Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Matched" by Ally Condie

I bought this for Bookworm Child a while back. I think I chose it mostly because I liked the cover, and I'd heard about the story from one of my two main YA-reading friends--the concept sounded interesting when she described it to me. Bookworm Child has read all but the last two and a half chapters (I can't imagine getting that close to the end and not following through!!) and I was curious enough to pick it up myself.

Matched is the story of a rigidly controlled society, ostensibly restrained by the government for the good of all, rendering free will extremely limited. The government controls the populace by dividing it into a handful of factions based on their members' predominant character traits . . . no, wait, that's Divergent. Let's see, in this one the people of the society have underlying doubts and questions about their government, but everyone is afraid to express those thoughts publicly, especially because they fear official retribution. Most of those fears stem from the fact that every year, two children from each district are chosen to fight . . . oops, no, that's The Hunger Games. So, in Matched, everyone has everything decided for them. The government chooses each person's career path, their food and clothes, even their spouse. And some people don't like this.

Just in case I haven't beaten you over the head with it enough, my point is that Matched doesn't seem especially unique. It has its own take on the supposed-utopia-that's-actually-more-dystopian, but it doesn't feel new. (Thought I suppose it might have if I'd read it before reading Divergent and The Hunger Games.) But it was still a fun read, and I'm going to see if I can get Bookworm Child to finish it.

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