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[Book Review] - Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
   Author: Ally Condie
   Series: #1 - Matched
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: November 30th, 2010
   My Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

     Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

      The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Review:

     This book had me on the fence, I am still uncertain if I would openly recommend this book to serious avid readers, or if it was just a flat out decent book. Let me bridge this gap so everyone knows; when I recommend a book I want the book to represent part of my reputation, I want people to trust my recommendations and believe that if a book is good enough to be recommended it's worth it. So when I have this on the fence of that, it's got something to say behind it.

     This book was rather slow to start, but when it got going, Matched took off. Ally Condie created a monster of a book here; getting past all the poetry, deep descriptions, and a weird love triangle that really doesn't appear to be a triangle at all, leaves way to a few decent characters and overall a book ending that makes you crave for more.

     Cassia, Xander, and Ky. This is supposed to be a good love triangle, and poses to be a good love triangle in the beginning, but as the story unravels you find out that the love triangle is more of a one-sided triangle without a connection between Cassia and one of the other boys (No I will Not spoil who that is). I am grateful for that; I am not a huge fan of love triangles. They tend to be awkward, childish, and just frankly annoying; so when I say this book could have been better leaving it out, I'm not exaggerating.

     Cassia is a very intriguing character. She's presented as this normal everyday girl who knows who she wants to be matched with, but when that other face shows up her world is thrown for a loop. She first poses herself as a simple flat character, but as the books slowly comes to an end you can see the life in her, the three-dimensional Cassia jumps to life and for once you're screaming in joy at the pages. Cassia isn't one of my most memorable female characters, but she's part of one of my favorite couples.

     Xander, this is a character that I wish we saw more of. He along with Ky are very well developed and thought out from the beginning and starts making you question Cassia and wondering more and more why she isn't right away. Xander and Ky even though taken and molded from one person, the two characters distinguish themselves really quickly. Xander is the one that's calculating, knows where he wants to go and what it takes to get there, but at the same time, doesn't want to force action or make choices for people. His character was staggering and intriguing, I just wish there was more of him.

     Finally Ky shows us a world that I could only dream of. He's free spirited, but can come back to earth when needed. He's got this air of freedom in him, that every time he's present makes you want to look to the sky with him and count the clouds. This character is one of my favorite male supporting characters in a book; he's got the energy and the pure raw reckless freedom he has makes him hard to not enjoy.

     The book revolves primarily around Cassia and Ky, and their relationship as it slowly turns inward against the rules of the Society. The society in this book is awkward, you are given food at given times, clothing is monitored, and everything is uniform. It’s almost reminded me of an extreme case of socialism. I had a hard time wondering if this society would even be possible.

     The problem I had with this book was the long long duress of the book was building the relationship between Cassia and Ky. It lacked a bit of action, or something to pull me more into the book. It seemed like the book wanted me to keep reading, like I was supposed to want to know what happened next, but there was something missing that made me want to keep turning the pages.

     In all fairness though, I did keep turning the pages and it wasn’t for the relationship between Cassia (least not until the end of the book). It was the world, the descriptions, and the smothering of poetry and imagery. The words that were put together in this book were far beyond what I could imagine and I was enthralled seeing what Ally Condie would write next.
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