Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Well-matched - me and this book


I finished this on Saturday, and really, really enjoyed it. I cannot help but reflectively compare it to The Host, The Giver, and Delirium - which, if you enjoyed, is most likely an indication you would enjoy Matched. What do they all have in common? Nightmarish futures (three, dystopian) and highly-regulated societies - three of which challenge the protagonist's pursuit of love.

Matched = A tale of a young woman who is eager to learn whom she has been matched to - for the best - by the tightly controlled society in which she lives. This young woman is then confronted with an alternative - something she had never considered. It sounds like an all-out love-book, but it's really not...

If I had to choose, I'd say Matched topped Delirium for me - which is saying something. While the writing may not be as poetic and enchanting, there's a lot more of what I think of as "chrome," and it was good chrome....chrome can be bad. This is a term I use to describe the modern, crisp futures of many science fiction narratives (usually only in my head) - Minority Report, The Island, and Ender's Game are a few examples of delivering "the chrome." Alternatively, futures can be bleak, dirty, and backwards (Waterworld, The Hunger Games, ) or alternatively simple...but lacking "the chrome." I dig well-written chrome. Flying cars for flying cars' sake irk me. "Air trains," on the other hand, are welcome. Matched has relevant and interesting chrome, and it really appealed to me - the way the guiding lights in Ender's Game thrilled me and the way Tom Cruise sliding images and information in the air (as opposed to on a screen) thrills everybody. Doesn't it? Doesn't it? That said, I love futures where society lacks all this...I'm just saying, when this direction is taken, I like the flashy stuff to be an integrated and intriguing element of the story; a character, almost...not just flashy.

Enough of that, bullet-time;
  • What a fascinating world! Almost, irresistable...and yet, so very wrong? I'm so impressed that in some moments I could think, "That isn't so bad, I mean, it sounds kind of nice..." and then in others, "This is so impossibly distasteful, barbaric and deprived." Go Condie.
  • I'm looking forward to the sequel; I'm happy there is a sequel - you'll remember with Delirium, I felt as though it wouldn't be so bad if it was over...and it's not, but for Matched, I want more, and it makes sense that there is more.
  • I would love to see its film adaptation, I think this would translate incredibly well to the screen - with great advantage over The Host (portray that internal monologue, I dare you!) and The Giver (good luck finding an adequate 12-year-old lead to play Jonas).
  • No F-bombs - another one-up on Delirium.
  • I don't have to like my protagonists, I just have to understand them. Cassia's actions, for the most part, are understandable...
  • ...although, I'd love to sit with a book club and discuss "Team Ky" and "Team Xander" (the two love interests in the tale). It was really hard for me not to want the latter to win-out...which is a little bit a fail, is it not?
Highly recommended, my dears, highly.

NB: Nabbed from one of Janssen's finely-tuned, awesome book lists over at Everyday Reading.
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