Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teen Fiction Tuesday: Matched

Matched, by Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 366 (hardcover)
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: Very High

The cover of this book caught my eye first (thanks, GoodReads). It’s gorgeous, and simple – it reminds me a little of the cover for Girl Parts, by John Cusick. Anyway, after the cover got my attention, I read the blurb and decided I had to read the whole thing.

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.

I love this book! Ally Condie has a beautiful way of writing. I flowed into the story seamlessly, and enjoyed getting to know Cassia and the rest of the characters. But I especially loved the way the poetry is woven into the plot and the development of Cassia. From the opening paragraph to the end, I felt like there was a poetic flow to the writing, and especially to Cassia’s thoughts and voice.

I could say a lot about how I loved watching Cassia grow from na├»ve Society member to rebel… I could talk about how I loved Xander and Ky. There are so many great things to say about this book – but I think the best way for me to review this is to compare it to a couple of my other favorite novels.

This sort of dystopia reminds me of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Tally, from Uglies, and Cassia aren’t exactly the same, however, they both were perfectly happy in their respective societies until someone else gave them a reason to become something more. Neither of these characters showed much potential for rebellion early on, but the spark was there enough that when the right situation came up, they took the path of resistance. It’s refreshing for me to read characters like that.

I also thought a lot about A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle as I read about the Society. To me, the dystopias which portray “perfect” societies where everyone is the same and everthing is “fair” are far more frightening than those that are more post-Apocalyptic. So just like Camazotz, the Society chilled me, and I hoped that Cassia would be strong enough to see that the world she lived in looked perfect on the outside, but was far from it.

I cannot wait to read the second book in this series. Just one more to add to my to-read shelf!

Until next time, go read something!

~ Vilate

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