Skip to main content

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

"Is falling in love with someone's story the same thing as falling in love with the person himself?" pg 196.

I found this quote summed up the entire story for me. Don't get me wrong, Matched is good. The writing is excellent, the world building above par, and Cassia is a unique character. This is just one of those books that, the entire time you read it, you cannot help but compare it to similar books. The port in the house (so the Officials monitor everything)? 1984. The memorization of banned literature? Fahrenheit 451. I felt this book was a lovesong to dystopian literature. That is fine, cause I love dystopian lit! But I will repeat here, as I have said before, dystopia lit only works if the society exists is SO awful it is worth rebelling against. For example, people are drugged, mindless cogs in a machine (Brave New World), people will be killed for going against the government and are watched 24/7 (1984), or the children in the society will be forced to fight to the death in a secure location (Hunger Games) while their parents work themselves to death.

What's the alternative here? Act up and you are sent to the Outer Providences to fight a war that no one seems to know about, or take a pill that wipes your memory?

Here is a society in which all of the mess of life has been removed: all of the drama of relationships, the mess of aging and dying, the drama of career choice. Everything is planned, including meals, all of the time. But Cassia discovers that the Officials make mistakes, and the society as a whole has some problems with it.

My only concern with the story was the lack of personality of Ky, the love interest. We only know what Cassia "thinks" of Ky. His entire personality is heaped on him by Cassia's perspective of his history and his actions in a group. Ky never really tells us anything about himself. I am just not sure he is the spark this story needs to set off a rebellion (that is where this is going, ya?) I wish Cassia was more concerned with the truth of her society. I wish that was her motivating factor, not some silly crush on a guy she has known her entire life but didn't notice until now.

My favorite part of the story was the reaction of Bram and Cassia to having their artifacts removed. Here is the perfect, equal society and these kids are devastated when the one thing they own that sets them apart from everyone else is removed. People become attached to things. I also loved the recurring theme of being a creator of something, art or even the creator of your own name written in the dirt. People need to create, it is one of the things that makes us human. Cassia is a born creator. Even when "sorting" things, Cassia takes pride in her work, and her family's work.

Overall, I look forward to seeing where this goes. It is no Hunger Games, and readers should be aware that the comparisons I keep coming across are incorrect (EW's review this week hinted at Hunger Games elements, and that is a better way to say it). This is a set up for something bigger. The story kind of meanders around, exploring Cassia's world. Again, I think this is great as long as it leads to something much bigger in the next book.


MRB said…
Thanks for the add! :)
And all the secret santa stuff. Loved it! :))

Popular posts from this blog

Nebula Award Nominees 2017- Short Stories

This post is my progress report on my self-challenge to read all of the 2017  Nebula nominees! So far, I have completed the short story category and most of the the novelettes. I have 3 novellas and 3 novels to go.

Nebula Award Nominees 2017- Short Stories

What fun! I would never have read any of these stories on my own, although I expect some of these will show up in some future anthologies.
I have one personal gripe, and this will come up again in another category, and that is the death of the horror genre. Because they have just killed "horror" and lumped scary stories in with science fiction and fantasy, we get stories like SabbathWine trying to compete with Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies and it's not fair. It really is apples and oranges. Don't believe me about horror? Go find the horror section in the Barnes and Noble. Go ahead, I'll wait. 

     Griping over, this selection of stories was AWESOME and heavy on the fantasy stories. Seasons and Wardrobe are fan…

Reading Challenge: Read all of the Nebula Nominees

I am on a mission to read all of the Nebula Award Nominees before the awards are presented on May 20th. This was prompted by the fact that I see these awards all of the time and I have only recently gotten hooked on science fiction so I think it is important to understand what the community thinks is the best of the best. I plan to do the exact same thing for the Hugos, but I have time.
Unlike childrens' book awards, in which awards do not in any way equal popularity, readers seem to like to award favorites.

It's no secret I am just crazy about N.K. Jemisin and her writing. Honestly it is because of she and Kameron Hurley and Becky Chambers and Jacqueline Koyanagi and Charlie Jane Anders and John Scalzi and James S.A. Corey (both of them) that I find myself absolutely loving this genre. I have NO desire to go back and read early science fiction with dorky cartoon covers featuring sexy aliens and white dudes holding Jetson-esque blasters. I want to read forward. I like where …

Seize The City

I'm about to hit you with a group game that 1. costs very little money to make 2. sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Ready? Okay!

This summer we will be playing Seize the City. It's modeled after my game Seize the Castle. The only thing changing here are the trivia questions will now be super hero themed and instead of a castle in the center, there will be a "city". Something akin to this:
Image borrowed from Etsy for visual aid purpose only. My teen volunteers will actually be making the city from scratch and it will look however they want it to :) 

Because this game already exists in castle form, you will just have to use your imagination.
And because NO Thing is really original here is what started me on the path to Seize the Castle greatness:

The Game:

You will need:

Up to 20 players
2 mats with grids taped out on them
1 cardboard/foam core castle (or city, for summer)