Thursday, 1 December 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

MatchedSeries: Matched, Book One
Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback
Published: 2nd December 2010
Book: Bought
Genre: Dystopian, Realistic-Fiction, Science-Fiction, Romance, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Mild Violence, Drug References
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Site: Ally Condie

On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match.  Society dictates his is her perfect partner for life.
Except he’s not.
In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love.
How many children they have.
Where they work.
When they die.
But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel…

It’s Cassia Reyes’ seventeenth birthday, and she is just about to find out who her Match is, her perfect partner.  He has been chosen for her by Society, and they are meant to be perfect for one another.  Cassia is overjoyed by her Match: she can finally dream of him.  Only, she doesn’t.  And when she puts the chip that’s meant to contain his life, the face in the portscreen, she sees someone… someone who isn’t her Match.  But… that’s impossible.  No one can have two Matches, it’s just not possible.  Isn’t it…? 
I love me some dystopia, so Matched really didn’t disappoint.  The world was creepy.  The citizens basically brainwashed.  People fought back and fell in love with those they shouldn’t.  It was a bit slow, but for some reason I couldn’t stop reading.  I wanted to know how it would end; to see more of the world, the characters, the family love, the love triangle in particular.  I just felt like I had to keep reading!
Cassia was really imaginative, and actually quite cute!  She was very organised, but also ever-so poetic, both in her mind and writing.  The total trust she had in the Society creeped me out… but I liked that as the book went on, she became unsure, that there was a struggle, growth.  And, boy was she lucky, having two such gorgeous guys.  I felt sorry for her having to choose!  (Though I know who I’d choose!)  Cassia was really sentimental, brave and kind – and sort of a rebel!  I really loved her, but I did want her to stand up more, to fight more…  That was the biggest problem I had with her.
Xander: I loved him!  He was cute, adorably mischievous and very sure of himself... but in a totally irresistibly adorable way.  Plus: he was impatient to learn; so clever and so my kinda guy!  Clever, attentive Xander, who would risk everything for Cassia… Steady, always listening, so loyal, so brave…  Seriously, if Cassia doesn’t pick him, I will!  I loved him to pieces!   
Ky Markham was sweet and kind, but he always kept to himself.  Ky had perfected the art of being “exactly average”, of blending into the crowd.  He was also creative, sensitive, sweet, a romantic.  And he got Cassia: her need to remember the poems, her need to write.  He’s lost so, so much… and though he was reckless he never forgot who and what he was…
Cassia and Xander were perfect and too cute!  They’d been best friends since they were children, so they had loads of adorable little habits, and were always teasing one another.  They really did love one another: Their memories tied them to each other forever.  Their bond just felt so real…  Cassia and Ky, on the other hand, both had secrets that they shared only with one another; they really did know each other completely.  And, I could feel the chemistry…  But somehow it didn’t feel as real to me as Cassia and Xander’s.  I don’t know why…
The relationships between Cassia and her family were really sweet and strong; I could feel how much they loved each other.   Both parents would do anything to protect their children and each other.  The closeness and reality of the family life was really rather refreshing both in the Society and in other YA books – no disciplinarian parents with kids acting out against them here. The bond between Cassia and her brother Bram was really sweet too, with just the right amount of annoying one another and supporting one another.  And Bram himself was incredible: he was so, so strong, and was able to fight back with words that made me just love the kid to pieces. 
Speaking of which, I have to mention Cassia’s Grandfather really quickly: he was her role model, the one she went to him for advice, and I thought their relationship was really special and unique.  Her Grandfather himself was really kind and wise.  He was also mischievous, always making jokes.  He was just so strong, and wasn’t scared of anything: his own person with a mind of his own.  And I think he may have been my favourite character…
The plot wasn’t fast, it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat; I was just sucked into the world.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  And then… then I needed to know, I wanted to know more, and more and more.  And even though it was rather slow, it wasn’t dull for me.  I just love dystopias: they all have such clear (and often scary) messages.  This one gave us a peek at a life without freedom, and it scared the life out of me.  And, darkly enough, made me want to read more about it.  Plus, the ending?    If I didn’t already have Crossed, I think I may have gone mad.  And I still have questions.  So, so many questions…
And the world in this book scared the life out of me.  I mean, the Society chose everything.  Everything!  It was just so creepy, how everyone blindly followed what the Society told them, never fighting back, never resisting…  Everyone was brainwashed!  It was all so creepy, and so terrifying, and so believable.  Very.  Very.  Scary.
The writing… wow, it was beautiful, lyrical.  I fell in love with the voice – it was so Cassia.  And even though the pace was slow, I truly enjoyed Matched.  I just loved reading about the way Cassia saw everything – especially things from our time.  But, really, the writing enchanted me: it really was beautiful.  I could see everything, feel everything…  Stunning.
Beautiful, haunting, romantic and scary, I think Matched was a darn near perfect dystopian, with a hint of a love triangle thrown in.  I know who I’d want, but I have a feeling I’m rooting for the wrong team…

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
Number of Pages: 366


Jessi said...

Great review! I totally agree that the Grandfather was a really fabulous character. I was really torn throughout this one about the boys. Ky really intrigued me.

Happy Thursday!
Jessi @ Reading in the Corner

Zoe Crook said...

I need to read this, thanks for the great review! :)

Hey Lady! said...

Sounds sort of like "Divergent", or really any dystopian novel. And since I liked that one, I might like this one. Thanks for the review!

T.B. said...

Fantastic review! I enjoyed Matched, but at times I felt it was missing something and I didn't get enough of the world. It reminded me a LOT of The Giver by Lois Lowry as well. I just bought Crossed and I can't wait to see what happens next!