Matched by Ally Condie
Started July 5, 2015
Finished July 7, 2015
Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Book 1 in the Matched Trilogy
This book was an interesting read for me. When I first picked it up, I was very hesitant. I had heard mixed reviews about it, and honestly, the blurb on the back of the book did absolutely nothing for me. It made this book sound like it would be a melodramatic love triangle with a dystopian in the background. But I’d say it’s more of a dystopian with a melodramatic love triangle in the background.
I will say right now that I enjoyed this book, much more than I predicted I would. It’s not a stellar book, but it was entertaining and Ally Condie’s writing was very easy to read through 100 pages at once.
This book’s major strength is the dystopian that’s set up within it. It was eerie, and it reminded me of 1984 among other novels. In this novel, everybody is rigidly set to a schedule, a lifestyle, a diet, a mate. At 17 years old, you’re matched to a person deemed the most genetically beneficial for offspring. Nobody knows enough about any one task to be self-sufficient. Those who know how to plant seeds don’t know how to grow it. Those who grow it don’t know how to harvest it. Those who harvest it don’t know how to cook it. Those who cook it don’t know how to do any of the previous steps. Each person is specifically trained in a small step of something. This ensures the person will never know enough to do anything themselves, and therefore depend on The Society in which they live to keep them alive and everyone organized so all the steps are completed. It’s ingenious really. Stamps out rebellion before it starts.
Diets are strictly enforced, at each person’s meal is nutritionally calculated for that specific person. There is no sharing of food, no unscheduled activity, no questioning about things to which a person is ignorant. Looking from the inside out, you’d feel like you just ‘fit’ in where you are, and would feel perfectly content with what you do. From the outside in, it feels like nobody has any soul, that everyone is just going through motions of life without living. And on top of that there are these Big Brother-like Officials floating all over the place, controlling every aspect of everything. Like I said, eerie.
So yes, the strengths of this are definitely strong, and they’re why I liked this book so much. The stuff that made me not love it though, are just as strong – the characters. I didn’t feel for them, I didn’t become attached to them. And honestly at the beginning I couldn’t stand the way the main character spoke about things. It was irritating, her uh.. verbage, I guess. I don’t know how to explain it. Her tone? Her attitude? I don’t know. She dropped it later which made her better, but even then, I couldn’t really feel for her. The romance in this book fell flat for me I think. I usually get all ‘ooooh, they gon’ kiiiissss’ when I feel a romantic scene coming on, but I got none of that from this book. Sure there was romance, but I wasn’t affected by it in the way the author probably hoped I would be.
So overall, I liked this book. Should I come across book 2, I’ll definitely continue it. As I said, the dystopian setting is rather interesting, and I definitely want to know how the story continues, but I’d be lying if I said that it’s on the top of my to-read list.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Romance, I crave it.