by Ally Condie
Big Themes: Choice, Freedom, Government Control, Secrets, History, Poetry, Love Triangle
Summary: In a future world, the Society controls everything from how many calories you eat to who you marry. Cassia trusts the system, until there is a mistake after her Matching ceremony, and a second boy’s face flickers on her screen as a possible Match.
What I Liked:
The World-Building was really fascinating. This dystopian novel did some interesting things that I hadn’t seen before: the different colored tablets, the Matching system, the loss of handwriting as a skill. Yet the author still incorporated many of the standards of dystopian fiction: the feeling of being watched constantly, the threat of government, the oppression of the masses, the protagonist’s innocence being taken, and a curiosity with history and the past. I thought the world Condie created was exceptionally well-done, and this was by far my favorite aspect of the book.
What I Didn’t Like:
The Romance: It just didn’t make me swoon. There was one moment where Xander helped Cassia that was memorable and made me want there to be more between the two of them. And maybe that was my problem, I didn’t really fall for Ky at all. Cassia fell for him hard. But I didn’t fall with her. And I think if you’re writing a romance between two characters, the reader should feel it too.
Pacing: The plot slows down significantly about halfway through the book. The blurbs on the book’s cover proclaim this as the “next Hunger Games.” Hmmm. It’s dystopian. There’s a love triangle. But Hunger Games had action, quick pacing, and much higher stakes. Matched does not compare in this way, and they are doing the book a disservice by comparing the two because readers will go in expecting a faster paced book and then be disappointed.
My Rating: Three stars, I liked it mostly for the excellent world-building. I’ve already bought Crossed (Book 2) on my Kindle, and have started it. So I did like it enough to do that. And bonus points for the author because she’s a former English teacher.