Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Matched - Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie
Series: Matched Trilogy #1
Genre: YA, dystopian, romance
Published on November 30, 2010
Published by Dutton Books
Pages: 369
Read From: 5.21.12 - 5.24.12

In the Society, Officials decide everything. 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.


Yet another book that I was anticipating to be bad, but I was pleasantly surprised! Yes, the world of Matched reminded me a lot of The Giver, but the Author had enough of her own originality in it to keep it from feeling like a rip-off. The Giver is a very good totalitarian world to copy because it is convincing, and this government was convincing. They monitored absolutely and positively every bloody thing in everyone’s lives, and if someone started acting abnormal, they paid a little visit to that person, and monitored them even closer. What made this government even more convincing was they never admitted when they made a mistake; they always claimed that they meant to do that; that it was part of a plan. And they had everyone perfectly brainwashed into believing that the Officials were there to help them. Out of all of the dystopian books I’ve read so far, this was the most believable.

I also really liked that Cassia started out totally convinced that the Society knew best. So many dystopian books have their protagonist knowing that their government is corrupt and doesn’t have their best interests at heart. Or if they do believe their government, it doesn’t take them long to realize that they’ve been lied to. Cassia’s faith in the Society is slowly, but steadily, shaken as the story progresses, until she finally learns the truth, and then she knows what the Society is really about. Not only did this lend to the mystery and eerie atmosphere of the story, but it was also believable. Some people might say that her sudden interest in Ky is a stupid way for her to begin questioning the Society, but that isn’t what caused her to start questioning their authority. Society never makes mistakes - or so she has been led to believe, - and yet they made a mistake with her Match. How could this happen? Why did this happen? I would start questioning, too.

The romance is surprisingly not irritating. Cassia’s interest in Ky doesn’t start out as a romantic attachment, but rather curiosity. She has just seen his face in connection with an error that the Officials would never make, and she wants to know more. As she knows him better, her relationship grows into something more, and I am perfectly okay with a romantic attachment occurring like this in a book. It’s true that Cassia thinks about Ky quite a bit, but it isn’t in romantic terms - not at first - and Ky isn’t a 100% total stranger; they go to the same school.

One thing I definitely agree on with people who have given this book a negative review is the Author does try to sound too profound at times without making it clear as to what exactly her point is. This is an issue that is a little hard to explain in full, but Readers will understand what I mean when they read the book. The Author also repeats a word to make something sound more dramatic more often than she should. However, on a very surprising note, I actually liked the present-tense narration. I hate present-tense usually, but it really worked for Matched.

The end to this book was perfect, and in keeping with how things would go for people who had defied a controlling regime. If it hadn’t ended the way it does, I would not have liked it so well. But it was realistic, exciting, a definite turning point, and I really look forward to the sequel.

Others in This Trilogy:

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