14 March, 2013

#BookReview :: Matched Trilogy by Allie Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

After coming across various reviews and tweets raving about this series I just had to get my hand on it. I waited for all the three books in the trilogy to be released before starting on it and only recently finished reading them.

Cassia is born into a Society where everything is controlled – from the amount of food they get, to their clothes to their Matches. In a way Cassia is lucky because at her matching ceremony she finds out that not only is her match from her own sector, which is very rare, but her match is her best friend Xander. But, there’s a glitch and the memory card with Xander’s details has a flash of another face – face of Ky Markham. In her confusion about the Society’s mistake, she feels attracted towards Ky. But the Society has more in store for her. Through a series of events, Cassie gets closer to Ky – as if fate or Society kept throwing them together – and they fall in love only to be ripped apart.

The second book starts a few months after where the first book ended. Cassie has spent a few months in the outer province looking for Ky. Her journey slowly takes her over miles and miles, guides by Xander’s and her grandfather’s messages. She hears about a rebellion, a rising against the Society and slowly gravitates towards it. She is once again united with Ky but only to make a tough choice that may as well part them. Unexpected bonds formed and unexpected betrayal mark the journey of these teenagers.

Third book narrates about Cassie’s double life as a sorter and as an agent of the rebellion, Xander’s life as medic with a secret and Ky and Indie’s life as a fighter pilot for the rebellion. The rising takes its chance and an epidemic disease grabs the society. Between playing their roles that of a rebel, finding a cure and working out their heart’s desire, these young people are forced to grow up fast. Will they see the Society’s downfall and a better future or will everything be just the same? Will they all survive? Will the star-crossed lovers find their way to each other?

I must admit that it was an enchanting dystopian world that Ms.Condie has created. The detailed description of how the Society worked spanned over all the three books so that every time you pick up a book, you learn more about the Society.  I have heard that the concept of the Society is lifted from a Lois Lowry series, but since I haven’t read that series myself, I don’t know if that’s true. You guys might wanna check it out for yourself.

Now on to the characters. Cassie, the protagonist, comes across as a confused girl at the beginning. But then as the story progresses, her character develops and you realize that being under the Society’s control all her life, a simple mistake from the seemingly perfect Society can throw a person off balance. I liked Ky too for his brave heart. But I loved Xander the most. Why do the best friends, the most caring soul, get left behind by the girls? Don’t get me wrong but even Ky is a good guy too, but Xander was such a sweet heart. I was glad to see that there was some hope for him in the end.

My problem with this series is that it was very slow. None of the books are less than 350 pages (I think the last one was over 500 pages). But when it comes down to it the plot isn’t that complex to need three books. There isn't much 'action' in the story to be enough for three books. The language and writing style of the author isn't anything extraordinary either. As a result I had the drag feeling throughout the three books and it felt really tedious to complete the series.  As a single story with a faster pace, I might have enjoyed it.

Overall, I don’t think the books have much to offer.

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