*just a small note to apologize for the lack of posting these past few days. I’ve been caught up in all these things lately that hit me at once, but I apologize. I’ve wanted to post, but a half assed post isn’t something I think everyone deserves. So only good post as much as possible here on out, okay?
Ally Condie sure did something right. She wrote this amazing YA book that has filled in the void of where The Hunger Games left me. I’ve read my fair share of dystopian society YA books since then, but this book – Matched – is winning over my heart.
Here is the synopsis from Amazon.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.
This review kind of makes it seem more of a love story, which is is in a sense, but again it deals with a strong female character rising up against a society that determines your everyday. This Society is on the extreme side of things. They bring you all your meals, each one scientifically created for each individual, they regulate your exercise; telling you when to pick it up, when to slow down, they monitor your sleep and have access to the sounds of your house 24 hours a day. The Society also matches up those who can be matched with their most suitable partner, mainly to continue the procreation of society. And once you turn eighty, you get a final meal with your family and then your life is ended.
This novel is the first step in Cassia’s realization that there is something wrong with The Society. After she is matched with Xander, her very best friend, something that is rarely known to happen during the Matching ceremony, she goes home to review his information. Each match is given a data card with information on their match on it, so Cassia takes her to go and see more about Xander. But here’s the kicker. She sees his picture, but then the card hits a glitch and suddenly another face I son the screen, and it’s not Xander’s. It’s someone else she knows. Ky.
And this is where the entire novel takes a turn, showing how these futuristic societies that were basically created to better our lives, can ultimately lead to our demise.
Because “technically” isn’t falling in love with someone you’re not supposed to kind of like that? You know you’re not supposed to, but you do any ways, bit by and bit, and next thing you know your whole world is turned upside down. This is exactly what Cassia goes through. we get to see how her once certain match with Xander is tested, and how her friendship with Ky grows to be so much more.
What I loved about The Hunger Games was that the story didn’t base its “meat” on the love aspect of the characters. Yes, we did feel their love, and we felt for Katniss and her choices, but the story was more about the uprising against The Capitol. I’m hoping that this is a similar directions Condie will decide to take in the future novels in this series. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this book. I would not ask Condie to change a thing. But this is a strong author and she can give these books more than a love story.
I’ve started reading the second book in the series, Crossed and I think that she is going to take the direction I’m hoping for. I find it’s rare that you come across an author in the YA genre that can manage to combine both the relationship/love aspect of books, and their vision to be “dystopic” and “futuristic”. More often than not things become a romance novel for YA. Condie is strong, she has a way with words that almost makes me feel like I am reading in a more fluid motion. Like her words are movements I’m making rather than just sentences. If this makes any sense to anyone. It’s ate and my mind is thinking thought and my fingers are trying to relate the message. Lets be serious, I was never that good at broken telephone…
I think I might have fallen a bit more for this novel than others lately because I actually went out and bought a PHYSICAL copy of the book. Ever since I got my iPad I have been in ebook mode, reading things I downloaded either in iBooks or Kobo. I was at the local Chapters last Friday (has it only been a week??) and I saw this book and decided to buy a real book for once. As much as I love reading on my iPad, there is something about losing a book in may hands that makes the experience a bit more… Tangible. I think maybe the smell of the paper swayed me a bit folks, but the book really is that fantastic. I really suggest you give it a try, this one is my favorite book I’ve reviewed yet. Five out of five.
Okay everyone, I’m tired, been a long day, lots of driving, and stories about how much I love my family and friends to come tomorrow. Note to self: I heart pregnant ladies and celebrating engagements with wine.