Matched by Ally Condie has been getting a lot of buzz around the blogosphere and I often see its name with Lauren Oliver’s Delirium. Having read Delirium, I can tell you all right now that although both are dystopian stories dealing with love, they are both very different. I liked them both, though, so that’s good. 🙂
Ally Condie’s writing seems to further illustrate the dystopian/almost-futuristic setting. I don’t know what it is about it, but that’s how I feel, haha. Maybe it’s because the writing is clear, concise, and conveys beautiful images without being flowry. Cassia makes for a great narrator and because she is just as blinded as everyone else in her society, the reader is able to see and experience things the same way Cassia does, and feels the same sense of newness, wonder, and horror as she does. There’s more description and inner thoughts than dialogue, but in my opinion, that made the story even more personable. I’m not saying there isn’t dialogue, because there is and it reads fluidly.
Dystopian stories don’t often catch my attention, but I find myself falling more in love with the genre with each dystopian book I read. Then again, the ones I’ve read have some sort of romance in it, so that probably helps, haha. Ms. Condie has created a world and society that is complex, but somewhat familiar. It’s believable and it’s clear she spent a good amount of time building the rules and regulations in order to make them all believable.
Matched is equal parts society-centric and character-centric. Just like the society, Ms. Condie has written wonderful characters that have the same spark of fire in them as teenagers do now, which help make them relatable given the dystopian setting. Cassia’s friends may not play a huge role in the story, but they’re not fluff. I really liked Em and hope to learn a little more about her in the future installments. Xander was how every best friend should be: caring, thoughtful, understanding, and loyal. And Ms. Condie has given Ky a wonderful backstory that tugged at my heart.
The only thing I didn’t like was the pacing. Overall it was fine, but I wanted more action than reading what Cassia was thinking or feeling. While I think her thoughts provided an intimate look into her character, they also hindered the story and made me wonder when something dramatic would happen.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this and I can’t wait for the sequel, which will hopefully have more action now that the society has been established. The writing, characters, and world are all well executed and work together to form a book that left me thinking, “This could actually happen”.
For those of you who have read it, what did you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment. 🙂
To learn more about Ally Condie and her writing, you can visit:
(cover image taken from Schuler Books’ website)