Matched by Ally Condie
Dystopias have been all the rage in the last few years (we needed something to counterbalance all the supernatural romance which is the other rage).
Latest on the best selling block is Matched by Ally Condie. It’s the sort of book that has a great elevator pitch. You’ve just been presented with your ideal match? What if you fall in love with someone else?
Matched could be the child of The Giver and Twilight – it adds a love triangle in the dystopia mix (as there was in The Hunger Games) but it is of the truly tepid sort – there’s not a second of mystery about who Cassia is going to fall in love with. It’s not going to be her perfect match Xander (aka Doormat), but her other perfect match, Ky (aka, not-so-Rebel).
My biggest problem with this book is the fact that it’s not a full story. It’s more like the first third of a book incredibly inflated in word count. By the time we reach the end, I feel like we’ve reached the first turning point plotwise and that simply is not enough to support the page length
Cassia is blandly self-centered (a la Bella) but it’s pretty impossible for me to imagine someone wanting to be on team Ky or team Xander since neither of them is terribly interesting.
The one thing I did like about this story was the restraint in the worldbuilding. They live in a world where everything has been streamlined. People all wear the same color clothes, eat the blandest of food. Even songs and poems have been stripped down to a bare 100, all for the population to better appreciate them.
It’s the sort of place where the cracks in the allegedly utopian society are apparent straight from the get go. Which makes it all the more annoying that Cassia is so complacently content at the start of the story. Really the only character I didn’t want to shake was Cassia’s grandfather.
I try to understand why a book might sell well even when it doesn’t work for me, but I have to admit I’m pretty baffled here.