Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: " Matched " by Ally Condie


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.

My Review:

To start, I did mention this book in a previous post.  I wasn't really sure if I was going to review it, but I REALLY liked it so I figured a quick review wouldn't hurt.  Also, TLG was supposed to be interviewed for our site today by a local paper.  Mara had fallen and injured herself (and her new Iphone!!) so we had to cancel the interview for today and reschedule.  I sort of felt obligated to do SOMETHING site related, so here we are....

First of all, this is NOT a "girlie" book per say.  I was hesitant when I first saw the cover (even a Macho reviewer like myself knows there is line.  Not sure where it is, but there's definitely a line somewhere).  Being the dedicated reviewer I am, I bought it anyway after reading the flap.   Glad I did.  I wouldn't say it was an excellent book, but definitely a good one.  Unique, which is hard to find these days.

So Cassia lives in this society where they control everything.... (seems to be a common theme lately).  What is interesting is that they control your "match" as well.  It's a big ceremony, etc and the matches see each other for the first time via video screen at the Matching ceremony.  Well, as stated above, Cassia sees her best friend Xander on her match screen which is not only against most odds, but also something that makes Cassia feel really good.  She likes Xander a lot.  After all, mates are supposed to be friends foremost, right? Well, that part was already taken care of.

For a brief second, another pic flashes on the screen which has never happened before.  It is of Ky.  Ky is another kid that is friendly with Cassia and her friends BUT he is from an outer province.  Somewhere where the "rejects" or people who are imperfect live.  Obviously this confuses the heck out of Cassia.

As time goes on, her friendship grows for Ky, but so does her love.  She is super confused.  She really likes and kind of loves Xander, but at the same time is falling in love with Ky.  This is a problem.  The matching system, in fact, everything where she lives is controlled.  Calculated is really the best term.  Everything is calculated so that the most desirable, or most accurate outcome always occurs, including death.  (although I must say, in the first few chapters when Condie is taking us through Cassia's grandfathers death, I was freaked out.  Not only was I freaked out, but the way in which he dies (80th birthday exactly) is the way everyone there dies.  It is calculated.  Pre planned to have a life lived as optimized as possible.  It is something that highly disturbed me.  The death.  I don't know why, and its only a book, but Condie REALLY disturbed me with the controlled death.  Not in a bad way.  She definitely got emotions out of me, which is the point of a book I think.

Anyway, so here we are.  Cassia matched with Xander.  But could Ky be her real match? Is it possible that 2 people fit her match perfectly?  I don't think so.  Keep in mind, this "society" that controls everything, controls EVERYTHING.  I'll leave it at that.  There is a definite budding romance in the story and some tough decisions that have to be made.  Who is the real match for Cassia?  Ill leave it at this- the "society" knows who the best match is.  The questions is- does Cassia figure it out.  Does her heart lead her in one direction, or does the "society" lead her in a different.  That part I will leave to your reading.

So yes, a quick little review.  The story did flow well.  I was most curious about the "society" and how it was all formed, etc.  I would love to have had some more  background info on them, but it wasn't there.  That's all right, the story was good without it.  Maybe next time we can get some more background info.  To me, that would be interesting.  Anyhow, I really liked the story itself.  Fun to read and a fairly quick read as well.  I believe for sure there will be more installments.  Ill definitely read book 2.  Keep in mind what I have said before about authors and series....  sometimes an author can turn a great story into a mediocre series.  We shall see.