Matched by Ally Condie
(Crossed, the second in the series, is available now)
Spoiler Alert: Nope
I've taken to writing down things that catch my interest at the moment in the margins of the books I read and realize that I enjoy doing that; it helps when it comes time to write Book Reports. But Alas, I didn't start doing that until I read Divergent, and it was only because I didn't have my notebook handy, and I have yet to be consistent about this new practice.
Matched is one of those books I failed to take good notes on. I read it back in August and am just now reviewing it (so sorry, no excuse available that you'd be interested in). I'll have to remember the details of the book while I'm skimming the notes I took in my notebook and writing this BR. Okay, here we go.
The official summary from the series' website: "In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion."
You all know I'm a sucker for a good cover, and that's what got me to pick up this book. Between that and my love affair with Lois Lowry's The Giver, I figured I just had to have this book. Then there was the first line, "Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?" Great stuff, people, and I figured I had to find out what else Condie had in store for me.
Here's what I had in my notes, and I'll try to elaborate on what I meant (back in August):
Well-told story, but not very attached to Cassia. So far, I still know very little about her I think I wrote that about half-way through the book (maybe a little less) and that's not a good thing. I like to be attached to and rooting for the protagonist from the very beginning, but I just felt Cassia was a little flat. A little bland and passé. And that feeling only changed a little towards the end.
I hope this doesn't turn into one of those "Team Ky", "Team Xander" obsessions. I'm so tired of the predictable love triangles As soon as she introduced Xander, and it wasn't even something as obvious as, Hello, reader. This is Ky, the love interest that's going to rock the boat of Cassia's perfect little world. Despite the fact that he's the other face that pops up as her Match. I think I literally groaned out loud.
Well-written and interesting, flew by when reading it And it did. So very fast. It's an interesting story, and while not entirely original (very strong similarities to The Giver) it's a new interpretation (but not a new spin), and entertaining.
I enjoyed the "love triangle" between Cassia, Xander, and Ky. I especially loved the integrity of Xander Okay, so my "jump the gun" groan about the "predictable" love triangle I mentioned earlier was for not. While it was a love triangle, and I put that in quotes earlier because it's a loose title, it wasn't cliché or typical. Neither of the relationships was the ohmygoshIjustsawyouandnowIloveyouwithallmyheartandwilldieforyou that are so prevalent in what seems to be ALL young adult books now-a-days. Xander and Cassia's relationship had always been there—best friends—and Cassia and Ky's relationship was fresh and new and unexplored. We got to see it develop and grow (somewhat realistically) as they did. Well done.
There wasn't a lot of high-stakes action going on, but I didn't really miss that at all It's not an action story, and while many books have the fights, drama, etc to fill that void, Matched dealt a lot with moral decisions ad dilemmas that had severe consequences. Which, while they were adequate, I would have enjoyed higher elements at stake.
Good book, good ending—would recommend it and looking forward to Crossed Which has already come out and you can purchase here. I need to get on that and read it. The cover looks good on that one, too, not sure about Cassia's outfit, but given how Matched ends, I guess it's appropriate.