Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Reads: Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie

This is another YA dystopian trilogy.  Much like Hunger Games and Divergent - it delves into a world where a single entity now decides what's best for society and the citizens simply fall in line.

Matched - Book #1

In Matched, we meet Cassia on the day of her Matching Banquet.  It is this day that she will find out who will be her future husband and father of her children.   Typically, the first time a girl sees her match, it is on a video screen because they usually live in another province.   Imagine Cassia's surprise when her name is called and her match turns out to be Xander, her best friend since childhood.

Excited, when she gets home, she puts his bio card into the computer and after momentarily seeing Xander's picture, she is them presented with the picture of another boy.  Someone she also knows - Ky.  

Confusion ensues as everything Cassia has ever believed to be true about the world is questioned.   Is her perfect match Xander or is it Ky?  And why would the "Society" make a mistake like this when Ky is not even in the matching pool.

Whether it is the mistake that starts the ball rolling or if it was detined to happen anyway - Cassia finds herself more and more drawn to Ky - ultimately affecting her relationship with Xander.

I don't want to give too much away because I really did enjoy this book and do recommend it.   It is not as captivating as Divergent or Hunger Games, but it is a sweet teenage love triangle story with another big, bad, manipulative government twist and plenty of secrets to be had all around.   Well worth reading.

Crossed - Book #2

Book two starts a few months after book one ends.   Cassia is doing several hard labour terms before taking her permanent position as a sorter.  Ky is fighting in the war in the Outer Provinces.  They both wonder if they will ever see each other again.   In a twist - the narrative switches voices each chapter.  It starts with Ky and alternates between him and Cassia from there.

There are alot of bad reviews out there for this book..Well, not bad reviews, but wishy-washy ones.  I admit that it isn't as strong a work as Matched was but it is definitely a strong story as well.   It just tends to be a little hard to see the purpose and the chapters drag a bit because you are always switching narrators.  It might have been better to break it up into several chapters by each narrator instead of switching every single chapter.

There is A LOT of poetry in this one.  I think I had the lines from the Tennyson poem committed to memory by halfway through.  This book also takes you into the warzone and away from the "safety" of the Society.  It keeps you guessing on exactly what game is being played.

POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT! As much as it tried to play out a romance, there was a great deal of awkward tension where you just knew the characters weren't on the same page and where the book ultimately left you wondering who would end up together.  This should have been a good ending point for a "book 2" but instead if felt sloppy and  out of place.   Guess that's how they'll hook me for book 3...if I even remember I was reading the series when it comes out.

I think it is possible to read just the first book without needing to carry on to the second.  I was just too curious so kept going and, while some questions were answered, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first.  In Matched - I HAD to keep turning pages.  In Crossed, somedays it was an effort to turn on my Kobo.

1 comment:

  1. I actually bought matched with my last scholastic blood order and am planning on starting it this week. Especially after reading your blog post. :)



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