My Rating: 4 stars
Cassia lives in a world where choices are not her own. She is blissfully Matched with her life-long friend, Xander, she will soon hold a position as a top sorter for the Society. She’s innocently happy in a world free of pain or difficulty. That is, until Ky comes along. Ky isn’t like anyone else Cassia has ever known. He introduces to Cassia his world- a world without the Society. And Cassia is curious, no, more than curious, when not Xander’s face, but Ky’s face appears on her Matching screen before flickering away…
All I’ve ever heard about this book is good, good good. And don’t get me wrong- it was great! I loved the characters and the plot was amazing. The Society that Mrs. Condie created was very Hunger Games-ish. But… (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)…I had high expectations for this book due to all the praise it’s gotten, and it really didn’t meet them. I didn’t like the beginning very much- I felt like everything started too soon and I didn’t really get to know the characters that well. You see, I’m picky like that. I love to get to know my character before we jump into the plot. The one thing a book needs to do at the beginning is GRAB the reader right out of their seat and transport them into the book. If you can’t put it down, then face it: you’re hooked. Matched didn’t do that for me.
But I wasn’t completely disappointed with this book. I really did love it at many parts, despite the last paragraph of complaining I just did! Matched reminded me of another book I had read a long, long time ago: The Giver by Lois Lowry. The Societies in both books are almost exactly the same. By destroying all freedom, the Society destroyed all true pain as well as all true happiness. They made the world a feelingless blob of monotony. No one had to make any choices for themselves. They were like babies, waiting for the Society to tell them to breath in, to exhale, to breath in, to exhale, and so on and so forth.
Another thing I loved about Matched was Ky. He was one of the most interesting male characters I’ve ever read about before. I felt like he was from a poem, or a fairytale. He was so much more beautiful and brighter than Xander. Xander accepted. Ky rebelled. Xander was friendly and brotherly to Cassia. Ky was romantic. Compared to Xander (whom I loved, don’t get me wrong!), Ky was color in a black and white world. J I loved a good romance. Lots of tender kisses and shows of affection. This wasn’t like that. Cassia and Ky didn’t share too many kisses, and they were practically forbidden to really even touch each other. But they shared secrets. Poems. Pieces of their hearts. And that was truly romantic. J
And the cover. Oh my word. It’s MARVELOUS. The title gives you a futuristic sort of feel, and at first I didn’t really understand why Cassia was in a green bubble, but I get it know. I think it’s supposed to represent the Society and her being a slave, a prisoner to it. The next book in the trilogy, called Crossed (coming late 2011, can’t wait!) has Cassia breaking out of the “bubble” on the cover. It looks so cool!
To sum it up, if you can get past the slightly boring beginning, I think you’ll love Matched. The way Mrs. Condie writes, in a flow-y, poetic sort of way, is really beautiful to read. The romance between Cassia and Ky is really amazing and deep, and you can feel the tie between them. I loved it, and although I’ve read better, I really did enjoy Matched.
‘“I couldn’t sleep all night, worrying that I’d gotten you in trouble. I care about you.” Those words are quiet here in under the trees but they sing loudly in my heart, louder than all the Hundred Songs caroling all at once. And his eyes are shadowed underneath, from thinking about me. I want to reach up and touch that skin under his eyes, the one place I’ve seen any vulnerability in him, make him feel better. And then I could run my fingers there across his cheekbones, down to his lips, to the place where his jaw meets his neck, where his neck meets his shoulder line. I like the places where one part meets another, I think, eyes to cheek, wrist to hands.’ (pg. 211)
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