Matched is a watered down version of The Hunger Games(THG)plain and simple. Actually, it might even be a teen romance set in the future, rather than aMatched is a watered down version of The Hunger Games(THG)plain and simple. Actually, it might even be a teen romance set in the future, rather than an action book, which THG clearly is.
It is not nearly as "serious" as THG, and the boy/girl interactions seem more suited for a Christian bookstore shelf. I think this is a book for younger readers that is attempting to be marketed for the older YA crowd. If you LOVED The Hunger Gamesyou will probably enjoy this book, but will be dissapointed at its slow pace and obviously "set for sequels" ending.
If you are looking for something a little lighter, this book is a simple, easy to read romance set in the future that hints at things to come in the series. If it is any indication, it took me MONTHS to get around to finishing this book....more
Companion novel. I was never a fan of that term, however, I am now. “the dead & the gone” is cleverly done and taps into themes that young men cleCompanion novel. I was never a fan of that term, however, I am now. “the dead & the gone” is cleverly done and taps into themes that young men clearly find interesting: survival, protecting one’s family, sticking to one’s morals in the face of adversity, the list goes on. Written from the third-person limited perspective, instead of the first-person narrations of the other two books in the series, it can stand on its own, or give the reader that deeper understanding of Pfeffer’s fictional world. I am a die-hard post-apocalypse fan, and this series is different in that it gives a bit more hope for our humanity. Most authors jump on the now cliché idea that humans become animals without society. Pfeffer has a little more hope/respect/naiveté about our species.
One of the best words to describe this series is “plausible”. It’s not a flashy word, not something you would think about standard YA fair and pick up because, well, it’s plausible. However, reading this series, and especially the first book, “Life as We Knew It”, I was forced to really consider how I might behave in the same situation. Then I wondered how the “big cities” differed from the country and if a male character would have handled things the same way. Fortunately, we don’t have to wonder, because in “the dead & the gone”, readers get just that.
Some readers looking for a grittier dystopian action-packed romp are in for a disappointment, this isn’t McCarthy’s “The Road.”. I think Pfeffer misses some opportunities to make some bold statements about religion, death, and society in this novel, but she does have some original thoughts and I enjoyed the companion novels better than the third, “This World We Live In” that brings all of the characters together.
I like Tyler Miller. Wait, no I don’t. Oh… yes I do. “Twisted” is kind of like this through the whole book. In some parts, Tyler seems very authenticI like Tyler Miller. Wait, no I don’t. Oh… yes I do. “Twisted” is kind of like this through the whole book. In some parts, Tyler seems very authentic and likeable (and sue me, I like my protagonists to be likeable). But he can also be very scary, especially as a first person narrator. Do we trust Tyler? Juvenile Delinquent Tyler? I understand that this is part of the point. But I found myself always wary of Tyler, and that kept me a little disconnected from the character. Tyler is searching for his identity, and so are we. Tyler has issues with his father, and is isolated at school and home. This is a very authentic feeling for boys (frankly men, too) and I think anyone who has ever felt lonely in their life will appreciate these scenes. I had some issues with the middle and the end, Tyler is already ostracized on page one, even for the average reader, so ostracizing him further just didn't seem enough for me. Even Tyler is not entirely sure at points in the story if he did the things people are accusing him of. The turns him into a very unreliable narrator, and forces readers to analyze (maybe even over-analyze) every word he says. The story also diverts from the track of the love interest, and often that can conquer (read save) all, even for boys. Female bloggers tend to give this novel rave reviews. My students give it mixed. I am not raving, but I DO think this book has something to offer the male reading public.
Short chapters and an excellent use of white space, line breaks, and a gender neutral cover, all work well, so kudos to Anderson and Viking Juvenile for considering their audience. This is Anderson’s first attempt at a male lead, and in some places the authenticity is missing or seems forced, but on the whole, she gets it right enough.
The book broaches feelings that boys rarely access (mostly revolving about becoming an adult, and in this case becoming a man) and this book is a great avenue to explore those feelings. I wouldn’t say this is a “typical” guy book, however it has those elements, and maybe asks a little more of our young male readers, instead of just sitting them down with an action/sports novel.
I think Shanower kept too much of the choppy and often awkward prose that L. Frank Baum used and which as kept the Oz series from staying in the mainI think Shanower kept too much of the choppy and often awkward prose that L. Frank Baum used and which as kept the Oz series from staying in the main stream canon, yet Skottie Young has some truly inspired artwork and between Shanower and Young these American classics are finding new life (and winning awards) in the 21st Century.
The Oz series is made very approachable in this context and they are continuing to write/draw the limited series and keep the mythos of Oz alive. Thanks for bringing these back into the spotlight....more
This collection of Bond stories was great. Fleming is a much easier read in these short bursts, and it was interesting to see how these short storiesThis collection of Bond stories was great. Fleming is a much easier read in these short bursts, and it was interesting to see how these short stories were adapted into longer films....more