Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

I saw Matched in the library about a year ago and considered picking it up, but decided against it because I already had a gigantic stack of books. I resolved to pick it up later and promptly forgot about it until a friend of mine mentioned having read it. She didn't particularly care for it, but since YA dystopian novels are my quasi-literary crack, I decided to give it a shot.

Like most of the YA dystopian novels floating about, Matched takes place in a world of extreme social control, and the main plot point centers around forbidden love and illicit words. If you think that sounds a lot like the plot to Delirium, you're absolutely right. The two books are very similar; both involve star-crossed teenage lovers whose relationship would undermine the authority of their society, and so they must fight the society in order to be together and blah blah blah.

The world of Matched is really similar to The Giver in a variety of ways: characters are scheduled to be born, attend school, marry, have children, and die, and job functions are assigned based on a series of aptitude tests. The high point of everyone's life is their Match Banquet, in which they are paired off with their future spouse. Cassia, the protagonist, is slated to marry her childhood friend, Xander-- but someone makes a mistake and she is also shown the face of a longtime classmate, Ky. Drawn to Ky, she makes a series of choices that threaten the safety of everyone she knows. It's a pretty standard plot and is enjoyable in a brain candy kind of way.

I much preferred Delirium, but I'm in the queue for the sequel, Crossed, so it's not all bad. 3 out of 5 stars.

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