So, I’m on a little kick right now. It is a “finally read all the books that friends and family have been recommending for years” kick. Which is what led me to finally pick up Matched by Ally Condie. I’m happy to report, that this is a book that I’m glad I read. Also, I’m pretty pleased that I’ve waited until the next two books are in print before I started. Now I won’t have to wait to read the rest of the series.
Matched is another one of the dystopian young adult novels that are so popular these days. What I like about this one, is that the dystopian tone is a bit different. There is still the 1984 having-all-of-our-choices-taken-away feel to it, only the government is less menacing. In fact, there are many who relish in the simplicity and goodness of the their lives, and thank the establishment for it. As our main character, Cassia, is coming to terms with her choices (or lack thereof), she encounters both people who wish to rebel and people who would never dream of it. What I like about the people who would never dream of it, is that some of them have their eyes wide open about it. They aren’t compliant out of fear or ignorance or brainwashing or general weakness. They are compliant because their lives are good and they are happy and they know that is because of what “The Society” has created.
The problem, of course, is that not everyone is happy. And while “The Society” is not overtly evil (there are no reality TV shows involving a fight to the death among children, for example) Cassia starts to learn that it may not be all it is cracked up to be… and that they walk a fine line between benevolence and violence.
Overall, the book was a very enjoyable read. I wasn’t even bothered by the love triangle, because really it wasn’t a choice about who Cassia loves at all. The choice she makes is about whether or not she will “go gentle into that good night” or “rage, rage against the dying of the light”. (Hats off to Condie, for using a fabulous poem as her central theme in this book.)
I give it:
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