Thursday, April 21, 2011
Review: MATCHED by Ally Condie
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.
First off, let me say that I have wanted to read this book ever since I heard Ally speak at the Utah writer's conference I attended last June. When she read her first page (actually, her original first page that she queried with as well as the published first page), I was blown away at her writing ability. When I opened this book and began to read I instantly felt the calm and peaceful pace of Ally's writing. As a dystopian you come to expect fast-paced action throughout, like HUNGER GAMES. You won't find that in this book. But. I don't think that was Ally's intent for this story. She definitely has a more literary style.
Some people who reviewed this book were impatient with the pace, complaining that nothing ever happens romantically. They couldn't see this as involving a true love-triangle when there really isn't much competition involved. (There is a little, but I will say there wasn't much). Well folks, when you understand the kind of society that Cassia is a part of you should also see that full-out romance is kind of off limits. This is actually a good thing. It makes you wait for it, want it, and adds to the tension.
Though, I can agree that this book moves a little too slow for me--this isn't necessarily my favorite style of writing--I still really liked it.When I thought the plot was getting slow, Ally would pop in something to shake things up that really got you pumped. She really developed her world and was realistic in Cassia's outlook of the situation. Cassia slowly, but surely, comes to the conclusion that something is amiss in the society that she has for so long believed to be wonderful and that she needs to fight back. I, for one, can't wait to see what Cassia does next. My only complaints (though very minor) would be that I want to know a little more about Cassia's surroundings and would have preferred the story to move faster, as stated before, leaving out the unimportant details of everyday stuff. But if this book is being made into a movie, who am I to complain? I think the movie will be awesome and I can't wait to see what they do for set/costume design.
Good job, Ally!