Matched by Ally Condie

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Title: Matched (Matched, #1)

Author: Ally Condie

Published By: Dutton Juvenile (2010)


In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion. (Taken from Goodreads)


When I first read Matched, I somewhat enjoyed it. Cassia, a 17-year-old, goes to the Matching Banquet/Ceremony and finds out she’s Matched—designated to be married—to her best friend Xander. But then she sees another boy’s face before the screen fades. They tell her it’s a glitch, but she’s not so sure. Suddenly now Cassia is on a desperate, life-risking, lovestruck, amazing, and touching journey to figure out who she should be with and who she loves. (By the way, I was being sarcastic in the last sentence. That’s how the book is portrayed, not how I felt about it.)

The aspect of the Society that controls everything is a fantastic idea and results in a great storyline. At least, I thought it was so until I read The Giver, which released more than 10 years before Matched. I discovered that the whole set for the book had pretty much been lifted right from The Giver itself.  The ceremony? From Giver (the December Ceremony). The Society? From Giver (the Committee). Even the Matching part. The phrase “matching of the spouses,” appeared in The Giver first. (Needless to say, I loved the Giver—one of my favorite books of all time—so once I found out all the copying this book did, I decided I no longer liked Matched.)

Forgetting the whole copycat element: The storyline and the reading level were easy enough that a fourth or fifth grader could easily read and comprehend. For me, there was waaaaaaaaay too much romance and kissing for my taste. Yes, I get that this is what the book is about, but it was way too much. Not to mention that even though our main character and narrator, Cassia, is 17, her voice sounds no different than a twelve-year-old. The romantic scenes didn’t get inappropriate minus the constant kissing; the story itself sounds like a cute little love story, nothing more.

Negative Content/Notes:

Lots of kissing, but nothing inappropriate or weird. It was actually surprisingly clean for being popular YA. I don’t know if I can say that about the next 2 books though—I never read them.


To sum it up:Putting the whole concept with copying The Giver aside, because I totally get that that it could be a crazy coincidence, it was really just a cute little immature love story —though clean—and really nothing more.

Rating: 2.5

Recommended to: I really wouldn’t recommend it. If you love YA romances, you may like it. Probably ages 12+.


Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

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Title: Chasing Jupiter

Author: Rachel Coker

Published by: Zondervan (2012)


Scarlett Blaine, the main character of this novel, has some hard issues in life. Her brother, Cliff, has problems and is just…stranger than most boys his age. Her grandpa, who lives with her, is pretty much going insane, and her big sister Juli is never around, always off with another boyfriend. Her parents can’t seem to stop fighting about money. And she hasn’t had a real friend in forever. She also can’t get a grip on exactly what God is, or if He exists. But when everything suddenly goes wrong in her already-haywire life, she has to face truth and reality and has to choose if she wants God apart of it.


Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker was one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read in my life. I just can not even begin to describe the beauty of this novel.

This book is an amazing work of art. The characters were alive. They lived and breathed right next to me as I read, speaking to me as they told me their story, relayed to me the events and the scenes. The story was incredible beyond words; the scenes were beautiful as the characters traipse through this plot.

The plot between her and the pastor’s wife, Mrs. Greene, is a fun addition and is the way she learns of Christ. I felt a strong Christian aspect in this storyline, and it was written in wonderfully, not cheesy at all to me, reminding me a bit of Nicole O’Dell’s style.

Going back to the characters and once again I am speechless. I love, love, loved Cliff and the development between him and Scarlett. The author did such a fantastic job of writing his character, in a way that beyond his faults, his problems, his issues, we all love him for his little-kid sweetness (side note—he totally reminded me of Matty in The Giver quartet). Scarlett was such a great character, written realistically, that she seems easily relate to. She’s smart, so (most of the time) we’re not yelling at her for doing something dumb and generally just cheering her on for her good heart and great ideas to help others. And the romance between Frank and Scarlett was just so sweet and easy to encourage. 🙂

And…the ending…the ending…the ending. Breathtakingly sad, truly heartbreaking. But really really good at the same time. Astonishing. The author did just an incredible job—and that’s all I can say about it.

Negative Content/Notes: None.

Overall: A touching read astonishingly put together. You will not regret the time you spend reading this!

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Recommended to:  12+