Deals: Matched


 I haven't read it yet, but I plan to, and I've heard VERY mixed reviews, but Matched is today's B&N Daily Deal for 2.99 in the US. Link. (I have to say, I think the cover art is gorgeous.)

3 comments:

★☆ keri ☆★ said...

I read this book because of the initial hype, and no one at the time new anything about it. Once I saw reviews coming in from people who actually care about things like female agency, I was less keen, and eventually borrowed an ARC from a friend.

If you can get it for almost-free, I don't think it's a bad deal, because it's not a horrible book, but... I found it VERY problematic in the sense that the heroine is so extremely passive and reliant on the men in her life that the ONE time she actually does something for herself and makes a decision without going with the flow...she does it by being passive and doing nothing. (Don't worry, this is a spoiler-free comment, except to break it to the discerning reader that she never actually does much of anything for herself.)

There are some fairly interesting aspects to the Society in Matched, and elements of the dystopia, but I think the setting as a whole suffers because the author simplified too much and didn't allow for the full range of humanity. I think the trendy-YA-love-triangle also constrained the novel in unfortunate ways. (Plus, ugh, ignored Westermarck Effect!)

So, for you, Ana, I'm not sure I'd recommend it unless you get it free and you're stuck without anything that seems more appealing. A lot of people don't seem to mind her passiveness, or perhaps they don't notice it? And plenty of folks enjoy the suspense/dystopia plot and setting while ignoring the romance aspect or mapping their own characterisation onto the characters. But none of my friends (we shared the ARC amongst us, thanks to one who worked at a Borders when it came out!) really liked it straight up. It's always "it wasn't bad, but..." or "I would have liked it better if...", which isn't really a great recommendation. I think the best description was that it's a romance novel with dystopic trappings NOT a dystopia with romance elements, which helps explain the character interactions and Cassa's passiveness.

Cupcakedoll said...

You know what? I put this on hold at the library, waited two weeks, and then found out the website messed up and I had no hold. Grumble. Eventually I will get around to reading it, though after hearing mixed things about it part of my brain is looking at it like a vulture going, "I wonder if there'll be any good elements we can steal and change enough to make it not-stealing."

The great prevalence of love triangles in YA books is making me itch to write a paranormal/dystopian romance where she turns out to be a lesbian, or poly, or asexual just for variety. She can be asexual and the two boys can hook up with each other, it'd be perfect and I'd get the yaoi readership too!

★☆ keri ☆★ said...

@cupcake

That is almost EXACTLY what a friend of mine did with Matched, except she's only a hobbyist writer who does outlines and settings and whatnot, without really getting into the story. (At least, from what I understand?) She basically rewrote it (in outline/synopsis form, mind) with the good bits left in, but more identity variance in the love triangle, and more real consequences with the dystopia. I think she also got rid of the whole Childhood Friend vs Exciting Bad Boy dynamic of the two suitors.

Anyway, it was interesting and I think you should do the whole thing like you've said here! I'd definitely be interested. (One example that does this is Gemini Bites, where the love triangle is Brother - Boy - Sister and the story is as much about sibling rivalry and developing one's own identity in the teenage years as it is the romance, but I really enjoyed the romance part, too.)

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