Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Matched by Ally Condie

People are calling this book ‘the next Twilight’ and ‘the new Hunger Games’. But it’s so much more than just a copy. It’s marketed as this superhot romance thingy, but honestly, it has a lot more depth than you might expect.

Cassia lives in a dystopian world where the Society pretty much controls everything. I actually found the descriptions of daily life very natural- they didn’t seem like they’d been conjured up to make the book ‘cool’. The Society decides where you work, what you eat and how much, and who you marry. During the Matching ceremony, Cassia is matched with her best friend/secret admirer Xander. Everything’s rosy until she opens a box full of information about her Match (this is really too complicated for me to explain), she sees another face: Ky. I know what you’re thinking, and to be fair I was kind of thinking it too: Okay, so now the rest of the book will be about how Cassia deliberates back and forth over these two guys and eventually she’ll decide she likes the danger/badboy aspect of Ky and run off with him into the sunset.

While I won’t reveal who she ends up with, I will say that the book is so much more than just a romance. And it has more shades than black and white. Though Cassia becomes increasingly disillusioned with the Society, I really like how the author included the other view, highlighting all the things that the Society was good for: the stronger people, the peaceful dying, and even the Matching. She painted her Society not to be some kind of dictatorial, oppressive regime that was clearly Bad with a capital B- most of the things the Society did…they just made sense, and that served to make the book feel more realistic and deep. This book subtly hints that absolute power and control corrupts, which is a pretty interesting and current topic. I mean, if I were to rule the world one day, I would probably do some of the same things, so it’s interesting to see the negative consequences of such good looking decisions. And speaking of good looking, I’ll talk about the romance, ‘cause it was like whoa. Not as scorching as reviews would have you believe, just kind of simmering there. There’s no screaming arguments or passionate love scenes or dramatic heartbreaks, but the gentle intimacy of some of the scenes was shiver-inducing. Another thing I really gotta give props to is the writing. WOW it’s good. There are so many metaphors in the writing, which, for a huge book/writing nerd like me, is amazing. I haven’t seen that kind of symbolism since A Great and Terrible Beauty. This book will absorb you, entrance you, and leave you on your library’s website, watching the number of holds go down until you can devour the second book, Crossed.

Loved this book? Then you’ll like:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Uglies by Scott Westerfield (and series)
The Dirt Eaters by Dennis Foon (and series)

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