21 April 2013

Book Review

Matched - Ally Condie

I read this book about two weeks ago, but I loved it so much that I had to review it.

Set in the future, Matched follows the life of 17 year old Cassie. She lives in a perfect society where everyday events are logically planned out for citizens by the government. So, basically, you are told what to eat, how likely you are to do certain things, and central to the title, who you are destined to spend the rest of your life with. Of course, life isn't always logical. When a mix-up occurs with her Match, Cassie begins to question her perfect world.

Total Chaos Theory going on in this book. Think Ian Malcolm.
Life will find a way!

For me, it is very easy to draw comparisons from this book to The Hunger Games. Gale/Xander, Peeta/Ky etc. But I think the deviation is that Matched is about coming of age and learning to make your own decisions, whereas The Hunger Games is more of a typical Campbellian Heroes Journey. An adventure, if you will.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much is because it seems like something I would write. Nothing really seemed to happen, yet so much happened, if that makes sense. The story seems to progress very slowly, but I liked that. The journey was more about growth and developing a deeper understanding than a physical walkabout. This attention to character development and insight into the characters world is something which I really appreciated and that will serve the author well for the sequels (which I have not read yet!).

I honestly could not stop reading this book. I was so immersed in the world because of the extent of the details, and the first person present narration really drew me in. I thought it was really short, but I was reading it at every opportunity, so that's probably why! I read it on the Kindle app on my phone which is teeny but meant that I could read it on my break in work, on the bus home and in bed before I slept. I recommended it to several people before I'd even finished the book!

There is a sort of pseudo-twist at the end which has intrigued me enough to want to buy the second book - I want to know who/what/why! I can see the series progressing in a very HG's-esque style - escape the government, return to destroy (very Heroes Journey) but I don't mind this and I can't wait to find out how it deviates from my assumption.


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