Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There were times that I was willing to write off this book as yet another YA, dystopian lit. knock-off, focused on "does he really like me?" What separates this book (and hopefully the whole series) from the herd, I think, is its focus on art and creativity. The ruling class ("the Society") doesn't just control food, (read entire review on Goodreads for spoiler)[they control ideas, art, music, poetry, and literature. That hit home with me. In order to "streamline" civilization to the most advanced, only one hundred of each category (songs, paintings, poems, books) were chosen to be preserved. The rest, sadly, were destroyed. (hide spoiler)] That aspect made this futuristic Society very real for me, more so than most other novels, because it refers to things we have here and now in tangible manner.
Yes, there is the teenager love-triangle issue, although I imagine that all dystopian fiction has to have some aspect of love/want/desire to fuel the protagonist's fight for change. (At least in the The Hunger Games, the initial love was familial and not romantic.)
Condie's novel kept me reading and interested (which is saying a lot), and I will be pursuing the next book in the series to see where it goes. Hopefully she can maintain this momentum and interest through all three books (and not fall flat by the third, as so many do -- Allegiant, I'm looking at you).
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