Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched [Book]

Like many reviewers, the gorgeous cover of Matched pulled me in. I've had quite a few students say they kind of, sort of liked the book but that it was slow. Still, I had to read it. 

Personally, I enjoyed the book very much. The Society fascinated me and the energy and spirit of Cassia inspired me as well. The concept of choices and being led to believe that your life is ideal when you don't have to make them is curious. How many times have we all felt that way when we were overwhelmed and exasperated? Condie's use of that feeling to build a Society where you get exactly that is unique and well done.

In the beginning, I was so upset with Casia's grandfather for planting the seed of doubt about the Society in her happy, young mind. What really makes him any different from the Society--manipulating her thoughts and feelings through suggestion? 

When you step back and look at the interactions between all the characters and Cassia, you begin to think about our own society--how "free" are we really? Are our thoughts and actions truly a result of free will, or are we all unknowingly "going gently"? 

The love triangle is compelling (using a bit of the law of "bad boy" attraction that so many women understand). I haven't yet decided if I'm team Ky or team Xander. 

Well done Ally Condie. You have definitely made me think while entertaining me as well!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: Taking Lessons from Ernest by Trish Stewart

Taking Lessons from Ernest is a tale of disappointment and reclamation. Trish Stewart does an eloquent job bringing the emotions of "hitting rock bottom" to life through her characters Eric and Oliver. Through her words and the appearance of Hemingway's ghost, she has crafted a tale of true healing as we follow Eric on his journey to fulfill his father's last wishes. This is a must read for anyone who feels like life has settled into a pit and they do not have the strength to climb out and fight for happiness.