Thursday, December 19, 2013

Matched by Ally Condie


   Hey, at least I only paid two dollars for my copy of this snooze-fest.

   Honestly, the cover is glorious. The entire trilogy's covers are super artistic and lovely and symbolic and I think they're incredible. Unfortunately, I don't think the contents of the book come even remotely close to living up to the standard that these pretty, unique covers set for them, and that's sad.

   MATCHED is the first of three books in a trilogy by Ally Condie. Again, this is another fairly popular book that's been out for a while, and I must say that I was disappointed. The premise sounds interesting enough, if heavily reminiscent of Lois Lowry's THE GIVER: the main character, Cassia, lives in a dystopian/utopian Society that controls every aspect of its citizen's lives, including marriage, family, work, and even death.

   The worst part about this book is that it didn't have to be as bad as it was. The characters, although boring as hell and oftentimes frustrating, were all honestly decent people, so ethically speaking, you couldn't hate them. I hated them anyway, but I felt kind of bad about it. I mean, none of them are terrible people, they're just boring and have nothing to contribute. Plus, Cassia's fucking useless and a pain in the ass.

   I guess this could be seen as 'kind of the point,' because the Society that all of the characters live in more or less wipe them of their personalities, but come on. The main character's annoying little brother was more interesting than Cassia and her two love interests combined.

   Speaking of love interests, I guess the one thing this book didn't fuck up completely was the romance, because at least it wasn't completely dysfunctional, and both boys genuinely did seem to love her. I was especially proud of Xander, who, instead of going into the stereotypical jealous rage and becoming evil and killing everyone, helped Cassia find the one she truly loved.

   That's love, bitch.

   But, still, I've got to give this book two stars, because it lacks such a massive key component that I kind of feel weird calling it a book at all.

   It pretty much has no plot whatsoever. No rising action, no climax, no denouement, or any of that whole swishy hill thing from, like primary school. The whole thing is a super transparent, heavily symbolic commentary on our own modern society, which is fine in its own right, but come on, you don't have to give up plot for the sake of symbolism. It's not even remotely necessary. What the fuck.

   I was so disappointed, too! This really interesting set-up is presented to us, and you keep reading, thinking that something's going to happen, but no. Nothing happens. Half the book is literally Cassia describing motherfucking letters and hiking in the fake woods and Mr. Angsty Poetry Man {Ky}. I honestly expected her to join an awesome rebellion of renegade poets and writers and artists at the end and take back her man and make the entire book worthwhile, but nope.

   I already knew I wasn't fond of stories that are almost exclusively focused on romance. Some people are, and that's fine, but I just can't handle it. So, although I can sort of see why this book garnered attention, fuck that, I'm not reading the rest.