Friday, January 27, 2012

Matched

In a future society, the officials decide everything, from what you eat for breakfast to who you should love. Cassia Reyes, is a normal teenage girl, who through a technical mishap discovers that the officials are not always in control, especially when it comes to who you love.
Matched, similar to the Hunger Games and Delirium, is a break through dystopian young adult series, which has received a huge amount of positive reviews. A well deserved amount in my opinion.

Ally Condie does an exemplar job at building her world - which in some respects has elements of our own. If we use IQ and personality tests to assess people's suitability for certain jobs, who is to say this won't develop further into who we  should love (on-line dating sites are prime example). The point being, that like all exemplar writers in this field, Condie builds a world that is not hugely dissimilar to our own, she takes elements of our world and skews them to an extreme and for this reason the story and moral of Matched has more impact. Definitely in my opinion, world-building is one of the strongest features of this book.

Regarding characters, Cassia was an alright character - she has her flaws and good qualities, however to be honest I didn't really engage with her. Not because of how she was written but just the character herself, which is no reflection on Condie's writing. My favourite characters are Grandfather and Bram as both strike me as free spirits in their own way. For instance, Cassia's eyes needed to be opened through the mismatch, her grandfather's words and Ky's lessons while Bram from the get go seems to always be pushing the barriers in his own small ways. I just found him to be delightful and a touching character especially when it comes to the antiques incident.

My feeling is that although this book centres around a match/mismatch, romance is not the main theme, which is refreshing. Now, there obviously is romance in this book, and it's nice to see both male leads on equal footing (smart, handsome, decent), although you do feel sorry for Xander at times. In some ways, regarding Ky too, I find it sad that it took the mismatch for open Cassia's eyes, but I'm glad this is explored in the book - that it is not taken as a given by the character, that Cassia questions herself regarding her feelings.
But my most favourite aspect of this book and the main theme (imo), is the use of poetry, especially one of my all time favourite poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" , as a catalyst for Cassia. It demonstrates that in the void of Cassia's world, where only 100 poems, novels and songs exist, the timeless impact of certain works remain. That, regulation of the arts and elimination of creative self-expression is the beginning of the end - a regulation on the evocation of emotion and the human spirit. Condie does an exemplar job of showing us how these forbidden poems fester in Cassia's mind, riling up her spirit, in a quiet but deep way and provoking her to questions the society and consequently  to seek out Ky more and more.

My only detraction from the book, is I felt the ending could have been stronger. Ky's disappearance and then Cassias leaving didn't leave me on the edge of my seat. However the last chapter was touching as she associates each word as bringing her closer to Ky, reiterating the importance of self-expression without restraints/monitoring.

Off topic: Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of trilogies - whether sometimes an extra-long tightly written book would be better than three?

Back on topic, this is definitely one the better Dystopian YA fictions out there, and I recommend fans of dystopian romance to have a gander. I'm giving this 4 out of 5 moons :)


Toodles for now, 





Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Writing booty

After having my 'smart' phone (for the amount of problems I have had with this phone, I seriously question the term) for just under a year, I've discovered the wonders of bluetooth. Who knew I could just magically send stuff to my laptop without that cable yoke that was with the phone- certainly not me, friends!

So see below the wonders of bluetooth and BE AMAZED at my fabulous grainy pics!

#1 - Santa was kind enough to bring the best everyday fountain pen EVER - the Charcoal Lamy Safari. Dream to write with. . .






#2 Santa was very good to me (because I'm a very good girl, obviously) and also got me this beautiful cross journal. Absolutely obsessed with their journals (and now you can see why).

#3 For those of us who believe bed is more than a place for sleep - one of the big bros, really hit it on the nail this year for my xmas pressie with this wooden laptop table from argos! (I liked it so much that I bought another for my college apartment).

#4 And of course the mandatory pic of a cute dog.  I give you, Teddy -  the most photogenic of the family, yet the hardest to get a photo of. . .


I know what you're thinking, I'm wasting my time with all this writing stuff - photography is obviously my true calling, HA!

Anyhoo - Toodles for now & happy writing/reading to all and to all a good night :)




Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A broken promise. . .

Promises are a funny thing. I rarely break promises to others, yet I always break them to myself.

Jaysus, that line sounds more like the beginning of a self-help memoir  than an "I'm back" blog post.

So yeah, I decided to return to the world of blogging after a very long hiatus because as you know, the internet is in very short supply of wannabe writers who like to blog.

We're practically an endangered species. 

Anyhoo . . .  what's this broken promise malarky (yes, I still use this word, and no I'm not a 90yr old irish stereotype) I'm melodramatically yabbering on about you ask? Well over a year ago, I made a promise on this blog (always a good idea to post stuff on the internet that will come back and bite you in the arse) that I wasn't going to make another blog post until I completed the first draft of DarkShines. Ahem. . .

*cough*

Yeah. . .  probably getting a fair idea of where this going. . . 

I'm sure you're all very surprised to hear that DarkShines is still in its first draft (i.e. not finished). I wish I could say I was half way through but no that would be lying. . . I made so little progress in 2011 with DarkShines, that I would be more willing to tell you my current weight (post-christmas) and post a naked video of myself doing the macarena than tell you my word count.

So yeah. . . 2011 was kind of a shit year, here's to 2012 being less shit and you know, non-apocalyptic :)

And here's to finishing this bastardy thing (my new name for WIP).

Belated Happy New Year!

I shall see you all around the blogosphere,

Toodles






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