I picked up the book because I liked the premise. A girl caught in the throes of society whose rules she didn’t want to follow. It was dystopian, it had a female lead, seemed like it would be good.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
Cassia lives in a world where every major to minor decision is made for them by the society. What to eat, who to marry, when to die… Cassia was happy with the way things are. That is, until she found herself falling in love with a boy who was not her society-approved match. Suddenly, the glaring inadequacies in this way of life come to light and she will do everything she can to break free.
Sounds good, right?
The book reels you in at the beginning. The description of her match banquet, the little snippets of information that we assume will be explained later, the easy prose- you’ll be happy with your choice of reading. But, halfway through is when the going gets tough, when you are searching for reasons to keep awake, but, the book gives you none.
Lead characters- card board cut-outs of good girl going on to rebel and emo boy with a past. And poetry. Of course, add the best friend who can’t help but love the girl. Apparently, we can’t have love stories without a triangle now!
The world- Dear God, the world! What makes dystopia great is that peep into a different world- the setting, and their rules and reasons! However, Ally Condie refuses to give me the pleasure of diving into her world.
Why did the world come to be that way?
Who is this Society and who rules it?
Why can’t they write when they can read and use computers?
What is an anomaly and warming and sorting?
I have finished the book and I, still, have no idea. The world seemed to evolve as per the convenience of the plot. This was the final nail in the coffin for me. You do not write dystopia and then deprive me of a new world!
The prose- Ally Condie has a flowy writing style, natural and easy. However, that writing needs accentuation with a fast plot and a mean edge when writing dystopian fiction. Even if it is a dystopian love story. This series I’ll let go, but I will look forward to her writing a new book that will not make my eyes glaze over half-way through.
BOTTOMLINE: Matched is not dystopian fiction, it’s a love story. So, do not pick up this book because you love the dystopian genre. Do not pick it up if you like explosive action or any action at all. Pick it up only if you are an enthusiastic reader of teenage love stories (triangles, quadrilaterals and that entire thingumabob). Who knows, you might even like the characters.