Friday, February 11, 2011

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Page Count: 366 pages
Summary: 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.

Review: I try not to review books the day that I've finished them because my thoughts are always so muddled. It's only after I've read a bunch of reviews and had time to think about the book that I really can know what I think. Matched is definitely one of those books - I just finished it today and trying to gather my thoughts.

First, I've heard that there's this whole controversy surrounding it because of its similarities to Lois Lowry's amazing The Giver. Though I never finished reading The Giver (somehow I lost my copy before I was done), I really don't think that the similarities are anything special or exciting. Also, I tried to see Matched as its own book, completely separate from all of these things.

Lets begin with what I liked - Condie's prose was absolutely beautiful at times, although it could get the point of being overwritten sometimes. However, most of the time, I was pretty amazed at the prose, which is not something that happens often when I'm reading YA. Also, Condie's use of the 'banned' poems throughout the story was breathtaking; I think they worked very well with the themes of the book.

The things I didn't like so much: I always felt really bad for Xander and even though I understood that Cassia (I love that name, by the way!) was falling in love with someone else, I just thought she was being selfish to keep seeing Ky. I'm not very good when I read stories that are set in dystopias - I always want them to follow the rules, just so they won't get in trouble. It's safe to say that isn't my favorite genre. (Although, I love really gritty ones, where the characters are already rebels, like in Garth Nix's Shade's Children.) I think it was because Xander seemed like an awesome character, but of course, the girl is always attracted to the brooding, forbidden guy. How predictable.

My overall thoughts are pretty scattered. I did like this book and would definitely encourage people to read it, but I wasn't really into it by the end. That's why my rating is so low, because I couldn't stay in the story. (Although, I did read it on my computer, which often gives me headaches, so maybe that wasn't my brightest idea. For some reason, the format I bought it in was giving me trouble on my Nook.)

Overall: 3.5/5 stars

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