MATCHED has me perplexed. There were elements that definitely didn't click for me, which caused the novel to drag in parts, yet I still find it popping into my head weeks after reading.
Part of me thought that some of my disappointment was due to the hype surrounding Condie's novel, but, after reflection, I don't believe that was the main reason I found it lacking. I think I expected it to be bigger... bigger romance, bigger action, bigger mystery. I wanted it to have an epic quality. For me, it didn't.
BUT, that's not to say it wasn't a wonderful debut. It has a quiet beauty about it... a beauty that seems to have lodged itself in some corner of my subconscious and comes out and reminds me when I least expect it. Part of this is due to the use of Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" and its importance to the novel.
I've always loved this poem and was excited to see how it was woven into the plot of the novel. Now, every time I think about the poem, especially the line "Rage, rage against the dying of the light," I'm reminded of the detailed world Condie has created. Despite the parts of MATCHED I found disappointing, I was thoroughly intrigued by the world Cassia lives in. Cassia's cultural and historical knowledge base is severely limited by the government, but, to me, most notably in regard to poetry and literature. How can a government possibly choose 100 of everything (poems, novels, etc) and disregard the rest? It makes me shudder to imagine a world like this. Eventually, Cassia begins to realize the truth behind her world's beautiful facade and I'm ready for her to rage against this reality in Condie's second MATCHED novel.
I'm looking forward to CROSSED, slated for release sometime in 2011... Plus, I'm more than a little excited to see how this second cover compares to the gorgeous one on MATCHED!