Thursday, December 6, 2012

Series Review - the MATCHED series by Ally Condie

Matched

Why, did I wait so long to read this series?  It’s been on my TBR pile for quite a while but Ally Condie’s visit/signing here at The Bookworm prompted me to read/quickly devour this first book.  Let’s just say that after finishing it, I promptly bought the second and third book.  

Cassia’s world is kind of like if The Giver and The Matrix had a baby. The Society is severely regimented by statistics and everyone always has to carry around a tin of 3 pills.  In the tin is one red pill, one blue pill, and one green pill.  Lets just say that these pills play an important part throughout the series.  

Everything is simplified and much of all entertainment and knowledge comes from an approved list of 100 things.  It’s accepted that everyone should only be allowed to know only 100 poems, 100 paintings, 100 songs, etc...  Plus much more is also limited, pretty much you just know enough to do the job that ‘s expected of you.  

People in the Society (everyone’s that’s not shunned as an Aberration or an Anomaly) are actually matched to who they will marry by the statistics that the Society has.  This is supposed to ensure the optimal amount of happiness and life expectancy.

Cassia at first is a model citizen but then things get really interesting when she’s reviewing her match and someone else’s face pops up on the screen.  As you follow her journey she becomes much more aware after seeing that having choices might just be a good thing.  As Cassia grows as a character you begin to see all the flaws in the Society.

The ending was surprising and made me want to have the next book ASAP.


Crossed

A superb sequel.  I love that this book is from both Cassia’s and Ky’s point of view.  Seeing the world through both of their eyes is really compelling.

I loved finding more out about Ky’s history.   

The setting of this book lets you see more of how nature and the rest of the world outside of the Society is faring.  Seeing other groups lets you see how much destruction the Society has caused but also shows the characters how other groups survived.

I like seeing the world from Ky’s point of view because his personality really shines through more and you see just how much he loves Cassia. In this book you get to see how much of a survivor he really is.  His history is heartbreaking and finding out some more secrets about his family makes you realize just how strong his whole family is.  I also like that he doesn’t always make the obvious choice and that he’s not written as a perfect character.  He makes mistakes and is not a hundred percent sure all the time, which I think is more endearing than a character that is always right.  The main thing that keeps him going is that he wants to be free and to see Cassia again.

Cassia grows so much over the course of this book and she finds out just how strong she really is.  Her goals are to find Ky and make her own choices.  Cassia herself proves to be a rather intriguing character because after being so entrenched in the Society’s ways she’s now seeing how many different ways there are to live.  It’s surprising how fast she learns and what she learns from everyone around her.

It’s great that neither Ky or Xander is an instant love interest but that she sees both sides of them.  Ky and Xander are both well written and it’s easy to see why Cassia would choose either one of them.

Overall this is a great sequel with plenty of twists and turns.


Reached

A very intense finale.  I was not expecting the catastrophic event that hit the society.  It was really compelling to have the story told from the three points of view of Cassia, Xander, and Ky.  This finally lets you see all sides of the story.

The resistance may not be all it’s cracked up to be and there are plenty of mysteries surrounding the group and the Pilot.  Each of the characters believe in this cause but for very different reasons.  Ky for one is just a part of the resistance at first because he knows that’s what Cassia wants. In the end though Ky, Xander, and Cassia each finds their own ways to resist.

I think Cassia's way of resisting is the most poetic/interesting.  She does small things like just writing letters everywhere and hoping that other people try to write the letters too.  She also starts her own kind of revolution, a creative revolution which allows people to create like they've never done before.

I wish more attention had been payed to Xander’s side of the story.  It feels like at the end that everything happens with him really fast.  I do like his ending I just wish there had been more description included.  

I was surprised by some of the deaths in the story and am really just glad that not all of my favorite characters died.  There is sickness aplenty and a real race for the cure and to be the group in charge of everything.

Everything seems to be going in a good direction but in the end it will come down to everybody making a choice and letting people make their own choices.  It looks like reform may happen but the ending is pretty wide open about if things will ever change all the way.  I'm glad I read this last book because I love the characters, I think I just wanted more concrete details in this ending.

This whole series is like an epic poem brought to life.  Seeing the journey of these three different but inevitably interconnected characters feels like a real triumphant look at how a society can change.

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