Since starting my drawing challenge, I’ve found that I haven’t had as much time lately for reading. Between a full time job, family engagements, and life in general, one body only has so much free time. I’ve still found some time to listen to audio books on my exceptionally long commute, my most recent find- Matched by Ally Condie.
In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.
Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.
I’ve been on a bit of a dystopian YA kick lately, so this novel seemed to fit right in. That being said, it was a pretty run-of-the-mill young adult book. The plot was exactly what you’d expect for a teen novel: sweet young girl ready to meet the man of her dreams only to find out that there may be someone else- AKA another love triangle. Despite the overused plot, the world created by Condie is intriguing. Living in the Society means strict control by an overbearing government entity while citizens are distracted by matching ceremonies, parties for those scheduled to die, and just enough choices to make it appear as if individuals have some input in their own lives. And most people are happy to live their long, boring lives this way. Until there’s a glitch in the system…
The main protagonist, Cassia, is naive and innocent as the book begins, happy to live as a hardworking cog in society. That is, until certain events force her to begin tearing away at the veil of security shrouding her family to discover the darkness lurking just beyond their shiny little lives. Interactions are realistic for the characters, but somewhat bland simply because the characters within this society are literally bred to have no fire, no rage or curiosity.
The language and writing style are a bit too flowery for my taste. It’s written almost like a romance novel, everything with hyper vivid descriptions so the reader knows every tiny detail of every single scene. It was a bit infuriating at times, leaving me wanting the narrator to get to the point. The book probably could have been better if some of the fluff was cut out.
Overall not a bad read. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and plan to complete the other books of this three part series. If you enjoyed The Giver by Lois Lowry or Delirium by Lauren Oliver (the book I’ll be reviewing next week), then Matched would be right up your alley.