Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reading Rainbow: Matched by Ally Condie

*whistles for the bandwagon to stop so I can jump on* Yes, that's right - I read Matched by Ally Condie, and just like the rest of the book-blog-world, I loved it. I'm sure you can find about 100 reviews of this book right now, but as you know, I don't do reviews. Instead, I'll tell you why I loved it and why I think you will too.

From Goodreads:

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.

One of the first things I loved about this book is how it drew me into a false sense of security. The Society seemed, well, pretty... at first. The opening scene is of Cassia's Matching Ceremony, and she is excited and nervous. She's been looking forward to this day her whole life, much like a bride on her wedding day. Like Cassia, I got caught up in the excitement, and I loved realizing that when things started to fall apart.

Ally Condie does an amazing job of putting the reader in the moment. I went from feeling incredibly excited and relieved at the Matching Ceremony, to confused and then incredibly sad. It's extremely well done. And I think the best dystopian novels are those that do this. They allow us to put ourselves in the main character's position and to feel what she feels. Basically, to make you think. And you know I love that.

Matched has a feel to it that reminded me of Fahrenheit 451, which is an amazing book (and movie!). I'm not comparing the two, but the loss of words (books, poetry, even song) is equally traumatic in both. Matched will remind you how much you love books, and while I read this on an ereader, you can be assured that I will be buying a hard copy of this book. I think it's worth it to hold this book in your hands.

So there you have it. I'm proudly riding the bandwagon because the bandwagon is fully deserved. I could go on about Ky and Xander (really, I could), but I'm going to let you all discover them for yourselves. I will say - my favorite character was Grandpa. And, as always, I want to hear your thoughts! Have you read Matched yet? What did you think? (And be sure to include a *spoiler alert* if your comment has spoilers!)

Sidebra: For some fun, you must try the "Find Your Optimal Match" link on the Matched book website! It uses your facebook friends to find your Match and I was matched with an old high school boyfriend! Uh, non. And that is when I said a little thank you prayer that we do not live in the Society.