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When my sister suggested this book to me, I wasn't sure I would like it. Genetically engineered societies means that disabilities are eliminated by default. That makes it difficult for me to "find myself" in the book because I already know going in that neither I nor my husband or son would be found in this oh-so-perfect society. But that wasn't a problem. Ally Condie crafted together such an artful weaving of character and setting with just enough ties to our own world to be believable that I was pulled in right away. Told from the point of view of someone who genuinely believes in the infalability of the Society and its statistics, Cassia moves right along as she reasonably explains away euthanasia or drug-induced amnesia while the reader's heart pounds at the deceptive logic of it all. There is a love story at the center of the book, but it wasn't the love story itself that pulled me in. Unlike other love triangle tales, one potential match isn't "wrong" and the other "right." I truly believe that Cassia would have been/will be happy with either Xander or Ky. To me, that's not the point of the story at all. Is it better to have the choice or not? No matter how perfect the society is planned to be, it will always come down to the power held in the hands of imperfect people.
Others have criticized the book for being nothing new, but I think that's unfair. Have dystopian tales been told before? Sure. Do others examine the same debates regarding personal freedom, secret knowledge, finding the right spouse? Absolutely. Matched, in my opinion, tells it well on its own merits.
I found this book to be so well crafted that it demanded my attention. Most of the time, I can balance reading multiple books at a time: one on audio, one on ebook, one on paper, etc. While I was reading Matched, however, it claimed my inner voice. I would try to read another book and find myself hearing Cassia and having to stop and remember that this was an entirely different world. For me to have that reaction alone says something.
On a lighter note, as a teacher who still emphasizes the value of cursive writing and poetry, I loved the twist Matched brought to those two arts often dismissed in today's society. There is a value in creating rather than simply sifting through facts and regurgitating the right ones at the right time.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
I was worried about picking up this book because so many people were bashing it as a rip off of 'the giver'. I could not find many reviews that praised this particular story. I have not read the giver so i cannot agree with them, but i did read this book and i can say that i loved it. The structure of the society was not as big a part of the story for me as the events surrounding the characters was.
The book takes place in a dystopian society and you are immersed in it so much that when Cassia begins to open her eyes it is subtle. I really enjoyed that fact because in a lot of YA books the main character is really blunt with their epiphany. I enjoyed the way it was written and how realistic it felt even though the environment is like nothing we have experienced. I am excited for the next installment, but if the book were to end here i would not be dissatisfied. The main character is strong and she really kept the story interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story of teenage rebellion and strong characters.
The narrator did a great job. No complaints here.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful