I bought Matched by Ally Condie at the beginning of April and finished the trilogy in late May. I picked up the first one because a) I had heard that it was popular and b) the reviews made me laugh:
Matched: The first book basically serves to set up the society the main characters live in (cleverly named The Society). We are introduced to our narrator, Cassia, who is alright and not terribly annoying. We meet love interest #1, Xander, who is awesome and has an awesome name. The society “matches” them together and that’s cool because they were already besties. Then some other dude’s picture pops up on Cassia’s screen when she tries to look at Xander’s picture. Love interest #2: Ky. She starts spending time with Ky instead of Xander and they fall in love. Obviously this is all totally in secret and against the law. Some other stuff happens and Ky gets taken away, Cassia’s family gets relocated, and I just feel sorry for poor Xander. This book was ok. It wanted to be character driven but the characters just aren’t interesting enough for that to work. If you like dystopias this is still a good read because The Society is very well developed. For most of this book I just felt sorry for Xander and thought Cassia was dumb for not picking him.
Crossed: This was better than Matched for me. The chapters alternate between being narrated by Cassia and by Ky. They are both out in the Outer Provinces looking for each other. It was fun to read about all the near misses, when they almost found each other but didn’t. Xander only makes brief appearances, so I was more able to focus on the relationship that was actually happening and not the one I thought should have been. There is another female character introduced who seems to be a future love interest for Xander and this pleases me. Xander needs some love. I don’t remember a lot of the specifics of this one but basically it involves them looking for each other and then looking for this revolution Cassia wants to join. I thought it was a much more engaging read that the first.
Reached: I listened to this on audiobook, and it was my first time to ever listen to a book. It took some time to get used to the voice actors and just to get used to listening while driving, but once I got into the swing of it I really enjoyed it. This novel takes place back in The Society, as the revolution we learned about begins to take over. Xander is added as a third narrator and I was happy to hear his sad of things. It made me more sad though, he is pretty into Cassia still and she clearly is not interested. This book gets a little technical as it talks about the specifics of the revolution and the science behind a disease and its cure, so it was sometimes hard for me to follow. There were also some connections made that were hard for me to remember because my eyes had not made contact with the words. I guess that makes me a visual learner. Anyway, it was a good conclusion and I didn’t feel like anything was really a cop out or that connections were hastily thrown together.
If you’re looking for quick summer reads, I recommend this trilogy. Especially for airplanes. Good airplane books.
PS I still don’t know how to write a book review really. How’d I do?