Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Release: November 30, 2010

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.

Dystopian books always give me mixed feelings. I love the how the authors are able to create alternate worlds that seem so realistic. And I especially love the way each author always has something different to contribute to their idea of a dystopian future. But I have an irrational irritation toward them. Mostly because I like the idea that I can write and speak out against things I don't like but the way the government in these types of books (the Society in Matched) control everything makes me feel that if I was in the book I'd be leading the revolution. So it's the good kind of a love-hate relationship.
Anyway, I like how the author described the Society; they gave only enough freedom to keep the people satisfied but they controlled practically everything else.And I love the undercurrent of rebelliousness coming from the characters in this book. On the surface, everyone is perfect and obeys, but underneath, they all have secret desires and actions.
The main character, Cassia, is  very, for lack of a different word, interesting. She starts as this girl who follows the rules without question, like everyone else, but she does like to think. Her character is set to staying blended in with everyone else in her world. But as the book moved on she became the one red rose in a field of white. She started disliking the ways of society and exploring paths that led her to rebelliousness...
Which leads us my favorite character, Ky. He's witty and incredibly intelligent, even though he likes to hide it. Not that he doesn't have a reason. Ky, like Cassia, want to stay out of notice of the society, but for different reasons. I won't tell you why, though. Anyway,he has his own view on the world that was shaped when he was a child. In my opinion, he is just what Cassia a needs, someone to balance her out.
Xander is like Ky in many ways, but he shows his emotions easier than Ky. I guess most ways Xander is perfect for Cassia. They've known each other for years and they know everything about each other. But there is such thing as too perfect. Another thing about Xander is he would do nearly anything to make Cassia happy, even if it means destroying his own happiness.
Love Triangles are so complicated!
(I could go on about other characters but I think I'll stop at these three)
Throughout Matched I could hardly put the book down. True, there were a few down times where if felt as if not much happened, but the undercurrent of a would be/should be romance between Cassia and Ky and trouble with the Society kept me hooked till the end. So the down times didn't hinder the book.
Also, while the plot line for Matched isn't necessarily original (many dystopian books have controlling governments), the way the author portray the novel is. Cassia, a girl in a society that controls everything finding the courage to break free and be her own person and all the while she is trying to continue a relationship with the wrong guy with a bad background. It's a really interesting plot and even more so with all the other little details and parts incorrperated in it; which is why it has became one of my must reads.
And on that note, I will say the ending is practically a cliff hanger. But, in my opinion the ending was sort of abrupt and I can say I had though there would have been more to it. Either way, I can't wait to discover what happens between Cassia and Ky and Xander in Crossed. I'm bouncing in anticipation just thinking about it. I recommend this book to anyone who likes love triangles and dystopian worlds. Matched earned the rating of an B+ for it's plot, characters, and tendency to make a reader never want to put it down. 

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