Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gale Reads: Matched by Ally Condie

Hello! I will be doing a lot of book reviews this week since I have finished reading a lot already and I am still unable to post my thoughts on them so I will do it one or two books every day.

I will start with this popular Young Adult book called Matched by Ally Condie. This book received great reviews from other bloggers so it was included on my To-Read-List (TBL) but since my bf's sister also suggested this to me I have decided to bumped it up on my list.

SYNOPSIS (from matched-book.com)

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

GENRE: Dystopian / Young Adult
COVER TALK: 5/5 - I love the cover of this book. The apple green color is soothing and the girl inside a glass ball really signifies the life of Cassia and everyone in the society. I think having her hands on the walls of the ball created a great symbolism about the whole story because it shows her struggle and feeling of suffocation and fear with the society rules.

I have quite a high expectation for this book because of the great reviews it received. I was also excited to read another dystopian novel wherein the author created a new world where everything is controlled by the government: your work, your life span, who you will marry (match), what songs and books to read and even how many portion and what kind of food you eat. The society Ally Condie created in this book is really interesting and made me appreciate the freedom we are experiencing in our world. I can't imagine having a life that I don't have any control whatsoever.

And that's the only interesting thing in the story. I just like the plot and the idea but not the characters. I had a hard time finishing this book because it was quite boring for me. I was looking for a more exciting love-triangle-Romeo-and-Juliet-love-affair kind of thing but I was really disappointed. I did not feel any conflict whatsoever between Cassia, Xander and Ky. I already knew who Cassia will end up loving on the first part of the book because there's not enough emotional conflict that happened when she was "choosing" between her best friend Xander who she was Matched with by the society and will mean safety and Ky who is an Aberration and is forbidden. I think Condie really failed to create the love triangle she wanted to show and promoting the book for.

Another sad part is that, even though I know that the world she created in the story is supposed to be bland (muted earthly toned clothes, etc) and serene (no crimes, no kids running and playing on the streets, prepacked meals, etc), I can't help but feel bored to death. If that's what I'm supposed to feel in the first place and was her intention for the readers to feel in order to know how Cassia feel, then I will give her 5 stars for that. BUT if that is so, then it just made me want to stop reading halfway through the book. I just finished it because I was hoping it would redeem itself and will have an amazing ending...and again, I was disappointed. Even during the separation that happened ala Romeo and Juliet, it still seems bland.

The story has a lot of of potential to become a great book but I guess they just fell short to capture my feelings.

OVER-ALL RATING: 2/5 - I'm giving it points for the originality of the story and the cover. That's it. I don't know what's the hype is all about. I'm just happy I didn't bought it and just read it in ebook form.

WILL YOU READ THE SEQUEL? Hell no! If I can't get myself to like the first book of this trilogy, why would I go and read the next 2 books? I'll probably get bored again from lack of action :(

WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS TO? I think this is perfect for young teenagers aged 15 and younger. The pacing is not so fast and there's no inappropriate scenes and language in the book so parents won't need to worry. It also gives a nice lesson to the kids to appreciate what they have and not take advantage of the freedom of choice they experience.

What about you? Have you read this book already? What's your opinion about it? Did you like it?

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