Matched (Matched #1)
by Ally Condie
384 Pages - Hardcover
Published November 30th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
Challenge: Dystopia Reading Challenge
Summary: (from Amazon)
For Cassia, nothing is left to chance--not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the "burden" of choice. When Cassia's best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable--rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her. As author Ally Condie’s unique dystopian Society takes chilling measures to maintain the status quo, Matched reminds readers that freedom of choice is precious, and not without sacrifice.
And so I have finally read Matched! Let me start this off by telling you how bored and tired I was when I started reading this; so I was really, really bored and mentally exhausted. Ever had those days when you have nothing better to do than to sit on the couch and stare at the walls with eyes wide open until you remember that normal people blink? Those days when not even a book could pull you out of the world of boredom… I know this is a little embarrassing and I have no idea if normal people actually do that when they’re bored out of their life. But.
The point is, upon further reflection, I realized that nothing exciting actually happened in Matched. I was already bored when I started reading this and by the time I finished it, there was no change in my mood. There might have been a couple of breath-taking moments, but as a whole, the events just… fell flat. I read a lot of mixed reviews about Matched, but almost all of them agreed that Matched’s focus is on world-building. I was expecting that, really. But I didn’t expect for it to focus on just that. Sure there was family, friendship and romance. But I didn’t even get that last one! The beginning of their romance is very realistic but the ‘when’ is not. I was aware that something was happening between Cassia and Ky. Still, the revelation that they have fallen for each other seemed so sudden for me. Which is really weird. Because the entire book is all about developments and realizations of all kinds. The way they seemed so sure about their feelings, I wish there was more development between them before the confessions.
However. Ok, this is where I praise Condie’s genius. Cassia’s character development is astounding. The journey to her growth might have been boring for me, but it amazed me how well-developed she has become and still have space for more development. And oh, the writing is just spectacular! I might have a grudge on the plot’s lack of action and power to pull me inside its bubble, but I can’t help but admire Condie’s writing. It's just gorgeous! If you don’t plan to read this book because of the plot’s lack of action and potential boringness, then do it for Condie’s writing. You will not be disappointed.
Plot = 3/5 stars
Writing = 5/5 stars
Total = 4/5 stars!