Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

“I’m not anyone.  I’m just one of the people who happened to fall in the majority.  All my life, the odds have been on my side.”

What is it about YA books that they all start to resemble each other in some way? I don’t mean that as an insult, it’s just there tends to be some element of almost any YA series I’ve read that starts to bleed into other series in some ways.  In this case, it’s The Hunger Games and Divergent.  There is no direct correlation by any means, but there’s this running undertone in setting and character that absolutely resembles the worlds and characters of Katniss and Tris.

The difference though is that Cassia (the protagonist) in this books doesn’t appear to be looking for change.  Where Katniss and Tris were pretty unhappy in their worlds and knew change needed to happen, Cassia doesn’t start out her journey with that mentality.  In fact, if not for the microchip “screw up” I’m not sure Cassia as a character would’ve developed into someone looking for change in the Society.

Anyhow, the first book in this trilogy follows Cassia as she comes to terms with the fact that the person she has been “matched” with isn’t necessarily the right person.  It’s kind of a classic love triangle story with a bit of a twist, which again is reminiscent of the Gale/Katniss/Peeta love triangle in The Hunger Games.  And through this conundrum comes the emergence of flaws in the very regulated world that Cassia lives in.

Now, is this book the best thing I’ve ever read – no.  And honestly, had all three books not been on the library shelf for check out, I’m not sure I would’ve ever read them – but I have just started the third book and what I like about it is I’m not completely sure how the series is going to end.  I think that Condie has done a good job of keeping us guessing about what is going to happen (so far) without these ridiculous plot changes – so far the biggest changes have come because of the character development, not some big grandiose plan that has been uncovered.  For instance, Ky admitting that he wants no part in the Rising even for Cassia was surprising (though he is currently working for the Rising as of the beginning of book three) so who knows how is going to play out.

Either way, I look forward to finding out how this all sorts itself out.  I’m team Ky for sure, for now, but I think Reached (book 3) may provide some insight into both Ky and Xander’s lives that may try to change my mind.

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