Limebird Book Club: Review of Matched

by limebirdlaura

Why is our society so obsessed with dystopian works? Has it always been that way and I’ve just now taken notice of it? Do we see our own lives taking similar paths from the fiction we read? Whatever the cause, I must admit I do love a good dystopian future – hopefully a fiction one!

I just read Matched by Ally Condie in approximately 24 hours. Granted it is a YA novel of only 366 pages, but I still hope that conveys the un-put-downingness of the novel. Oh, un-put-downingness isn’t a word? Maybe it can be, maybe everyone will start using it now and someday it will end up in the dictionary and everyone who is reading this can say they saw it here first!

Matched is a part of a trilogy, and I know nothing of the other two novels…yet. But after reading Matched I certainly intend on reading the rest. Our protagonist, Cassia, lives in a future where the government decides everything, they choose who you are to marry, where you work, and at the age of 80 they choose that you die. They see and hear almost everything. Cassia trusts all of this at first, because it’s all she’s ever known and she believes this is what makes their lives good. But she finds herself falling in love with not Xander, who she’s been matched with as a mate, but with Ky – an outsider among their peers.

I found the story compelling and I find Cassia refreshing as a heroine. The dystopia she lives in doesn’t seem as severe (at least not from what I have read of this world so far) as that of Katniss’s from The Hunger Games, but she has that same spirit to fight. Not to accept the rules society has inflicted on her and choose what she wants from life instead of having it chosen for her.

I will admit, at first when I began reading this I groaned to myself – not another freaking love triangle to read about! But the more I read the more compelled I was to forget I was reading “another freaking love triangle”. By the book’s end there is something major going on – a war is brewing against something that has not been revealed to the readers yet, but it’s shaping up to be a very interesting trilogy!

Has anyone else read Matched? Do you recommend the rest of the trilogy?

19 Comments to “Limebird Book Club: Review of Matched”

  1. You know what? This sounds right up my alley! I LOVE dystopian fiction, it’s probably my favourite! If you liked this, you’ll probably also like ‘Divergent’ and ‘Delirium’ 🙂 I think I’ll have to check this out! Thanks for the review!

  2. I love dystopian fiction, I’ve only really discovered how much I like it this year though. I think we all have a fascination with wondering how life would be if the whole fabric of society was different, if x, y and z happened. It’s very much like the post-apocalyptic movies isn’t it – how do people function in societies that are so different and changed from what we know? 24 hours is going some, I hope you remembered to eat and sleep and stuff too!

    • I was REALLY bored because my husband was out with some friends, and when I’m alone on a Saturday night apparently the only thing I can think of is to read 😀 I did eat if I’m remembering correctly I think I had breakfast for dinner.

  3. I haven’t read a lot of dystopian fiction. Everything always sounds SO difficult and SO dangerous. I don’t think I would want to live in those times.

  4. Right now, I think I have enough dystopia in my life. :o) I did read Jim Crace’s “The Pest House.” Although a wonderful book, I can’t say that I want to read more than one dystopian novel a year. :o) “Blindness” by Saramago also put me through the wringer. I don’t think I have the constitution for it.

    • I haven’t read those, I’ll have to look them up. I don’t know why I have such a morbid love for dystopian stories.

  5. I haven’t read any of Ally Condie’s work but it sounds interesting, I’ll take a look.

    I am quite interested in dystopias and have written a number of short stories set in dystopic societies.

    I did start writing a YA novel for NaNoWriMo 2011, The Un-Medicated. In a world where everyone is drugged into social compliance; a few teenagers develop resistance to the drugs and plan to bring the system down. This leads to ‘cold turkey’ throughout the population, with violent consequences. For a variety of reasons I didn’t finish it. Once my next novel is on the shelves (in August) I’m planning to re-write it as a novella (to be collected with a futuristic faerie fantasy novella and a couple of short stories). So the more dystopias the merrier!

    • That sounds like a really interesting story Dennis! I’ve started and stopped a couple of my own that I never really could fully develop.

  6. If the author creates interesting character relationships, I can handle it, but sometimes the world is just so bleak, I find I need to take a shower after reading. As fascinating a story as Battle Royale was, I don’t think I could read it again. (Could watch the movie again, though.)

    It’s an interesting observation that many dystopian future stories are truly, at their core, about love and relationships. Makes me hopeful I can find an audience for my own stories, some day.

    • Mayumi, tell me more about your stories! 🙂 Email me!

    • I read a book once called Life as we Knew It, and that’s how I felt when it was over. I just wanted to sit in a cold shower crying, it was so sad. It was a good book and I couldn’t help but read the next two that came out after it, but they were all so blasted depressing that just thinking about them now is making me sad.

      I haven’t read Battle Royale but the movie is really good!

  7. I can’t say I’ve read this type of genre but I might find it appealing on some level. Might as long add it to my long list of books to be read, which I carry with me whenever I’m out in the event I come across a used bookstore.

    • The thing that I like about any YA novel is that they cut to the chase and get to the action fast. They are usually really fast reads and full of a lot of action and adventure – depends on the type of story of course, but the ones that I really get into are like that.

  8. I haven’t read Matched. I’m not a big dystopian reader. But your review made me want to reconsider it for my TBR pile. 🙂

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