Month: February 2012

My Thoughts on Matched by Ally Condie

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I heard about this book and thought that it was a cross between Hunger Games and Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Really, how could you go wrong?

It was an interesting read, though I did not enjoy it as much as Hunger Games. In this book, Cassia is 17 and on her way to the Matching Banquet where she will discover her “Match”. While at the banquet she gets a great surprise. Her match is her best friend, Xander. Life could not be better.

After all, Cassia lives in a perfect society. Her day is laid out by the society. Where she can go, what recreation activites are options for her, what she can eat and where. She can read one of 100 book. She can read one of 100 poems. She marries who they tell her to and she will die on her 80th birthday. Everything is dictated by the Society.

Which Cassia is fine with until she takes home information about her “match” and a different face pops up. It’s not Xander. It’s Ky. And she knows Ky, too.

And there it begins. I got a little frustrated with Cassia in this book. I think that she turns to Ky because he is forbidden, and I think it’s a little ridiculous. She’s loved Xander her whole life. He is her best friend and someone she truly loves. I think that it was silly to pursue a relationship so aggressively with Ky.

But she’s 17. Even in a controlled society, rebellion is part of the process. So I sigh. And I feel bad for Xander. But this book is the first of a trilogy, and I have heard that his story is not over yet. Go Xander!

What I’m Reading Now: Matched

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On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match.

Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life. Except he’s not. In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die.

But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.

And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel…

My Thoughts On The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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When I read a fabulous book and find out that it was the author’s debut novel, I just want to exhale for the author. To finally be able to get this wonderful story out of your head and onto paper, it must be an amazing thing.

When Celia is a little girl, she meets her father, “Prospero”. On stage he is a magician. In real life, he is so much more.

He binds his daughter into a competition with an unknown competitor and then goes forward, training her to control the elements around her until she can change the color of her hair, a dress, heal wounds, turn paper into a bird and then back again.

Her competitor was an orphan, picked to compete because he was smart; he liked to read. He learns to manipulate his surroundings until he can create entire environments and make you feel like you are there. He can also manipulate people and, to some degree, control their thoughts.

The venue for their competition is a circus. A wonderous circus that opens at dusk and closes at dawn. It entrances its visitors and gets a following of people who go from location to location, just following the circus.

I loved the book. I loved the love story. I wish the love story had a few more pages. The book ends with Widget talking to Alexander. That’s fine, but it’s not really his story, and I wish it wrapped up with Celia. You invest 400 pages into this story, you just want to see her ending and make sure that she is truly happy. Without that, the ending felt a little empty.

This book is very popular right now, and the waiting list at the library is long. Very long. But it was worth the wait.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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From Amazon.com:

The circus arrives without warning.

No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements.

It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.

Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.