Saturday, April 23, 2011
Matched by Ally Condie
Editorial Review: In a story that is at once evocative of Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), George Orwell's 1984, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Condie introduces readers to the “perfect” Society. Cassia Reyes is a model student, daughter, and citizen. How could she not be when the Society has everything planned and functioning perfectly? All of her needs are met: food, shelter, education, career training, and even her future husband are selected by officials who know what is best for each individual by studying statistical data and probable odds. She even knows when she will die, on her 80th birthday, just as the Society dictates. At her Match Banquet she is paired with Xander, her best friend and certainly her soul mate. But when a computer error shows her the face of Ky, an Aberration, instead of Xander, cracks begin to appear in the Society's facade of perfection. A series of events also shakes her dedication to Xander and puts her future in jeopardy. Cassia exhibits some characteristics of Winston Smith and Lenina Crowne in her silent rebellion against societal control and in her illicit friendship with Ky but ultimately, and more satisfyingly, she is more like Lowry's Jonas. Her awakening and development are realistically portrayed, and supporting characters like Cassia's parents and her grandfather add depth to the story. The biggest flaw is that the story is not finished. Fans of the Giver will devour this book and impatiently demand the next installment.–Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc.
My thoughts: This book was AMAZING! The new trend for teen fiction seems to be a dystopian society (ie The Hunger Games) which is a nice switch from vampire and werewolves! Not that I mind vampire fiction, but its nice to read something new!
Cassia is one of my favorite characters to date. She is very intelligent but also very realistic. At the beginning of the book, everyone (including Cassia) is happy and seems perfectly content to let the Society rule their lives. Gives new meaning to the phrase, "Ignorance is bliss". As the story moves on, it starts to become clear that not everything is as perfect and happy as the Society would have its citizens believe. By the end, its almost mind blowing! Its not really clear what even real and who is really in charge! The story is told in a fantastic way. Great new author, and she is planning a sequel, "Crossed" which will release in November. I can't wait! 5 out of 5 stars for me!