by Ally Condie
The Short Story
The Giver meets Uglies with a less self-interested protagonist. Cassia has the perfect life, in a perfect world, and soon with the perfect guy. Until a "mistake" makes her wonder if she'd rather have choice over perfection. Thought-provoking, super clean read.
Come for the...
I fought the buzz on Matched until my library was plastered with promos for the book. Turns out Ally Condie is a local author. Soon the cover with the gorgeous green (for St. Patrick's Day!) dress was in my hands. I read the whole thing in one sitting.
Most things about the book worked for me. But I have to highlight how incredibly clean it was - all while being suspenseful, mysterious, and interesting! Sometimes I feel like authors use sex or profanity as a crutch to show strong emotion. (I am so mad. Look at my string of expletives! We really like each other; watch us spontaneously burst into nakedness.) Matched doesn't have that problem. The story is generally successful at showing emotion, especially in Cassia's relationships with her family. I loved her interactions with her grandfather:
I try not to look at the timepiece on the wall. I have to leave soon so I can make curfew, but I don't want Grandfather to think that I am marking the minutes. Marking time until our visit is over. Marking time until his life is over. Although, if you think about it I am marking time for my own life, too. Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes a part of theirs.Matched is just plain good without content that would make a reader uncomfortable, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Grandfather senses my distraction and asks me what is on my mind. I tell him, because I won't have many more chances to do so, and he reaches out and grips my hand. "I'm glad to give you part of my life," he says, and it is such a nice thing to say and he says it so kindly that I say it back.
Stay for the
writing that starts out simply and grows more complex as Cassia's view of her world changes; the grandpa; contraband poetry; cursive lessons; a love triangle where neither guy is a jerk; the sequel, Crossed.
Don't think about this too hard
- This may be addressed later in the series, but I would have preferred if Cassia had chosen a guy for herself that hadn't been suggested by anyone else. Ky was just as "picked" for her as Xander.
- To go with that, I wasn't completely sold on Cassia and Ky's relationship. I think I actually like Xander better. This series may break my trend for picking the love triangle winner.
The Big Three
Language: not an issue
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: not an issue