Thursday, 13 January 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

I picked this book up just after Christmas and read the whole thing on New Years Eve. I hadn't even finished it and I was recommending it to Race.

Matched features an MC called Cassia who lives in this 'perfect' world where everything from who you marry to where you work and when you die is decided by the Society. On her 17th birthday, Cassia attends her Match Banquet where she finds out who the Society has decided she is to spend the rest of her life with. It turns out to be a boy she knows, Xander. Yet, when she tries to view the files the Society give her about Xander, it is not his face which appears on the screen, but that of someone else she knows, Ky. For the rest of the book Cassia tries to decide between Xander, who the Society have chosen and Ky who's face she saw by mistake and then starts to become closer too.

The Society have tried to make everything perfect for it's citizens, unfortunately this leave the world feeling a little bland which is also reflected in the writing. After the Match Banquet there isn't really another time where as much attention is paid to the details of the scene. Which kind of lets it down a bit and in places makes things hard to visualize. Though I can sort of understand why it might have been deliberate to leave out any descriptions and thus enhance the blandness of the world the Society has created.

Featured in the book is a poem by Dylan Thomas called "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." which speaks about raging against the inevitable which is kind of what Cassia tries to do for the whole book. She breaks a lot of rules to get to know Ky better and forces her friends to break rules for her too. Whether it actually makes a difference is hard to say. The ending of the book isn't very strong, it is book one of a trilogy and it does leave it very open. However, I think the story might have been stronger if the Condie had been forced to write it as a stand alone.

I did enjoy the story, I seem to be developing a thing for dystopia, and it wasn't like anything I'd ever read before. I would recommend it but not everyone will like the blandness of the text and the slight predictability of the plot, it does after all feature one girl and two guys and we all know she's not going to pick the one someone else chose for her, and certainly not in the first of three books.


EDITED TO ADD:
I've just re-read this and i think it's possibly the harshest review I've ever written. And yet I loved the book completely. Yes, some might find it bland, but I was too caught up in it to notice. Yes, some might find it predictable, but if you read a lot everything becomes predictable. You should have seen me bounce when I heard this was one of three. I am soo looking forward to reading more of Ally Condie's work.

1 comment:

  1. I think we readers are very picky and every story isn't for everyone. Sometimes it just depends on our mood whether we like a book or not. I've seen mixed reviews but nothing that would stop me from buying this book. Thanks for giving the positives and negatives.

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