Holy cannelloni, isn’t this badge spanking hot? This baby belongs to the Bookanistas, a group I’m honored to be a part of. If you haven’t heard of us before today, don’t feel out of the loop—today is actually the official launch day. I only recently heard about the group myself. Actually, I could hardly contain my glee when I was asked to be a part of it. The other writers in the group are pretty dang amazing
But what are Bookanistas, you ask? From the desk of fellow Bookanista Shelli Johannes-Wells:
Today is the first launch day of the new book review bloggers - The Bookanistas: Books are the New Black. We are a group of writers who are in various stages of the publishing process - and we have decided to band together and review the special books of our peers. We – as fellow writers – have decided to only post positive reviews, therefore, only reviewing the book we LOVE. No negative reviews here!
The Bookanistas give nothing but love!
Starting today, we will post reviews every Thursday that cover various topics – upcoming ARCs, books we love, special diamonds in the rough, classics, and even cover reviews. This fashionable badge represents our group (club/gang/posse/secret society/peeps). Here is a list of the Bookanistas: Christine Fonseca, Jamie Harrington, Michelle Hodkin, Kristin Hubbard, Shelli Johannes-Wells, Elana Johnson, Myra McEntire, Shannon Messenger, Coli Pinnell, Beth Revis, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Sarah and Katie (Plot this), Scott Tracey (and myself!)
So, on to my first ARC review as a Bookanista:
MATCHED by Ally Condie
Book Blurb: In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassie has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.
Admit it. You’re already in love with this book. That cover is stunning, isn’t it? I about died when I first got this ARC. I’d been chomping at the bit to read it. So, yeah, I might have entered into this book with a touch of pre-love, but you know, it was tempered by certain misgivings. I thought, ehhhhh, what if it’s too much like The Giver? Or like any other book about a utopian society that is secretly one big fat dystopia?
Well, you know what? It is that. And yet, it’s sooooo not just that (and it’s not at all like Lowry’s The Giver). Ultimately, Matched is a love story. And a frigging passionate one at that—without any sex, even (or a single curse word). Who knew it was possible? It’s also a story about choices, and the lack thereof. Condie brilliantly links Cassia’s sexual maturation and her growing awareness of her love for Ky, someone other than her Match, with the shedding of her ignorance (and subsequent loss of innocence) of the truth behind her society. Indeed, it’s difficult to even pinpoint which revelation leads to the other, or if perhaps they are not merely happening simultaneously or even despite the other. But it doesn’t really matter. Its complexity just adds to its beauty. Even the love triangle is far more complicated than what is typically found in YA, because you will love Xander just as much as Ky. I know it seems like Condie is merely messing with your emotions, but really, who wants a love triangle where it’s easy to choose? It’s genius. I loved that it wasn’t obvious who Cassia should be with or who she would end up with.
Gawd, I could not put this book down. And by the time I was finished, I was emotionally spent and yet, I felt oddly ebullient. I beg you to run out and buy a copy as soon as it comes out. Good grief, even the language and voice in which the story is told is absolutely breathtaking. Several times I simply had to set the book against my chest and sigh at the poetry.
I know it seems like I am messing with your emotions now, since Matched doesn’t come out until November 30, but I do have a signed copy I’ll be giving away soon. So stay tuned. I promise you: You. Want. This.
Want to check out the other Bookanistas blogging their book reviews today? See my glorious list below. It’s full of gems.
Katie and Sarah Frances - ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS
Elana Johnson - THE HEALING SPELL
Lisa and Laura - STRANDED
Christine Fonesca - NIGHTSHADE CITY
Shannon Messenger - LINGER
Shelli Johannes-Wells - DARK GODDESS
Scott Tracey - OTHER
Kirsten Hubbard - THE DUFF
Beth Revis - PEGASUS
Jamie Harrington - ARCHVILLIAN
Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Saxton - NIGHTSHADE CITY
Got a book you think we might love enough to review? Shoot me an e-mail, and we’ll add it to the list.
P.S. Be sure to stop by Sara McClung’s blog to see some pictures of our time at ALA 2010 (along with Alexandra Shostak)! I did my best monkey expression. I swear!