#s 6, 7 & 8: The Matched Trilogy

# 6,7,8

By Ally Condie

3 book series: Matched, Crossed, Reached

Date started/Date Ended: April 1- May 24

Author: Ally Condie

Genre: YA Fiction

Pages: 366, 400, 520

This series was another series that I decided to pick up from my Pinterest board 25 series to read if you liked The Hunger Games.  This book reads more like The Giver, than The Hunger Games. In the society where the main character, Cassia, lives The Society chooses everything for you. They decide who you love, where you work and even when you die. Since The Society controls every aspect of the community they have been able to completely get rid of disease, and violence and as long as you follow the rules you live a happy 80 year long life. But of course, there is always someone who bucks the system.

The first book starts on the day of Cassia’s Matching Banquet. This is the ceremony that happens when you are seventeen and The Society tells you who you will be matched with. All the people of age gather, have a nice meal (not from a foil packet-like most of their meals) and then the society shows each person their match on a large screen. They get to see their match (who is most likely from another community) on the screen and they are given a micro-card with information about their match to take home to learn more about who they will be entering a Marriage Contract with. Of course, when it is Cassia’s turn to see her match the screen turns off, because her match is right there in the same room, someone from her community. As it turns out, she is matched with her childhood best friend, Xander. She gets his micro-card and takes it home, and when she puts it in the port, someone else’s face appears, someone that is not Xander, not her match. Has the society made a mistake? Was this meant for her?

Cassia is then faced with a choice, live a happy life with her true match Xander, or investigate more into this “glitch”  that caused her to see someone else. A love triangle of sorts is created, and Cassia is faced with tough decisions and learns more about The Society than she ever knew existed.

I can’t really say too much about the other books plots without giving too much away. Just know that the 3 books follow the same characters through their journey to find out secrets about The Society.

Like many trilogies, I think the second book is the hardest to read.  At some points the story was more romance than adventure, which is fine if you like that sort of thing. I remember thinking that there wasn’t quite enough action happening to keep me hooked throughout the series as a whole, especially during the second book. I was a little bored at times, but this series is YA fiction, so it was a pretty quick read and didn’t require much deeper thinking. I liked the third book the best. It had the most adventure and action.

Overall, a good little series if you are looking for more dystopian fiction books to read and you like romance served with a side of adventure.

“In the end you can’t always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.”         -Crossed

#5: The Storyteller

By Jodi Picoult

The Storyteller By Jodi Picoult

Dates Started/Ended: March 24-March 30 (I’m behind, I know.)

Author: Jodi Picoult

Genre: Fiction with historical ties

Pages: 480

This book. I was HIGHLY anticipating this book and for good reason. First of all, Picoult is my favorite author, so naturally, I was ecstatic to find a new book coming out; then I read the synopsis. People who know me well know that high on my interest list you will find serial killers, the Holocaust, & football among other things. So when I found out my favorite author was publishing a book about the Holocaust I couldn’t wait to read it.

While I haven’t quite read all of Picoult’s books (I like to save a few for when I need a go-to book) I am willing to bet that this will remain my #1 favorite. It will take a lot to knock this one down from the top spot. So, about the book…

This main character of the story, Sage Singer, is a woman who has suffered great loss in her life. She is a baker, she works at night and is just, in general, what I consider a lost soul. She meets an elderly man named Josef Weber in her grief support group & they strike up an unlikely friendship.

At first glance, I would imagine that every small town has their own Josef. He is known around town, volunteers, he even is the umpire for the local little league. Then, he reveals his deepest, darkest, corrupt secret to Sage. He asks something of Sage that if she were to do, would test more than just her morals.

What I love about this book: Like every Picoult book, the story is told from multiple perspectives of the characters. One chapter you are hearing Sage’s thoughts, the next, it is Josef narrating the story. She does this extremely well and really allows for deep character development. Instead of knowing one character really well, you end up knowing everyone in the story on a deeper level. The characters are really well done & I felt an attachment to them from the very beginning.

I also like the choice that you will wrestle with, like in any Picoult book. She puts the character in a tough situation, between “a rock and a hard place” if you will, and you journey with them through their decision making process. In this particular book you will find the character in a struggle between what is morally right for her family, her friendship and her country and at what does it take to truly forgive someone for the darkest of secrets.

Be prepared. The story is excruciatingly authentic to the time period it is set in. There were definitely some points that I just had to close the book and just think. . .about what life had to have been like for Jews during that time period in history.

If you are looking for something to read I would highly recommend this!