Review - Matched by Ally Condie (15)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie
Series: Matched #1
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: 30 November 2011
Genre: YA dystopian
My Copy: library - hardback

I adored this book! At first I wasn't sure I'd like it because it starts slow. Normally I hate slow starts. Now that I've finished Matched, I realize how perfect that slow start fits it. The slow gradual build up of the story is intricately woven with subtle foreshadowing. It gives the reader time to understand the unique community created and connect with it. Because of this, the reader can truly understand the anguish of Cassia's decisions. Condie's writing has a wonderfully lyrical quality to it which starts strong and grows with the story. Not to mention, the strong connections to one of my all time favorite poems "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas. She does a great job of connecting objects from the past with the new society. I also really liked how she connected the ending of the story back to the beginning with certain phrases and scenes, yet the ending still has a strong sense of a new start itself.

Characters are quite possibly my favorite part of books. They easily make or break a book for me. The characters in this book are outstanding. Cassia is an awesomely strong girl. She's brave and compassionate yet she has faults which make her real. She wants to do what is right even as she struggles to determine what is actually right or wrong when her idyllic society begins to look more illusory. Xander is consistently loyal to Cassia which is very admirable. Ky has been through so much and still never gives up. Cassia's parents are even fantastic. They support Cassia through everything even when it threatens their lives. I love her grandfather too! I like that he's a quiet rebel. I cried and found myself wanting to shout at the Officials for Cassia and Ky, Xander and Bram, Cassia's parents and Ky's parents.

This book is now on my list of top favorites, and I cannot wait for Crossed to come out in November.

Other thoughts:
I love this cover. It matches the book so well!

Favorite quotes:
Every minute you spend with someone gives them a part of your life and takes a part of theirs. -pg 65

I look out the window where the burning evening sun sets in a clear sky. There is no trace of clouds, but I promise myself that when it rains I will remember too. This paper, these pictures and words. This piece of him. -pg 207

That's how I know they are dreams. Because the simple and plain and everyday things are the ones that we can never have. -pg 260

Sometimes, when I look down at the pale seeds I scatter in the black dirt, it reminds me of the night of my Banquet when I imagined that I could fly. The darkness behind doesn't worry me; neither do the stars ahead. I think of how perhaps the best way to fly would be with hands full of earth so you always remember where you came from, how hard walking could sometimes be. -pg 365

There are two paragraphs on page 249 which I love as well, but I'm not putting those here out of fear of giving too much away.

Rating breakdown:
Plot: 5+ hearts
Pacing: 5+ hearts
Characters: 5+ hearts
Character relationships: 5+ hearts
Recommend: Absolutely! It's a must read!


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