Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Matched (Allyson Condie)

Title: Matched
Author: Allyson Condie
Genre: YA dystopian fiction
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Challenges: YA
FTC Disclosure: I bought this book on my Kindle
Summary (from Amazon): For Cassia, nothing is left to chance--not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the "burden" of choice. When Cassie's best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows bets, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy's face flashes on the screen. The improbable mistake sets Cassie on a dangerous path to the unthinkable--rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her.

Review: I have wanted to read this book ever since I started reading all the reviews. When I read the description it made me think of Candor by Pam Bachorz and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies/Pretties/Specials series. Now that I am finished with this book I am glad that I only skimmed other people's reviews (it's what I do when I know I want to read a book) so that all the plot was new to me as I read.

I thought this book was intriguing, interesting, and it made me think. That's all good. I liked that Cassia was a strong female who started to think for herself, outside of what the Society wanted her and everyone else to believe. I also liked that she had a good relationship with her family (kinda' rare in YA fiction) and her friends. The romantic triangle isn't anything new, but I thought it worked well in this book because it allows the reader to see various sides of Cassia's personality.

The story line itself is good and really made me think: how much of our lives, our knowledge, and our actions are controlled by outside forces? In this novel it's the Society (government), but in our society I would say it's the media. In Matched the Society decides what jobs people have, what activities they'll participate in, where they travel, who they will marry (though it's interesting that people can choose to stay single as they turn 17), and ultimately, when and how they die. As the novel progresses and more is revealed, it becomes creepier and more interesting. What will Cassia decide to do, will everyone she cares about get in trouble for her actions? Is the Society controlling her actions or is she? Is she so predictable (based on her life data) that the Society can predict her actions?

This book is science fiction, but not space or technology filled. It will appeal to anyone who likes romance, intrigue, and a book that questions our own roles in our lives.

6 comments:

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed this one too.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Amanda--now I want to go back and read people's reviews to see what details everyone thought were interesting.

Marie said...

I agree this book really made me stop and think. I understand Cassia's hesitation with attempting to defy the Society, but I didn't really understand the ending. I liked how her grandfather also played a pretty big role in the book even though he wasn't always around.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Marie--I also really liked the role her grandfather played, showing us how the elderly and death were treated. He also showed Cassia how to be defiant without hurting others

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Great review Helen... I am pretty sure I want to read this one too.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Sheila--I knew I wanted to read this as soon as I saw the first review. Then I got worried that it was so popular that there would be too much hype, but there wasn't