As you can see, evidenced in the delicate pink blooms at the back of the picture, summer is officially reflected in the backyard of my house. The sun is shining, birds are trilling, the grass is waving... and I can tell you all of this for certain, because I'm watching it all right now, through the window to my kitchen. The same place I've been sitting for the past three days. Same. Place. Now that I've graduated, I'm trapped in my own house, without company or a car. So, things have been very quiet around here recently.
Well, then, it's time to get some reading done, and nothing says bright skies and cheerful sunshine, like a dystopian future ruled by a crumbling oligarchic system...
I had originally bought Matched, by Ally Condie, for my sister, the Cheerleader, as a Christmas present this year (well, my Mom bought it, but it was my idea). While she really only reads realistic teen lit, this book had come highly recommended from various sources, so I convinced her to give it a chance, and see what she thought of it. In the end, she actually loved it, and told me I should read it as well. I, however, was a little less receptive. I've already voiced my opinions on the majority of romantic teen lit to many, loudly, and do not usually pursue this kind of reading material unless I'm running out of options or mental processing capacity. However, just while I was reaching for my new copy of Mrs. Dalloway, I caught a glimpse of the alluring mint green on the cover, and thought, why not? I mean, it's not like I'm going anywhere...
What I found was not simply a teen romance, however. Nor was it simply a dystopian novel. This book was more than the sum of it's Amazon description.
Cassia Reyes is a seventeen-year-old girl, living her life according to the guidelines set forth by the mysterious Officials, and enforced by the Officers, without questioning or rebellion. According to the plans set forth by these Officials - including carefully regulated meals, limited options for clothing or recreational activities, deciding where people live or work - individuals are Matched, tying them to another person determined most compatible. However, for Cassia, not just one person's face flashes up on the screen. What follows isn't simply just a love triangle, nor is it simply a picture of a society whose control is slowly slipping away. It's the portrait of a girl, who is just beginning to learn how to fight for something she believes in. Matched 's cover colors were chosen correctly: a flash of bright green, breaking through the monotony of cool grey, like Cassia's growth and newness of spirit, altering the bleak landscape of which she is a part.
The book is good, better than most of its genre. And now that its sequel, Crossed, came out in November, and the third of the trilogy, Reached, comes out THIS November, if I ever have a hankering for this particular brand of teen lit again, I know where to find it.
However, I'm still homebound, which means I have to quickly find another book before I go insane, which I cannot certify will be as enjoyable as this one. Oh, darn. (But at least I have the choice to do so.) :)