Every Wednesday (well, except last Wednesday, because last Wednesday I was busy reading Mockingjay), I highlight a book I recently read and LOVED and want to gush about to all of you.
Today's book crush is on Matched by Ally Condie, which I had the pleasure of reading thanks to a little ARC tour thrown together by my friend Shana Silver.
OK, let's start off by talking about the cover.
The absolute best thing about this book is the world-building. I love the dystopian genre - it's one of my favorite ideas to explore in literature - but it's also one of the most challenging to pull off effectively. And although the initial idea of the story - that people in a society have a huge ceremony where their life partner is selected for them by the government - might seem improbable, I never for a second doubted that it was real for Cassia. Everything in the society is totally regimented, and there are so many details - from what the people can eat to what they're allowed to read and listen to. I'm sure it most have been a ton of work for Condie to decide on all of these elements, but it was totally worth it.
And the character development! Cassia transforms in this really incredible way throughout the book. She starts out as this totally trusting person, blindly following her government and believing that what they're doing is right, and by the end we've seen her trust break down so slowly that Cassia herself hardly even realizes it. But it's happened. And it's amazing.
But, in the end, Matched is a love story. And a damn good one. To me (and to a few other people I've talked to who've read the book), there is no contest who the correct choice for Cassia is, but I can see how some people might be swayed the other way. There are a few things that happen in particular between Cassia and her love that made me just SWOON. Like literally SWOON. But I can't talk about them because they are SPOILERY, so you will just have to read the book for yourself when it comes out in November and SWOON for yourself.
Matched is a pretty quiet story overall, but it ends on a cliffhanger which promises a pretty action-packed sequel. And even if the sequel matches the tone of the first, I'll be there to SWOON and read along.