Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

If you're into the Dystopian genre with Romance thrown in as a major component, then this is the perfect book to fit for both of those genres.

Here is the summary from goodreads.com:

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.

Honestly, as soon as I read this summary, I fell in love with the storyline of a society where you are told what you do and who you love and what you learn and what you wear everyday.  I also fell in love with the cover.  Such a simple, yet compelling idea.

Another truth from me, this book took me a long time to read.  It is pretty slow but Ally Condie's voice and word choices are like good poetry.  It flows well and smoothly and there is major character development throughout the plot.  From everyone, even from the main character's, Cassia, dead grandfather.

Yet again, here is a young adult romance that is destined to have people choosing sides though, Xander or Ky?  Don't ask me because both characters are the embodiment of Prince Charming in disguise and there is no way I could choose at all.  Like I said earlier, every character, every piece of the world is so well described and so well laid out and so well developed that you are captured in all of the technology, no matter how simple it may be and also just the idea of what a world like this would be like to live in.

With all these futuristic stories coming out with possible things that could happen--such as The Hunger Games and even pieces of The Maze Runner--every one of these authors creates a world which it is so believable and so real while you're reading you can almost believe you have entered into that new way of living and go about trying to wrack your own mind of coming out of it and back to reality that it hurts and you need more.  Ally Condie did that with Matched.  With all of Matched.  Her "Society" is so scary real that I almost believe for sure this is what could possibly happen if a "socialistic" society actually took complete control and power over the world.  I came out of reading this story every day I read it and watched the news.  I didn't use to mind watching the news, but Matched made me more aware of what is going on with what our possible futures could be like--now the news is scary to me.

I LOVE the characters.  Cassia, our lovely "go with the flow" kind of girl who is so excited to be "Matched" to the boy she will marry, and to find out it's her best friend is better for her and then a flash of the face of another boy she knows makes her mind wobble away from the "flow" of her life within the Society.  Just her own conflict inside her own being is wonderfully written and told that I wish I could interview her in real life.  And since I like to repeat myself, Ky and Xander are both completely different boys in this story but both carry themselves has Prince Charming's in disguise.  

The plot was slow in this story, but that always goes along with world building and making sure you are sucked into the Society in this story and part of the people that live amongst it.  But it is a strong plot of quiet defiance and of strong wills.  It is very compelling and I love it.

While I was reading this book knowing it was a romance written in first person from Cassia's view, I kind of expected to read something along the lines of the romance heat that presents itself in Twilight.  This book and story are so completely off the rack of Twilight's version of romance that it made me happy to realize that the author, Ally Condie, could in fact actually help us all believe in chivalry again.  You know in the olden days where people were chaperoned while courting?  Where a touch of the hand and a brave young man risks everything--including his own life--because of his love for you?  Ally Condie has recaptured that chivalry through Ky and Xander both.  I have to say thank you to Ally for making this story so innocent in the romance and so compelling in this story that I can't wait to read the next book.

And seriously, I suggest that everyone read this.  It's fabulous writing, irresistible characters and thrilling plot of quiet resistance will make you want it the sequel now.


BooksforCompany on February 9, 2011 at 2:41 PM said...

l am hoping to read this soon! l don't really mind slow story lines if there characters are interesting.

Elodie on February 9, 2011 at 4:42 PM said...

Great review !! I loved the dystopian side of the book too .. I can't wait for Crossed either !! =)

Ailsa on February 10, 2011 at 2:13 AM said...

I've heard so much about this book. Glad to see you liked it - I'm not sure if it'll be my thing or not, but I'd really like to find it at the library to check it out sometime.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)


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