Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

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.

Warning: There might be some spoilers. 
Wow, it's a tough one with this book. First, the beginning is really, really slow. If you are reading this review and thinking of giving up, then I urge you to skip to page 250 and continue there. I wont go on about the story or what it is about since the blurb already tells you that. I will just touch on a couple of things.

Yes, the world is very much like the giver. Even up to the getting your assignment and growing apart from your friends stage.
Does it take away from the book? In the beginning yes, but as you read on, I think Condie redeems herself and you can see her own world shinning through.
Cassia on the other hand was better than Nora and Luce and all the other stupid airhead clouding YA lately. For some reason she reminds me of Grace from Shiver, so if you liked Grace you might like her. I still dont know if I like her or not. What do I mean by this? I would have felt the same way by anyone else in her shoes. By this I mean, that I love how she grew and matured, but I didnt think her personality shown through enough to captivate me.
Matched is by far one of the best books of 2010, but it isnt an easy ready. It reminds me a lot of The Time Traveler's wife. And most of all, it isnt Twilight. Touting this book as the next twilight is bad for this book, it would only turn people away from it. Why? There is no escapism whatsoever in this book. In Twilight you close your eyes, and you imagine having a beautiful, rich boyfriend who worships you. Prince Charming. The kinds of thing young girls like. But this isnt the case with this book. The love interest that Cassia loves so much, Ky is in a very bad situation. This might be extreme, but why would anyone want to fantasize about having a love interest who is serving a life sentence in prison with possibility of Parole? You get the point, it's harsh, and its a little too real for teens these days to adopt this book because of this. The pain is there and the truth is all around us in life, we see pain. We see the hurt love can bring in a harsh way, with no chance of anything good. This book is that. Twilight is good, as in daydreamish fantasy. So, I fear comparing this to Twilight might make people read it, however the Twilight crowd will pretty much turn away from it or start blasting it with bad reviews. Of course that is if they can get past the very slow beginning and middle.
Older people though, those who are more matured might be more drawn to this book. This book flirts with being literary fiction. Cassia does a LOT of thinking and then more thinking and some more thinking, for pages and pages. I confess, I skipped some of it because they were repetitive.
The internal monologues should have been cut short, the pace reworked, some urgency added to it, the tone  more informal, a little more passion in a physical way, (not saying they should get down and dirty) but something burning, because lets face it, if you love someone like that, except there is a reason, (a.k.a Edward killing Bella if he does her.) then the physical attraction would be crazy. Here, is very tame.
Why Ally is obviously a gifted writer, her type of writing isnt my thing. Very very descriptive, a lot of comparisons and just too damn poetic for me. I have never been a big fan of poetic writing, because I always feel they take away from character development. A lot of reviews  you would read about this book, both positive and negative will tell you the same thing. Its hard to connect with Cassia or her family members because of the writing. I will definitely recommend this. My rating: 3.5/5 Also, for lovers of happy endings, know there is no happy ending here.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard mixed things about this book; some people love love love it, while others are more ... meh. I prefer happy endings, but as long as I'm braced for an unhappy one, I think I can handle it!

    Thanks for the review :)