Matched by Ally Condie

Challenge 43 ~ “A book with a love triangle.”

matched

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’d heard about this book greatly before I started reading it, and whilst it wasn’t around specific plot events (or, God forbid, a ‘Team Ky’/’Team Xander’ rivalry) I was more than a little hesitant to find disappointment. Hence why it has sat on my ‘to-read’ list for over two years. There was, as so often is the case, no need to be afraid, however, because Matched was an incredible read – both in terms of plot and literary quality.

It’s hard to pin down quite what made this novel so extraordinary, especially as I’ve read Lauren Oliver’s Delirium since, and was struck by the similar context and concepts. (For those of you who haven’t enjoyed that masterpiece, I thoroughly encourage rectifying that!) They may have similar societal issues and a focus on the idea of love, but they follow very different approaches and are equally enjoyable. Delirium is, however, a separate book and my review is yet to come.

Matched was gripping from the very start, not only drawing the reader in, but using gradual information to manipulate the reader’s opinions on the characters in an effective and unforeseen way. I was definitely one of the many gunning for Ky at the start – the blip was clearly the result of a cover up and Xander was just too convenient – but like many others I soon found myself supporting Xander. By the time the novel ended (given that it’s only the first in a trilogy)? I honestly did not know if I wanted either of the boys. My only coherent thought was that this was a terrible way to run society, but at the same time I couldn’t bring myself to definitively hate the Society either.

Condie is very clever in the first of the trilogy – manipulating the reader in such a way that nothing is definite, but everything is fantastic. In this regard, it was almost a subtle form of The Maze Runner trilogy (again, a review for this can be found on the 2015 bookshelf.) Through this Condie hooks the reader in for the next instalment, not just through attachment to the characters or a desire for love to prevail, but through a shear hope for understanding. Combined with the moving use of language that strengthened an emotional attachment with the reader, there is no way I can see another year passing before I have the other two under my belt. Condie brings writing back to a suspense-packed and beautifully-written art to embellish an intriguing tale.

Recommended for fans of:

  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Wall by William Sutcliffe
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