Jul 07, 12
Read from July 03 to 07, 2012
Ally Condie can write. More than anything else it was the prose that kept me reading this book. Perhaps it's because I've never been a huge fan of romance novels, but I won't lie and say that it was the plot that kept me entertained. The prose however, was truly fun to read.
The basic story boils down to a love triangle set to the backdrop of a Dystopian/Utopian society. The main character Cassia is Matched at the very beginning of the book, the Matching is basically a complicated version of an arranged marriage. The issue I had with the plot was the Society never felt bad enough. Would I want to live there? Under no circumstances...if I was a neighboring nation would I feel the need to intervene cause of their human rights infractions? Absolutely not.
The dystopia lacks all of those things that make books like the Hunger Games, The Handmaiden's tale, the Giver, so enjoyable. There is no true sense of horror as to what the Society is doing. I never really feel any threat to Cassia. I do not feel like she is any kind of real danger. She can't have the boy she loves, according to Societies rules, but really that's the only major driving force, that and her inability to decide which guy she actually likes.
That being said, there is a great deal of characterization in these books, and I really felt connected not only to Cassia, but to side line characters as well. Her younger brother Bram was fully developed, and so were Ky and Xander, the two love interests. The world felt well thought out, and real. And I loved the way Condie played off poetry not only in its meaning to the characters, but in her own writing.
It comes down to this. If you enjoy romance novels and dystopian novels you’ll probably love this book. If you like good writing and like romance novels you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you like dystopian novels, and understand most novels are going to have a hint of romance, and tolerate that, you’ll probably feel ‘meh’ about this book. If you dislike romance novels, I would say this book isn’t for you.