20 October 2011
Slated as a cross between Twilight and Hunger Games, I was surprised when Cass brought this home from the library. He read Matched first, said it was clear that Ally Condie is from Utah, and it was reminiscent of The Giver and, despite similarities, he liked it better than Twilight.
So I read it. It does start out very Giver-esque, with the banquets and the ceremonies. In this society they have the ability to predict everything. They predict who will be your best match. How you will react in a given situation. The figure out what your caloric intake should be and provide appropriate meals. They assign your job, tell you where to live. Tell you when to have children, when to stop having children. And when to die. They have exacted what makes the optimal life and are providing it for their society. Yet there is a mix up at the Matching, and Cassia has been given two matches -- one a mistake, he's an aberration and disallowed to be matched, Ky, and one a childhood friend, a best friend, Xander. See the Twilight similarities? Guess which boy she chooses?? And of course, I like the other one.
So that bothered me. I liked parts of it. I like the idea even though it's not super original. She's also been signed by Disney I guess. She's definitely writing to her target audience -- Twilight -- and it's a little predictable, but I just can't get over the boy problem. I think Ky is a creeper. But there are a lot of occasions where I find boys to be creepers in media and I'm the only one. Overall, I did like this book. And I will read the next one, I'm sure, when Cass brings it home from the library in a month or two. And maybe I won't hate the ending. Hopefully it solves some of the mysteries Condie has laid out for us in the first book and doesn't turn into a ridiculous teenage love story with the cover of having more to it. Because this book, the series I'm sure, is ultimately about free will, agency, the power to choose. It's much deeper than Twilight, and I really hope Condie doesn't sell out just for numbers. Quality over Quantity, right? Please?