Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Matched by Ally Condie.

'Matched', by Ally Condie, is a dystopian romance centered around a seventeen year old girl, Cassia. We begin the story from Cassia's perspective and are about to arrive at her Matching Banquet. The Matching Banquet will tell her who she is to marry and live the rest of her life with. It's set up by the Society. The Society controls every aspect of the citizen's lives from what they eat to where they live, what job they have and whom they marry. (Getting off topic) Anways, we start the story with Cassia being Matched. The big surprise, however is when she is Matched with her best friend, Xander. It's extremely rare for a person to be Matched to a person who they know, let alone someone who they grew up with, so for this reason Cassia is overjoyed. However, when she goes to put the microcard (which has all of Xander's details and the guidelines to their Matching on it), Xander's face doesn't come up on the screen. Another boy's does. She's know this boy too, and his name is Ky. Cassia delves into a rebellion as she starts to think 'what if?' and questions all the relevance of the Society and really just how much freedom she has.

I'd just like to start out by saying that this plot really is quite ingenious. It got me intrigued almost immediately and I couldn't help but put it to the top of my list of to-read books. Mind you, I'm also a bit of a dead-beat romantic so that influenced me quite a bit. The way Condie uses her wording to create vivid imagery is spectacular and I really got the feeling that it was set forward in quite a technologically advanced world. I liked how she subtly transitioned us into the reality of what the Society is like and let us think for some of the book how it really could be a good environment to live in, that it would help us in so many ways. There were very few flaws in the book but one thing that irritated me a little (not a lot, only occasionally) was Cassia.

She is most certainly a strong character and I felt like I could really understand her, but some things that said or the way she acted a certain way, just really, really annoyed me. The whole love triangle didn't seem particularly fair and Cassia's reasoning and justification as to why she did the things she did just weren't very strong (in my own opinion). Even after we found out the truth (which I'm not telling you, so don't get your hopes up) near the end of the book, it didn't really change anything in Cassia's determination to set out what she was going to do. I admire that her stubbornness is so unparalleled to anything else, but it almost felt sort of self-centered because she wasn't thinking of anyone in her quest to find Ky. (Ok, I just put a spoiler in this. I was really trying to avoid doing that).

Other than that, I found this read really enjoyable and can not wait for 'Crossed' to come out. I'm intrigued as to how Ms Condie is going to further this amazingly intricate world and how Cassia is going to develop.

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