Matched by Ally Condie, reviewed by Annabeth Stennett

From barnesandnoble.com

Cassia has always trusted the society to make the right choices for her. So when Xanders face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate…until she sees Ky Markhams face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch and 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.

Everyone wants to know who they are going to marry and spend the rest of their life with. It’s a human fact of curiosity. In “Matched” by Ally Condie you learn that on your sixteenth birthday at your Matched Banquet. In this dystopian community the society chooses everything, basically your fate, and Cassia decides she wants to change that. I enjoyed the entire novel but I most enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the theme.

I enjoyed the complicated, yet on the edge plot. In “Matched” Cassia the protagonist is like a robot in the Society. The Society controls you, tell you, what to do, who to be with, what to eat. Everyone in Oria Province lives this way. At Cassias Match Banquet she is matched with Xander. But when she gets home and tries to learn more about him another face pops up. This face belongs to Ky Markham. The society claims it is a rare mistake. The plot is very good and well written. It is a post-apocalyptic society with twist turn and adventure romance.

The characters are the second thing I loved. Cassia the protagonist, I can very much relate to her in many ways. I don’t like being put in a box and being told what to do and expected to do so. Cassia realizes this through the course of the book. Ky is my favorite character though. He is strong and independent with a dork secret. Xander is Cassias best friend and her match. He loves Cassia and never doubts her choices to her.

The last thing I enjoyed was the theme. To me the theme is freedom and romance. I think we take freedom for granite at times. So in the book they are controlled and have not a lot of freedom. Of course romance. Your match is the person you fall in love with and is your match. Cassia falling in love with Ky. Romance is a big part of the book along with freedom as well.

Overall I loved the book and I’m going to continue reading the trilogy. It was an emotional roller coaster through the book and after the ending left me wondering and questioning. I recommend this to students who like books with a hint of romance action, and a dystopian community. Cassia is a strong independent person that will keep fighting for the right to choose. It had a well-known theme, an exciting plot with twist and turns, and amazing characters.

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8 responses

  1. Hello, Autumn! Let me start by saying you did a great job!

    Your introduction is very intriguing, which is a great thing! You immediately pull your audience into your paper by making a common statement about the human race being curious about their one true love.

    I would like to give you a few tips to help you build your writing. First, try differing your font for the opening paragraph from Barnes and Novel. By changing your font, it is separating the quote from your writing. Furthermore, make sure you add commas where they are needed. For example, in your second paragraph you do a great job using a literary term, protagonist; however, I would suggest adding a comma after Cassias and protagonist. You already added it after protagonist, which is great! Just don’t forget to separate names from titles you are giving them. Furthermore, when mentioning the book, Matched, either underline or italicize the title of the book (I would do it here, but I’m honestly not sure how to change the font in the comment box). Also, watch for fragmented sentences. Take a look at paragraph four. “Of course romance” is not a sentence. Perhaps you could connect it with another thought to make it a complete sentence. Can you see what I mean? You can actually connect a few of your fragmented sentences together by adding words and transitional words. This will actually make your writing flow more smoothly. When writing, make sure to check for grammar mistakes because these can easily be overlooked. However, these are all simple fixes! Don’t worry, everybody stumbles across these in their own writing!

    Although you had some mistakes, overall your book review was great! You presented the material well and made the book appear to be very interesting. Furthermore, your conclusion was great! I loved that you added your emotions toward this book and then based a recommendation upon it. Is there a book you could compare this to?

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Hello Celeste,
      Thank you for all your positive feedback and helping me to improve on my writing skills. I’m glad you commented on my fragment sentences, because I didn’t realize this before. I was getting points off for not connecting them with other sentences in my paragraphs where they should have been. I have been using more transitional words when I see myself doing this and have also been double checking my grammar errors and fixing them when they are there.
      Mrs. Baisden, my English teacher, has also been correcting me on the things you pointed out in my work. For example she told me to use more commas when and where they are needed. I have been fixing them and making sure they are where they are meant to be. She has also said to compare books if I know of one, but for this one there wasn’t any that I could think of that were like this.
      Is there anyway that you think I could improve more on my writing? I would like to be more descriptive, have longer paragraphs, and work on anything that can bring up my score. Could you give me any advice on how to do that?
      Thank you. Sincerely, Annabeth.

      1. Annabeth,

        I am so glad my responses are helping you and that you are growing as a writer!

        I actually just taught a unit on descriptive writing. If you are looking to make your sentence more descriptive and more interesting consider the 5 senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. For example, you could say, “I could feel the excitement building as I flipped the page” if you want to talk about how exciting a story line may be. Another way to make your writing more interesting is to try using similes and metaphors. Comparing something to something else can really enhance a sentence. For example, “She was as quick as a cheetah, running quickly down the soccer field” is a way to use a simile to enhance what could have been a boring sentence. Rather than simply saying, “She is a fast”, I was able to compare her speed to that of a cheetah to demonstrate how fast she is.

        To help with grammar issues, it helps if you read your work out loud to yourself. I know this may sound strange, but if you read something to yourself over and over again, it can become embedded in your brain and you would never know if you changed anything. However, if you read it out loud, your having to put more effort into what your reading because you are vocalizing it. I find that this often helps me find mistakes in my own writing that I would not pick up on if I were only reading it.

        Hope these suggestions help you to continue to improve your writing! Keep up the great work!

      2. Celeste,

        Thank you again for the advice. I will now always use and look back to the five senses. I can now see now that will be to great use and how I can improve my score on my papers by using them. I have always tried to use similes and metaphors, but they sometimes confuse me. I have been working to improve them and am already doing better, so I will use them more from now on.

        I took your advice and am now reading my papers aloud. It definitely helps a lot and I’m finding the more I read it aloud, the better my paper will be. I have been using this for all subjects with all of my papers.

        Again, thank you so much for the positivity and advice. Sincerely, Annabeth.

      3. I’m so glad this advice has helped you in your writings in this class and in others!

        Here are some tips that help me when writing similes and metaphors. A tip that helps me when I create similes is to remember that a simile is comparing two nouns using “like” or “as”, such as, “she was as fast as a cheetah.” She is being compared to a cheetah using like. However, if you wanted to make this into a metaphor, you could say, “She is a cheetah, running very fast down the field.” When you create a metaphor remember that you are creating a comparison between two nouns, but rather than saying they are like each other, you say that they are each other by using “is, was, were.” I personally think metaphors are harder to create than similes, but they can both be beneficial to writing.

        Hope this helps you! Keep up the great work with your writing!

        -Celeste

  2. Hi, Autumn!

    First of all, I would like to say you did a great job with how you structured your paper to satisfy the six paragraphs that you are supposed to have for your book review. On the other hand, I did see a few minor changes that you could make to a few of your paragraphs, in order to help you improve your paper. As I read some of your sentences, I examined that sometimes you would start the sentence with words like “to” and “but,” when you could possibly combine the sentences into one. It would be a good idea to look over your paper and read it aloud, so that you can see where you have made your mistakes, at least this is what I do when I am not sure if something sounds right. Revising is always a great thing to do, because it helps you to become a better writer. Lastly, there are three more things I would like to mention. When you use the title of a book in a paper, make sure to either italicize or underline it. Next thing is to try to incorporate either one or more quotes from the book to help strenghten the reason/s for your like or dislike of the book. Finally, I believe it would be more beneficial for you to elaborate a little more in your paragraphs. I see that you average about five to seven sentences per paragraph, but try to shoot for about eight or more in each paragraph. By the time you revise, you may find that the sentences you had before, can when be combined with another sentence.

    Overall, you did a great job so far in explaining the book.

    1. Hi, Tabatha!
      Thank you for all of your feedback and your positive comments. Thank you for pointing out that I would start my sentences with “to” and “but”. I have now made more notice of my mistakes in my essays when I’m using this. I have now been checking more or my grammar and sentences to make sure I either combined them or use other words.
      Mrs. Baisden, my English teacher, has also pointed out that when we have a title of something we need to italicize or when handwriting underline. We had a whole unit on making sure that was done and as a way to better our writing skills. I have been more alert in doing this and making sure it is done correctly.
      I would like to ask if there are any other ways I can improve my writing? I would like to work on improving my descriptive words and phrases, writing longer paragraphs, and anyway that I could improve my score. Could you give me any tips on how to do that?
      Thank you! Sincerely, Annabeth.

  3. Hello Autumn,

    When you are beginning an assignment, you could brainstorm and make a list of things you want to include in that particular assignment. You could make sure that you discuss all the important points in the book. Also, you could make sure that you answer any questions to the best of your ability, but make sure you don’t make it too lengthy. For your improving descriptive words, you can always use a dictionary and thesaurus to expand your vocabulary.

    Good Luck,

    Tabatha Greer

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