Friday, September 23, 2011
Review of Matched by Ally Condie
Published: November 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
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.
So, to start I loved this cover. It's what initially drew me to this book. Unlike so many of the books on the YA shelf, it's bright and has a clean feel to it. And the best part is that after reading the book, the cover makes even more sense.
There were parts of this book that I loved. The characters of Xander and Ky are perfect. They have distinct personalities and the world they live in really sets up when makes Xander desirable to Cassia, and why Ky is such a forbidden element in her world.
The world itself is interesting. Even though there were parts that seemed a bit too familiar to the dystopian genre, it managed to stand apart. There was a freshness to having the world not so dark, and depressing, while still maintaining a mysterious and ominous feel.
The one part that I didn't connect with was the character of Cassia. She's very wishy-washy and I just felt that she never truly took a stand in her love for Ky. She let Xander cover for her and Ky, all while letting him think she loved him. The only time I felt that she had any true strength was at the end, when she does make a choice.
I'm looking forward to the sequel, but am a bit worried that the strength that Cassia finally found near the end of the book will be lost for the sake of developing a love triangle. I don't mind triangles when they feel natural and are central to the development of the plot. Twilight is one of those examples where the love triangle is what keeps the reader interested (for the most part), not because you can't guess who Bella will end up with, but because her conflicted emotions seem genuine. Cassia's feelings for Xander just didn't develop enough for me to think that there could be a real love between them. But then again, maybe Ms. Condie will prove me wrong.