Its that TIIIIIIIIIIIME of week again. Book of the Week time. I’m writing this earlier than I actually need to because I’m tired and I’m not feeling well (a cold totally *would* attack me just days before I start my spring semester) so I figured, well, might as well do my Book of the Week post.
I’m feeling massively productive this week. I cleaned my room. Thats a huge accomplishment all its own.
I also finished the sixth season of Gossip Girl.
And I’ve managed to read 16 books this month, which keeps me on track with my 200 book goal for the year 2013.
So I’m in a good mood :)
Moving on, I was going to do Matched by Ally Condie for the Book of the Week. However, with reading sixteen books basically back to back, its been awhile since I actually read Matched, or so it feels like. I’ve read the remaining two books in the trilogy since then. So for the first time, I decided to review a whole trilogy.
I’m also changing up how I do Book of the Week. Let me know if you like it, or if you enjoy the old way better.
Book of the Week:
Young adult, Dystopian, Romance
You May Like it If You Liked:
Hunger Games trilogy, Delirium trilogy
The story takes place in the Society, a place not really unlike the city you live now, except for that everything is monitored: your food, your conversations, your school and so on. You only have so many choices as your free time activity. Your career is chosen for you. There are 100 songs, 100 books, 100 paintings, 100 poems, all deemed appropriate for the society. You live until you are 80, and then you die. And you marry who the Society deems your perfect Match, to continue a perfect society, free of disease, free of complications. Its Cassia’s sixteenth birthday, and lucky enough for her, its the same day as her Match banquet, the day she finds out who she will spend the rest of her life with. And as luck would have it, it turns out to be her best friend, Xander. Things couldn’t have been more perfect.
But then Cassia’s grandfather is scheduled for his death, and before he dies, he gives Cassia a poem, a poem that isn’t one of the 100 Poems and it has Cassia hooked.
Then Cassia joins a hiking club, and is suddenly spending a lot of time with Ky, a mysterious and handsome boy who Cassia can’t help but noticing. Soon, they’re becoming closer and closer, sharing a secret poem, in the case of Cassie, and learning the art of handwriting, from Ky. Slowly, Cassia realizes she’s in love with Ky and the Society isn’t all what its supposed to be. Its not long before they’re all caught up in rebellion: Cassie, Ky and Xander.
There wasn’t much bad to it. Crossed, the second book in the series, was very slow. There wasn’t a lot going on in the book, to me, anyway and I was just kind of waiting for SOMETHING to happen. It was a lot of information, not a lot of action. It seemed like a build-up book for the last book, Reached. So that was incredibly frustrating because it wasn’t a short book so I had to push myself through some of the parts of Crossed. However, Reached picks up right at the core of Rebellion, for all the characters, so it is a lot different and keeps you going.
I had one teensy issue with the fact that it reminded me A LOT of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. In Delirium, love is a curse, a disease and when you turn 18, you get the cure, and you get matched with someone who is compatible for you, and will help create a stronger race. Lena is all ready to receive her job, find out who she is going to marry, and get the cure…until she meets Alex, and falls in love. Then she questions the society she lives in and how its run. The parallels between Delirium and Matched bothered me for awhile, which is why I didn’t read Crossed right away. However, Crossed and Reached go in a different direction than Pandemonium, the Delirium sequel, so I got over that pretty fast.
I actually really liked this series. I had held off for awhile, because when I saw the covers, I admit I was like, ugh another dystopian romance novel and ugh can we move on? I so need to grow up haha. It turned out to be a seriously great series. A lot of the things that I have grown to expect from young adult lit books weren’t really there, and that was the most impressive part.
The love triangle? Basically nonexistent. Although there is a hint at one, it doesn’t even take up the novel in the slightest and there is never a question throughout the novel of who has Cassia’s affection.
The novel focuses on the idea of the Society and the things that they’ve been hiding. It focuses on the Rebellion, but it also shows that even Rebellions aren’t perfect. I think that was a big thing that I liked about it. It reminded me a little of Hunger Games. Katniss recognizes that President Coin isn’t really THAT much better than President Snow. It doesn’t present the Rebellion as 100% good and as of having a RIGHT to take back the country. It has flaws, and this one has major flaws. To orchestrate the sort of problem that they did, because they owned the solution seems wrong. Especially when it doesn’t really go according to plan. I know thats extremely vague but I’d rather not kill the novel for you.
The point is, I really like the story that Ally creates. She presents many different factors and people into the Society. Its not just the Society and the Rebellion, there are other people who can’t decide what they want, or they have decided they don’t want to support either. The people aren’t black and white, they’re gray and I love it. I feel like Condie presents a realistic dystopian novel. She shows what it would be like to have a real rebellion and have it lose control. The rebellion doesn’t go all as planned, and its very true to life. Things don’t quite work out the way you wish they did, or the way you planned them to.
I also really like the characters that Condie creates. They’re all strong characters. Cassia is a strong female character; making decisions on her, focusing on the Rebellion because SHE wants to, not because of Ky or Xander or anyone else. Even though she’s young and is totally allowed to feel confused, she knows from the beginning who she wants to be with and doesn’t ever deter from it. Ever. She shows strength and resilence in every mission and every goal she tries to accomplish. She’s extremely intelligent, along with Xander and Ky. They’re all strong, unique characters. They have normal teen feelings but they stay focused on the prize the entire novel.
All in all, the novel presents a good young adult dystopian novel and I’ve been kind of craving that for awhile.
4 out of 5 Stars for the entire series. I’d probably give a 4 to Matched and Reached, and 3 to Crossed.
Recommended or Not?
Definitely recommended especially if you enjoy a good young adult, and you enjoy a good dystopian novel. Especially a recommendation if you are over love triangles.