Friday, October 21, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie: A Review

Matched by Ally Condie  

When Was It Released?:  30th November 2010
Where Did I Get It From?: The Library
Who Published It?: Dutton Publishing
Number Of Pages: 366 Pages

Matched is one of those books that I have heard so much about. Even before it was released there was a large amount of hype surrounding this title. I was very excited to read Matched after hearing so many great things about it, reading the intriguing storyline and seeing the gorgeous cover.

Cassia has always believed what The Society tells her, what to eat, when to sleep and where to go. When The Society matches her with her best friend Xander, Cassia could not be happier. That is until Ky Markham’s face appears on the screen for a few seconds before turning blank. Cassia is shocked by what she sees and is left second guessing whether The Society have everything right or if perhaps they could have made a mistake.

Matched is a dystopian novel, that focuses around the all important contrast between life within The Society and life outside of it and which really is better. I really enjoy this aspect of dystopian novels and feel that this was worked well into the storyline of Matched and could have even more impact in the next novel in the series, Crossed. It was interesting to see how the characters are drawn into believing The Society is perfect when we, as the reader can clearly see the flaws of the world in which they live. I found the pace of the first two thirds of Matched to be very slow. The scene is being set and we learn about life within The Society, however very little actually seems to happen. I would have liked to see a little more action happen sooner. Within the last 100 pages, the story really picks up, which piqued my interest and really made me wonder exactly what was going on. One of my biggest flaws with Matched was the way in which everyone within The Society was heterosexual, meaning that not a single character was gay. I found this to be unrealistic and would have liked to see this element played out and given more attention throughout the novel.

In terms of characters, I really liked Xander, who is chosen to be Cassia’s match. He seemed to be kind, caring and to have a strong connection with Cassia, as they were best friends before being matched. What could be better than a relationship that results from friendship? Well Ky, is thrown into the mix, resulting in an interesting and different love triangle being created. The reasons behind why the love triangle comes about and transforms the way it does were really intriguing and added layers to what could be a typical love triangle. Even though I enjoyed the love triangle, I did not like the characters of Cassia or Ky. I found that it was very difficult to care about what happened to either of them as I felt no connection with them as characters. I found Cassia to be selfish and a little dull and I did not understand the attraction between her and Ky, which suddenly came about from nowhere. It felt as though Cassia was more obsessed with Ky then romantically attracted to him, which made me feel a little uneasy throughout.

Overall, I would say that if you ignore all the hype surrounding this novel, Matched is defiantly worth reading. The premise of this novel is fantastic and with it being part of a series I am interested to see where the next novel, Crossed, will take the story.

Crossed is released on November 1st 2011

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