Monday, 7 January 2013

(52 books: week 1) Dystopian reads

'Matched' by Ally Condie + 'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess
For the first week, us two ladies managed to both read a dystopian book (set in an imagined place where everything is unpleasant, usually a tolatarian state) and boy do we have some reviews for you. We both enjoyed the books, and hope that our enjoyment of them might spur you on to read them too. Enjoy.


Cassia (beautiful name, always a bonus) lives in the society where nothing is left to chance. All decisions are made for her, from what she eats, to who she will love and when she will die. It begins on Cassia’s 17th Birthday and her ‘Match Banquet’ where discovers whom she will marry and start a family with. To her relief she sees her best friend's face on the screen- she know she's lucky. But, when another boy's face flashes before her eyes, not only is she surprised at the mistake but the fact that she knows the other boy.

Told a mistake was made, which is rare in itself, Cassia tries to continue her life normally. However, as she sees more and more of the other boy she finds herself bending more rules than ever, especially when she finds herself falling in love, and not with her match. She is determined to make some decisions for herself, but, soon all she knows starts to unravels before her eyes.

It shares similarities to The Hunger Games Trilogy, set in a dystopian future, a society ruled by the Officials who are the sole people to make decisions. I really enjoyed this book, and I am onto the next in the series in the coming week!

RATING: 4/5 
‘The Hunger Games’ Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
‘Uglies’ Quadrilogy, by Scott Westerfeld
‘Delirium’ Trilogy, by Lauren Oliver


Alex, the protagonist, loves many things: ultra-violence, rape, drugs and Beethoven's Ninth, just to give you the picture. Set in a dystopian future, he and his droogs spend their time living their lives to their own kind of 'full'. However, Alex soon finds himself at the hands of the government, and whilst engaging in their own kind of experimentation project, he develops different connotations with what he once loved. It's all about taking control of your citizens, by taking what they love to an extreme. In a nutshell it questions 'is a man who chooses the bad in some way better than a man who has good imposed upon him?'

It's clever, and philosophical, never mind incredibly short. Although, whilst a modern read, don't take it as an easy one. Alex uses nadsat slang, which derives from many Russian words (so if you understand Russian you'll have no problem). Sometimes you can figure it out, but sometimes it's quite a muddle. Don't fret and give up on this though, just use the nadsat online dictionary as you go, and you'll find an easier path through a most intriguing read. Stick with it, it gets (as most books do) particularly good at the end.

1984, by George Orwell
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

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