Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Coffee For The Brain Book Tournament Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Pages: 366
Author Website: www.allycondie.com

Inside Book Jacket
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely 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.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

My Thoughts

I remember seeing this book nominated on the book nomination list for this tournament and was very excited because it was a new book and something that I knew nobody on the judging panel had already read. I also loved the cover. It was simple, but yet portrayed the idea of a girl trying to find a way to break loose.

I began to read this book and right from the start I loved it. I knew that unless the author went super crazy on me that this would be one of my favorite reads of the year. 

I don't like romance stories. I am a guy who lives for action, adventure, dystopia, creature laden books. The back of this book has little blurbs from authors about the romance is so great. I read some online review that just adored the love in this book. This had me scared because the romance was not really present in the beginning. 

After reading the last page I never felt the romance killed the story. There is a love triangle(which book doesn't?), but it was done perfectly. The emotions and actions were expressed, but it was not dragged out for pages and pages like Twilight(barf).

The whole concept that the government controls everything i.e. what you eat, when you eat, what you do(pretty much everyone sorts), when you die, curfew, nobody allowed in your house, who you marry, etc. is what separates this novel. I kept reading being blown away that nobody argued the actions of the government. The government has such mind control. People are happy with the system after people of the past(I would assume that would be us) had too many choices, too much technology, too many this or that that lead to a bad way of life.

Being a love story I really liked every character. There was not one character that bothered me. Ky and Xander and very cool and likable male characters. Cassia is the perfect main character. She really is set up with the qualities needed to pull this book off. She is not too dramatic on the love scene, she is smart, but does not have some irrational decision making attitude. Everything is at the right balance.

I had to read this novel slow. One reason is that I did not find it to be a fast read. I really wanted this book to not end. I looked for passages that stuck with me. I kept thinking how much it would suck to only have 100 songs to hear or 100 poems. The loss of freedom really struck a chord with me.

I remember on page 29 when the grandfather was discussing the committees that created the 100 lists and destroying everything else how angry that made me.

I remember on page 51 when Cassia mentioned that nobody wears a watch because time is kept for all of them how much I thought that would not be a great way of life. I also thought about all the kids that can no longer read a regular clock that is not digital(not sure where that came from).

I remember on page 65 loving little lines in the book that just stuck with me like, "Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs." Powerful stuff.

I remember finishing this book and being so glad to have read this and being bummed out that I have to wait another year for the sequel.

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