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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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.


If I were being blunt, I would tell you, straight of the bat, that Ally Condie is an absolute genius. I would also tell you that her writing is fantastic, she is insanely creative, and her character development is stunning.

And since I am being blunt . . . well, I just told you.

This eerily possible futuristic world in which Cassia lives and that Condie has created is nightmare-worthy and, ultimately, reveals much about us, as people, and our views of the necessity of perfection and health and prosperity. But, the novel also shows the importance of freedom: freedom to do what we like, to have children, to get married, to write, to read, to share our beliefs, to sing, to be unique . . . and, most of all, to fall in love. The idea of this world where literally everything is predetermined and decided for you is honestly frightening to the point of needing to put the novel down at times.

The depth at which this message is weaved through this novel--the importance of freedom--is unbelievable, especially in a Young Adult fiction novel. It is, also, very creative, unique, and moving.

The character development is also very impressive, and I can truly tell you that I know Cassia and all of those close to her inside and out, which can be very difficult to find in YA novels.

Matched itself is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, due to the similar messages both convey, although I also have to admit that Suzanne Collins may finally have worthy competition; the fantastic Ally Condie.

Grade: A+



Jessica K. said...

I am glad you enjoyed it!! What is your take on the cover and story match-up? A lot of people like it because it is simple, but I think it says more about the story once you have read it.

simply nerdy book reviews said...

I really loved the cover, although when I first saw it two things came to mind: the fairy godmother in Cinderella and Glinda the Good Witch (from the Wizard of Oz). So I have to admit that the cover and the summary of the book don't quite match up--if you haven't read the book yet, that is. Once reading the book, though, it makes more sense--and the idea of Cassia in a "bubble" (although somewhat cliche) did coincide with the story. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read the book yet, but the cover did ruin the way I pictured Cassia's green dress; it's no where near as elegant or gorgeous as it should be, and it seems much too lime-colored. Let's face it, the dress on the cover is not that cute.

But either way, the cover is very eye-grabbing due to it's simplicity, as you said, and I do think it does work (and is understandable) after reading the novel. Plus, it's just really pretty.

Thanks for commenting, Jessica! (:


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