Monday, March 28, 2011
MATCHED: This is how you write a teenage romance
I am a fan of YA fiction. Good fiction. Stories that are original and cross all ages, and capture the imagination with well written words and well crafted plot. Matched by Ally Condie is one of those books.
The story takes place in the not too distant future in a dystopian world where people live under the watchful eye of The Society, and you are matched with your life partner at the age of 17. Your job is chosen for you. Your meals are prepared for you. Your extracurricular activities are limited. And you listen to the same one hundred songs over and over for fun(The Society chose those), and you never question your role, or that of The Society. Cassia Reyes is matched with her best friend, Xander (a very rare occurrence where a match already knows a match). She is happy with the match, but soon discovers that her true match might be someone else, Ky Markham. The shy, middle of the road boy, who has secrets of his own. Cassia begins to question the Society's rules and the perfect lives it creates for its citizens. As Cassia begins to peel away layers of secrets and lies, she uncovers something much more: Her own free will. A light has been ignited within her that cannot be put out. A quiet rebellion within begins.
I really enjoyed this story. A part one, in what I believe, is a trilogy. I love stories of dystopian, or post apocalyptic worlds. There is something intriguing and mysterious about the future. The unknown. What parts of us will remain? What happens to humanity? You don't have to be a teenage girl to enjoy this story. It is well written, and smart. But also, a breeze to get through because you want to keep reading. You can feel Cassia and Ky falling in love. And it is sweet and pure, and realistic. The danger that they're under is real, but it doesn't burst forth. It's subtle, but constantly threatening to bubble over. The final chapters become a true life and death struggle that leaves me wanting more.
If you liked The Hunger Games then you'll love this book. If you liked Twilight then this book is better.