and that we immediately know what Cassia wants. I love the writing, how poetic it feels, and all the references to poetry. I felt like there was a lot of telling. She never showed how people felt. She always told us if they were surprised or scared. It surprised me to see so much of it, not because I dislike it, but because it feels almost drilled into me to show not tell. I actually like to know exactly how someone is feeling in a book and raised eyebrows or other facial clues don't usually do that. I wonder if since she was already published that it didn't matter? Or because the concept was so good, it didn't matter?

There were several plot points that I saw coming, such as her Dad getting rid of her Grandfather's DNA sample. I knew it wasn't an accident. And I also knew that they were killing the old people, but I had read The Giver before so I wonder if that's why I saw it.

I thought there were a lot of resemblances to The Hunger Games, but more because they're both dystopian societies than because of actual content. I think one of the things l like the most is the relationship she had with her family and how it evolved over the course of the book. The love interest felt very real too and all the flashbacks through the book added a lot for me as a reader.

All in all, I really loved this book.
#1 - January 02, 2011, 04:39 PM
Twitter: @rs_gignilliat


The telling didn't really bother me, because I really didn't notice it, and maybe that's why it's okay? I think most rules we have drilled into us start out with good intentions--keeping the reader immersed in the story, but can sometimes take on a life of their own. I loved the prose, it was very beautiful. :)

I loved how her familial relationships evolved, and how she came to see her parents as real people. And I loved that Cassia had two equally good choices.
#2 - January 02, 2011, 05:33 PM


I have not been able to read this one yet, but the comments regarding telling interest me.  I think it is such a shame that "rules" like "show don't tell" somehow begin to define what is "good" for us.  All is style, all is the moment's fashion.  There are so many ways to convey information and telling can be a fabulous one when it's done well.  Yay for telling!  At least sometimes.
#3 - January 02, 2011, 05:37 PM

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I loved how both of the guys were good guys. The little things they did because that was part of their nature, not just because they were trying to impress someone. And I also liked how the whole matching/triangle thing was just the catalyst to something bigger.

I didn't notice the telling.

I MUCH preferred this to Hunger Games. HG was well written, but I have a low violence tolerance. Matched got across the same kind of government-control dystopian feeling, without making kids chop each other to bits.
#4 - January 02, 2011, 05:43 PM


I agree with Raynbow about the telling. I definitely noticed it, but I felt it was part of her writing style in the same way that many classics tell.

I loved that family was an integral part of the book. So many YA books these days include absent parents, dead parents, etc. I know that is the real world, in some ways, but it was refreshing to see a strong family unit. I loved both Xander and Ky -- as she described them. I loved the prose. But mainly, I loved the meanings behind the book and how passionately they came across.

I felt an absence of voice in many of the characters, and I think that is due to the telling. Xander and Ky were described to us, but their dialogue (for me) never felt especially distinctive. This is probably a very subjective thing. I heard various "voices" in many of the dystopians I've read, which may be why this fact bothered me a bit.

All in all, I really appreciated this book in so many ways that I'm sure I will reread it, and I can't wait for the 2nd book!
#5 - January 02, 2011, 06:02 PM
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 08:03 PM by M.B. West »


I agree, Olmue. HG was good, but I definitely preferred MATCHED to HG, especially due to the violence factor.
#6 - January 02, 2011, 06:58 PM

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I also loved MATCHED, and prefer it to HG.  Part of that is because I think Cassia is more compassionate and three-dimensional than Katniss (just my opinion, of course).  I loved both Xander and Ky, though Ky felt more 'real' to me -- and like Olmue, I appreciate that they're both good guys.  This is one instance where a love triangle doesn't turn me off, as it wasn't really Cassia's love triangle, but more the Society's love triangle, and all three were put into place and then had to figure out how they'd react to it.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next one (and hope, hope, hope it doesn't devolve into something stiff and distant like Mockingjay!).
#7 - January 03, 2011, 10:01 AM
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I *loved* MATCHED. I loved the fluid prose. I loved Ky. I loved that he was so much more than what he portrayed. I didn't notice the telling, actually! One tiny pick: the climax wasn't much of a climax. Which left me feeling like this book was just a story to get the REAL story started. But that's a minor complaint, because despite that, I still devoured the book and can't wait for #2.
#8 - January 06, 2011, 08:51 PM
ALTERED (YA) Little, Brown Fall 2012
BOT WARS (MG) Dial Summer 2013

I finished reading with more of a mediocre feeling. I did like it for all the reasons above but I won't be going out and getting book 2. It all felt too predictable. Lovely writing and I'm pleased Ally is getting the success she deserves - it was just not for me.

Did anyone else think Xander had actually done something to Ky in the pool when they were kids? From that point I expected Xander to be exposed as a bully but I don't recall what was revealed in the end about it.
#9 - February 06, 2011, 11:49 AM
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I finished it today. I liked it. I don't think I'll still be thiinking about it weeks from now, the way I do with some novels, but I enjoyed it. The way Cassia was content with everything and then suddenly started noticing how little freedom she had bothered me a bit. I would have liked it if she had remembered a time or two before the Matching where she felt the first stirrings of irritation at the suppression. I thought the pace was good and although the book did feel a little like a proloque to the real story that is coming, I still kept turning pages. I really, really hope the second and third books are as good or better and don't end up disappointing me the way Mockingjay did.

Did anyone else think that the brother was going to eat a bite of the Grandfather's last meal based on the way she set it up by having him disregard the rules so often and then having him enjoy his own plate at the meal so much? I really thought that was how she was going to find out the food was poisoned--by the brother getting sick from eating just a bite or two.

#10 - February 06, 2011, 07:18 PM
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 07:21 PM by kidlit59 »

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I just got this book last week and am about halfway through. I like the premise and the world, and find the whole "all acts of creation are banned" idea thought provoking. But--is it just me?--when Cassia destroyed the poetry, I lost all sympathy for her. It just didn't make sense to me that she let it go so easily, so soon after her grandfather's death. I know she's brainwashed and scared, but she had the perfect hiding place for it, and it had gone undetected for years. And if it was that dangerous even when hidden away, what are we to make of her grandfather giving the compact to her without her knowing what she had? I'm waiting to find out why it was necessary for the story that she destroy the poetry.

So far, I prefer HG to this.

And Pippa, yes, I wondered about the pool incident! You mean it doesn't pay off?! Darn it.
#11 - April 07, 2011, 06:10 AM


I loved the writing, but that was about it.
It wasn't bad, but I wasn't continually turning pages wanting to know what would happen. And the ideas--the government killing the old people, not being allowed to write, the loss of much of history's literature and art--has happened in so many other books. And I know that there is no such thing as an original plot and whatnot, but all of those ideas just seemed stripped right off of The Giver and Fahrenheit 451.

I honestly don't get the comparison to this and HG. HG is dystopia, Matched is a utopia. There's the triangle, but Cassia's clearly going to go for Ky, and in HG you have no flipping idea what Katniss wants. And I'll have to wait for the rest of the series, but for me, HG hits closer to home because the themes and ideas there are, to me, so much more prevalent in our society today, just in a very magnified way.
#12 - April 15, 2011, 02:11 PM


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