August 16, 2012

Review: Matched - Ally Condie

I really love dystopias.
But Matched has been on my "To Be Read" pile for months, I just didn't get to it and it wasn't pulling me in. It did feel like a decent distopia, but it also felt too teen-ish and Twilight-y.

The story tells us about Cassia, a teenager of the Society. Where she lives, the government and all its ramifications is called The Society and it's all perfect. Her life is all planned - they control everything, where she lives, what she eats, where she goes to school, where she goes to work and, more than anything, who she's going to marry and all their actions together (children, houses, jobs) but that is not considered a bad thing, they are not really opressed, but they are happy, they understand that only the Society knows what is best for them, since they have the technology and methods to predict what each person should have.

Cassia is fine with it and excited about it. She's 15 and she's going to her Matching Banquet, where she will meet her Match, the person she is most compatible to in the whole of Society and who she's going to marry.

It's very unlikely to be Matched with someone you aleady know. With so many people all over the Society, the probability is small, but that's exactly what happens to Cassia: she is Matched with one of her best friends, Xander, and it feels right. When they tell her he's her Match, she feels like she should've known, since they like each other very much and that the Society is always so right, they knew it even when she didn't.

But when her card flickers and another face shows up, a face she knows too, but that wasn't an option, she starts to question everything. She is sure the Society knows what it's doing... But does it? Ky is so mysterious and sweet. He knows so much and tells so little... And Cassia has a desire to know.

This is where I stopped writing this review, months ago. I have conflicted feelings up to this day. Even after reading the sequel. Let me try to explain...

This book is slow. When you think back, nothing happens in it and it makes you turn pages quickly because the scenes and all of the plot could have taken half the book to happen, but, on the other hand, taking as long, allows you to know much more about The Society and that's what attracted me that much. You see, I didn't like the pace, but I did love the setting of the story and that's, mostly, what's kept me reading. I'm sort of over YA love triangles... But not while I'm reading them.

There's this thing, where... While you are reading the book, you don't feel like it's silly or dumb or teen-ish. But when you finish and review it, you decide that it's not really that good, that's mostly written for love-sick teenagers. And then you go wild and read the sequel. lol

Cassia is not really a passive girl, which was interesting. She had her doubts, she's just a teen after all and she's lived all her life without thinking - without even thinking about thinking - so you have to give her some credit, but she decided that life is worth living - REALLY living - and that people deserve to be, well, people, with rights and wrongs, with issues and loves and all that comes with it. I respect that.

I recommend Matched to people who enjoy a love triangle, who enjoy dystopias (Admirable New World style) and who aren't bothered when the book doesn't have much action.

Stay tuned for my review of Crossed, Matched's sequel.

You can buy Matched at Amazon.