Matched is the first book I've encountered by Ally Condie. (Wanna get the author's name in there early cuz I've heard this isn't the only "Matched" in popular YA literature.)
Okay, so I found this book on Amazon while hunting for more good YA dystopians (Yay futuristic hell holes!) and I read this first chapter anditwasgood. So I bought it.
I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, but I'm still going to be Critical in this one.
THIS IS WHAT WAS GOOD ABOUT THIS BOOK. (I had English finals today so I'm not even gonna try to be smart. Be prepared for poor grammar and random capitalization.) I like the writing style. It's not like the Goddess Of Writing Jodi Piccoult, but it's pretty. Most dystopians, like say, the Hunger Games, begin with a main character that already knows that the government is evil and Man This Place Sucks and all that because they're already a victim and have been their whole lives. However, this is the first one I've read so far where the character actually believed due to her lifetime of indoctrination that the Futuristic Conspiracy To Control Our Minds! was actually the way to go. Gradually she's been submerged into the idea of These Dudes Are Whacked and People Are Dying Man, mostly through Ky, who is in fact the character who knows how Man This Place Sucks. The dystopia itself was also well-developed. I think I'm going to come up with a set of guidelines for well-developed alternative universes/dystopias:
Each one needs to establish:
-the standard mode of transportation (for instance, we have cars and sometimes planes. The Hunger Games has trains. Uglies has hoverboards and hovercars. Matched has a hovertrain or airtrain or something.)
-the way they get their food (we buy it at a store and cook it ourselves, or go to a restaurant. We generally dispense it through a refrigerator. Uglies get fed through a hole in the wall where Magical Objects of Awesome! come out. Hunger Games people hunt (but only if they're badass) or buy it from the black market (if they're semi-badass) or get it from the government if they're chicken.
-propaganda--what makes them obey (uglies: YOU MUST BE PRETTY OMG. Hunger Games: well, the hunger games themselves. Matched: everything is better here because we use probability and our people livelongerandarehappierandcrap.)
-main source of entertainment--what the people do for fun. (Hunger games: watch the hunger games on TV [we're talking capitol idiots here] uglies: go to parties and get creepy surgeries. Matched: game center, music hall, movie showings, leisure activities)
-Clothing: there must be a fashion scheme. (matched: uniforms denoting students, workers and officials; Uglies: crazy fashioncostumethingies for pretties, and didn't the uglies have like a uniform or something? Hunger Games: lots of raggy old cloth stuff. They're madpooryo.)
-Government Creepers: like the gestapo. Publicly known; usually feared. (Hunger games: peacekeepers. Matched: Officials. Uglies: wardens. Also Special Circumstances, but less public.)
-Fancy Board Of Government Jerks Who Decide Stuff (Uglies: the Pretty Committee. HG: the Gamemakers. Matched: I think we find out in the next volume xDD )[I just realized that was my first emote all post.]
-I think they're all communists. (actually, that's not a principle. But i think it's true. I might make a post entirely devoted to the fact that I think that Matched, The Hunger Games, and Uglies are all set in communist "futures" and it's all 1984alloveragain.)
Ok, now for my Critiques:
I read all fourhundredsomeodd pages and I still don't feel like I'm BFFs with Cassia, Ky, Em and Xander. They're not the most developed characters, and they're still kind of in that stage of development like the book just started and I don't know them yet. I think the most developed characters were Bram and the granfather, and since Grandpa died in like chapter four, that's saying something.
AND THE LOVE TRIANGLE OMG. It's less creative than Twilight. It pretty much IS twilight. I am going to outline a situation, and you try to think of every YA novel with this basic scenario or one very similar:
Boy1 likes girl. Girl likes boy but doesn't know it yet. Girl meets boy2 and falls in OMGlove! but girl and boy2 can't be together. girl finds out about boy1 but since she can have him he's unappealing even though he's better for her and everyone around her. He's just not as hot. So girl makes out with both of them and eventually either ends up with boy2 or realizes that boy1 was better all along, often following the death or destruction, if not betrayal, of boy2.
How many books did you come up with? Like, every YA novel ever? See? they're all the same. WillsomeonepleasewritemeagooddystopiannovelwithaNEWromanticsituationthankyou?
Ok. That is all.
What would make me really happy right now:
-for someone to write me a novel according to the guidelines above.
-no more tests please school ok?
-more time to read at school
next book: The Woman Who Rides Like A Man
CHALLENGE: outline a romance taking place in a dystopia that is ORIGINAL.