February 7, 2011

Book Review of "Matched" by Ally Condie

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Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Classification: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian
Source: Bought

Overall Grade: 
A-
Would I read it again? 
Quite possibly!
Would I recommend it to others? 
Yes!

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Summary (from Goodreads):

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.
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My Thoughts:

Matched is a difficult book for me to review, because while I really really enjoyed the story and the writing talents of the author, I kept getting hung up on details of Cassia's world that aren't quite explained. I'll just try to outline what did and didn't work for me.

What Worked:
  1. I loved the use of poetry in this book. In Cassia's world, all poetry has been destroyed save for the 100 Poems that a council decided should be kept. But when Cassia comes across a contraband poem ("Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas), she is haunted with its message. This poem later becomes a secret she shares with Ky, something I found incredibly romantic and wonderful.
  2. I loved the writing. Condie's style is so clean that it allows you to read through the book quite fast, but then she delivers some cutting sentiments that make the reader ponder life the same way Cassia ponders her place in the Society.
  3. I loved the love story. I don't think it's a huge spoiler for me to mention that there is a love triangle in this book (since it's basically mentioned in the blurb!). I loved the way Cassia and Ky grew to know each other and began to share secret moments and thoughts and places that only the two of them could understand. That is something I love most about love stories and it's done very well in Matched!
What Didn't Work:
  1. Explanations about why the people in Cassia's world cannot create and cannot write longhand did not pan out to me. It doesn't make sense that they could draw in Art class at school, but not be able to create their own drawings at home. It also didn't make sense that they could type on a computer, but could not create their own poems or stories--(isn't typing a form of writing? If they couldn't create their own sentences or paragraphs or poems, then what were they typing for anyway?)
  2. The love triangle. I know I mentioned above that I loved the love story, but I did not see how Xander provided a valid love interest for Cassia.
So, there is my sparse summary about what I thought of Matched! All in all, it's definitely a book to remember and I'm sure I'll be one of those crazy people in line at Barnes and Noble or Wal-Mart trying to buy the sequel, pushing my way past old ladies and 13 year old girls. The expected publication date for Crossed (Matched #2) is November 1st, 2011.
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Overall Grade: 
A-
Would I read it again? 
Quite possibly!
Would I recommend it to others? 
Yes!

5 comments:

  1. I have this book sitting on my shelf! I've seen mixed reviews and haven't had a chance to start reading it. It was neat how you sorted your review into what you thought worked, and what you thought didn't work :)

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  2. Thanks Lindsi!
    It felt easier to review it this way since I really loved the story, but found some things I didn't like about that couldn't be ignored. I'd love to hear what you think of it as soon as you read it! :)
    - Alyssa

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  3. I hear your pain, LOL. It is very difficult for me to review a book I loved, I feel as if I can't do it justice.
    On the other hand I could write pages and pages on books I hated.

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

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  4. Haha, that's definitely true for me too, which is probably why my review of Lauren Kate's "Fallen" was so effing long! ;)

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  5. I can't wait for the next installment either!

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