Readdicted Review: Matched by Ally Condie

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Readdicted Reviewers

Title:  Matched (Matched #1)

Author: Ally Condie

Genre: YA Fiction (Futuristic)

Goodreads Book Summary:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Rating: 4 Stars

REVIEW

So it wasn’t exactly the same as Hunger Games or Delirium…etc. type of books, but there are a lot of similarities.  The world society is utopian, although somehow it reads very similar to dystopian books.  There is a parallel there.  This futuristic utopian society, in which everyone’s basic needs are cared for, is also one in which your basic rights are taken away.  Cassia is a teenage girl at the brink of adulthood and she has to make a choice between doing what is expected and breaking the cycle.  This is the same as a lot of books.  And unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot distinguishing it…not a lot in the book making it super unique.  Therefore, the book doesn’t stand out.

I love Ally Condie’s writing style.  It’s lyrical, evenly paced, and enjoyable.  The book moved at a good pace and I loved watching Ky and Cassia fall for each other in their stolen moments.  Xander was a great constant character for book one.  He was the one Cassia could always fall back on, her childhood friend.  And it seems that he is an open book and not hiding a thing.  His character is easy to understand, and he doesn’t seem to question anything.  On the other hand, Ky was a very interesting character for me, and one of the main reasons I wanted to keep reading the series was to find out more about him.  I enjoyed Cassia’s personality, I never found her annoying.  She goes through the same-old growth from point A to point B that many main characters in YA fiction do, but I liked reading it and watching it unfold.  It’s not like this book is something grand, or something mind bending.  It won’t change society, or solve world peace.  It is meant for entertainment, and I was thoroughly entertained by it.

I definitely recommend this book for people who love the writing style of Maggie Stiefvater.  I read a lot of bad reviews of this book, and I would just tell you that if this book sounds interesting to you, read it.  The pace isn’t furious, but it isn’t slow.  It is well-written, and the world is well-developed.  I gave it 4 stars, but I’m telling you it did not disappoint me at all and I definitely want to own this series.

COVER

I’d be lying if the cover isn’t what made me come back to this book time and time again.  The release of Matched coincided with me purchasing a Nook, and the ebook was a couple bucks more than all the other books on my to-read list, so I kept putting it off.  The ratings were also just a tad lower.  But this cover is pretty, and symbolic, and clean and simple.  Finally, I gave the book a try, and I’m very glad I did.

FOR FUN

Disney won the movie rights for Matched, which could be interesting if it amounts to anything.  Go here to see the official book trailer.  Go here to see an unofficial, fan-made trailer made of a bunch of clips from random movies and shows that actually works out pretty well.  (Just goes to show that music can make anything awesome)

Readdicted Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

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Title: Pure

Author: Julianna Baggott

Genre: Dystopian/Apocalyptic YA Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary: 

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it’s his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Rating:  5 Stars

REVIEW

There are two main characters who seem to have equal weight of importance in the story.  Pressia…she has a doll head fused to her hand.  Hello awesome!  Such a flawed character!  And Partridge.  He is perfect, but imperfect in his perfection.  There were plenty of peripheral characters, and they all have unique qualities and compliment the story.

This book was a such a great contrast to what I have been reading.  It is set in the future, after major world-wide destruction leaves everyone deformed and fused.  Fused with other people, objects, buildings, even the ground.  The only people that were saved live in a giant dome that was created to protect mankind from the onslaught of the many super viruses.

I loved this book.  It is dark, but not in a dark way.  It is grungy, the setting dusty and you feel like mankind has really gone down the drain.  But of course there is hope.  And hope is an amazing thing to read about, especially when the characters’ lives have become so desolate.  I found this book to be well-written, almost poetic at times.  Like an allegory…it seems almost metaphorical for what life can be like for many people today.  It is completely unreal and yet written in a way that makes you believe in it.  I didn’t get in to the book at first, it took a little work.  But then I just couldn’t stop.  It jarred me, made me cry, gave me hope, and kept me reading constantly until I finished it with a sense of anticipation for the next book in the series.  Pure was so different, and I love it when books are different and good and give me all the things I want.  This book was full of action, had fantastic bad guys, and is definitely worth your time.  It is hopeful, sad, and deep.

COVER

This cover is what drew me to the book, and the description of what the book was actually about made me hesitate for awhile before reading it.  But I kept coming back to the beautiful cover.  It drew me in at the bookstore, at the library, and even online.  If you don’t love this cover you are weird.

I’m probably just joking about that.

AWESOMESAUCE

Fox 2000 acquired rights for the movie…here’s a trailer, although I think this is just a book trailer and not for the actual movie that may or may not be made.

This is the author’s website.  The second book, Fuse, comes out February 2013, and I can’t wait!  The cover is just as beautiful as the cover of Pure.  Go here for news and lots of good stuff the author has put together.  I love it when authors are actually online.