February 20, 2012

Book #17 - Matched (Matched #1)

Matched (Matched #1), Ally Condie
366 pages
Started 2/13/12
Finished 2/18/12

Ok, first off - isn't the cover of this book gorgeous? I don't know what it is, but I really love it.

Anyway, back to business. Generally, dystopian is not my genre of choice. I usually find those books depressing, violent and unnerving. Perhaps that's part of the point. Although I'm not a fan of the political undertones usually found in post-apocalyptic books, I think the authors really want their readers to think more about the world they created and how close it may be from where we live right now. Scary.

So, Matched takes place in the undetermined future (although, we're to assume that it's approximately two generations from today) in a society where the citizens' lives are so prescripted, they can't even choose what clothes to wear or what food to eat. The story follows 16-year-old Cassia Reyes, a girl who is matched, or betrothed, to her best friend Xander (yes - the government even tells you who you must marry and how many children you're allowed to have). However, Cassia soon realizes that, to her horror and disbelief, her government may have made a mistake and matched her to the wrong boy. She should've been matched to Ky Markham, a boy with a shady and secretive past. And soon, Cassia starts to think they were right when she finds herself falling in love with Ky. And, loving someone who the government has not given you permission to love is a very bad thing.

I really loved this book. I hate books with wishy-washy female heroines who bow to the establishment and refuse to follow their hearts. I want to read about strong women who fight for what they believe in and for those they love. Cassia is a person of the latter fortitude. She breaks the mold and opens her heart and mind up to the possibility that her "perfect" life sucks if she's not able to read what she wants, write her name, and love the boy of her own choice.

This world blew my mind. I can't imagine living in a world that one day decided to eradicate all but 100 books, poems, songs, movies, etc. because there were too many choices and things had gotten too cluttered. Some of the more fatalistic people out there would say that that world isn't too far away, but I just can't see how it would ever get that bad. How utterly sad and depressing. But, the thing about this book that separated it from a lot of other dystopian books I've read in the past (Hunger Games, Divergent), is the presence of hope. There seems to be an overarching theme of persistence and hope that the citizens can reclaim their lives. And, I think that was why I loved it so much. 

No comments: