Friday, April 08, 2011

Matched (YA)

Matched. Ally Condie. 2010. Penguin. 369 pages.

Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night? My wings aren't white or feathered; they're green, made of green silk, which shudders in the wind and bends when I move--first in a circle, then in a line, finally in a shape of my own invention. The black behind me doesn't worry me; neither do the stars ahead.

Cassia, the heroine of this dystopian YA novel, is on her way to her Match banquet. This is THE night where she will learn the identity of the man she'll spend the rest of her life with. It's also the day Cassia turns seventeen. Just one of many coincidences, perhaps, of Ally Condie's Matched.

For it is revealed that her match is her best friend, Xander. Usually, one's match is a complete stranger. The fact that she knows him--that she knows and loves him--well, it's a strange coincidence. But that's just the beginning. For when she looks on her microcard, a microcard that should be full of pictures and background information on her match--she catches a glimpse of another friend, Ky. For a moment, only a moment, it appears that Cassia has two matches. This kind of mistake should NEVER happen. And it's corrected by a visiting Official who tries her best to convince Cassia that it was a mistake, nothing more. Ky could never, ever, ever be her real match. Because he's not good enough to be anyone's match.

Any guesses which young man Cassia starts to fall in love with?

I enjoyed Matched. I wouldn't say that I loved it absolutely. But I enjoyed it. I found it entertaining and satisfying. I liked Cassia. I liked Ky. I liked Xander. I liked Cassia's family. Her brother, Bram, her father and mother, her grandfather. I was interested in the world Condie created. I liked the role poetry played in this one. How forbidden poems were used to help reveal some of the mysteries. It just worked for me.

Favorite quotes:
The almost-snow reminds me of a line from a poem we studied this year in Language and Literacy: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." It is one of my favorites of all the Hundred Poems, the ones our Society chose to keep, back when they decided our culture was too cluttered. They created commissions to choose the hundred best of everything: Hundred Songs, Hundred Paintings, Hundred Stories, Hundred Poems. The rest were eliminated. Gone forever. For the best, the Society said, and everyone believed because it made sense. How can we appreciate anything fully when overwhelmed with too much? (29)
Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes part of theirs. (65)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Chris 8:22 PM  

I actually have this book and something always stops me from picking it up to read...I think I just haven't been in the mood for dystopian lit lately.

Liddy 6:57 AM  

I have this book, but mixed reviews, have made me very apprehensive!
Wondeful blog! I love the way you have many catorgories of reviews!

Perhaps if you have time, would you mind stopping by my blog?

Kate {The Parchment Girl} 2:10 PM  

This certainly sounds like an interesting novel. I have to say dystopian YA fiction seems to always have the most fascinating plots...

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

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2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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