Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Review- 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’s 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.
What I Expected: The cover was so beautiful I really wanted to read the book. But I heard many mixed reviews for Matched, so I was unsure of what exactly I’d get from this book- disappointment or book love?
Matched is a dystopian novel, so I was looking forward to reading it no matter what the reviews- I’m a huge fan of dystopian books. But there was no explanation for why Cassia’s society became that way, why it regulated everything from food portion sizes to the people you married. That was was kind of the one major detractor- how did society evolve to that outcome?
As for the part about being Matched with someone and not being able to choose- I come from a culture/country where that was/mostly is the norm, so it wasn’t like, ‘Oh my G, that’s so cruel!’ for me. I don’t think that’s right, though, because even today some people’s parents choose their kids’ spouses and even the job they’ll have, convincing them that parents know best. If that aspect was supposed to be a shocker for me, it wasn’t, but that was because of my background. But I know for sure it’ll shock others.
I couldn’t bring myself to care for Cassia, and I think that was the problem with the novel. Her personality and her reasons for doing things, were too slippery for me to be able to hold on to the story and care for her. She seemed flat and even a little monotone.
The male leads Xander and Ky were marginally better. I was angry at Cassia for liking Ky instead of her Match Xander, because she totally ignored him and she was basically cheating on Xander, who, by the way, was a really sweet guy and one of the plus points of Matched. I also didn’t like that Cassia somehow justified cheating on Xander by telling him the truth about her and Ky- it’s not enough to tell the truth. At least, that’s what I think, even though I don’t know what would be a better thing to do.
In this love triangle, I prefer Xander for sure.
Parting Thoughts: I honestly didn’t know what to make of this book. On one hand, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book whenever I had to put it down, but on the other hand, I couldn’t like Cassia or care for her or even support her actions, especially the ones to do with Xander. I didn’t know how to get down to writing this review- this is one book that’s stumped me. Do I like it or do I not?
And I think that a some of the disappointment across the book blogosphere at this book was because of all the over-hype and very positive blurbs on the book. It made you expect so much, and when it wasn’t actually the ‘resonance of a classic’ for some, obviously you’d be disappointed.
Rating: 3.5/5. I recommend that you take this book out from the library because it definitely should be read- it has a strong message and if it suits you, I think Matched may turn out to be a favourite book of yours. Unfortunately, Matched didn’t work for me, but it probably will work for a lot more of you.