Book Review - Matched by Ally Condie
After reading The Hunger Games triliogy I really got into the idea of dystopian novels so have started reading the few series recommended to me by other Hunger Games Fans. This is the first book in the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie, with the sequels being Crossed and Reached, and is indeed another Teen Dystopian series. (Is it just me or do books only seem to be coming in series now?)
If you have read my other book reviews you will know I hate retelling stores or giving away spoilers. I believe if you are reading a review you want a brief discription of the story (so you know if its your type of thing) and the opinion of the reviewer (to know what they thought and if it worth reading). So that being said this is a review of the book Matched, I shall give you a mini synopsis but no spoilers I promise and tell you what I thought of the book.
Ok a little bit of story line ...
Matched is set in a post apocolyptic world where the 'Society' rule and make all the decisions. Cassi our heroine has been happy to let the 'Society' dictate her life and is happy to let them decide what she shall do when she leaves school, who she will marry, where she will live and every other detail about her - she has never know it any other way. She is releaved at her Match Banquet when she is matched with her friend Xander but then a gliche with a computer programme shows her another match - Ky. And she starts to question the matching system and the 'Society' in general. The question is does she do as the 'Society' wants her to and live a happy, easy life or does she follow what in her heart sounds right but is against the 'Society' and place her life and those around her in peril. (you can guess which way she goes, or it would be a really dull book! Lol)
I shant give you any more than that - which is pretty much what you can glean from any online synopsis or back cover as I think this is a book in which you will enjoy discovering even the littelest of details.
A comparison of sorts
Now I dont really want to compare it to other books as I think Dystopian Novels are so individual due to the very nature that they are set in a future imagined society and way of life, but I shall compare just a little incase you have read other Teen Dystopian books. For me Matched is more of a forbidden love story than an actual Dystopian Society story - the love story line is more predominanate and important than in other Dystopian novels I have read, so it is unlike other Teen Dystopian novels in that sense. It is definietly a far more female orientated novel than say The Hunger Games and Divergent - both of which I think boys/men would enjoy reading just as much as women. The society seems less harsh and severe than other dystopian series, although obviously controlling what you do, eat and love is still pretty major, lets say they seem less violent at least in part.
So we are on to my opinion then I suppose. Well in comparison to the other teen dystopian novels I have read so far this is the one I least enjoyed. I think maybe the teen romance and love story was actually a bit too much fluff in my case. Think Twilight! Lots of longing glances and internal monologues of devotion! I'd also say it was directed at a younger teen audience as the romance is very nieve and I suppose lacking passion (that you at least get in Twilight).
It isn't particularly gripping either as it has very little action in it, altough the decisions poor Cassia has to make do impact her hugely. But they way the Society control and treat the people is interesting. The idea that the new 'Society's' rulers have eliminated anything they deem unnecissary or anything that provoke people to move against them and not just follow orders is what I actually like about the book. They have 100 poems, 100 stories and 100 songs - no others can be produced and all others have been destroyed (except for on the black market) creative freedom of expression has been taken away. If the booked had moved a little away from the Love line and more towards the fight and action against the society it would have rated higher in my opinions - maybe the next books will!
There are a few thing that I still dont understand too well tough - sorting, the pills, the inability to wite yet ability to read - I think maybe some of the finer details werent really that well thought out.
But overall I kinda liked it - if you take it on face value as a simple, easy teen novel intrested in teen romance. I will probably read the other books in the series simple to see how the author progresses with the story and because I hat gettng half a story!
Do I think it could have been better?
Yes, it really could have been a lot better - but maybe I am wanting too much from a teen book. Maybe the next books will give me more of what I look for and Matched was just the warm up act!
How I rate Matched by Ally Condie
Would I recommend it?
Well in all honesty probably not to another adult but maybe for a 12-15 year old girl! I can understand that maybe the audience it is intended for would really enjoy it - as it really isnt that taxing a read, easily finished in one session or a few days if you wanted, but to someone wanting a good, interesting and gripping dystopian novel, stick to The Hunger Games or read my review on Divergent which I think was far better at this genre.
I only gave it 3 stars on my Goodreads account - which I think is fair, it seems a good a idea and it was an ok read, but not particularly engaging. I'm hoping the next will be better!