The Only Girl in Town
Author: Ally Condie
Narrator: Elena Ray
Published: September 19, 2023
Audiobook: 6 hours 36 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: October 2-5, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars
What would you do if everyone you love disappeared? What if it was your fault?
For July Fielding, nothing has been the same since that summer before senior year.
Once, she had Alex, her loyal best friend, the one who always had her back. She had Sydney, who pushed her during every cross-country run, and who sometimes seemed to know July better than she knew herself. And she had Sam. Sam, who told her she was everything and left her breathless with his touch.
Now, July is alone. Every single person in her small town of Lithia has disappeared. No family. No Alex or Sydney. No Sam. July’s only chance at unraveling the mystery of their disappearance is a series of objects, each a reminder of the people she loved most. And a mysterious GET TH3M BACK.
This book was not what I thought it would be: When I finished it my reaction was “That was depressing”…..
The Only Girl in Town seemed like a YA contemporary with a mystery to it. It is actually a novel that deals with and is also a metaphor for loneliness, detachment, and depression. I really wish I had known that as I wouldn’t have chosen it to listen to. Trigger warnings if you deal with any of those issues: I would stay away from this book because it really brings about those feelings.
I did like that the book had extremely short chapters which kept my interest… Just one more chapter! The writing is verse-like in nature despite the heavy content. I was intrigued as why did everyone disappear and who is leaving the sign up for July to read? But the end result just did not work for me.
We have July as our narrator and the story goes back and forth in time from the here and now and the events that lead up to everyone disappearing. The best part of the novel was her unexpected sidekick Yolo. Yolo is a typical cat and if you love cats like I do then you will adore Yolo! My adoration of Yolo had me giving the book and extra .5 star.
The narrator Elena Ray did a good job portraying July. But there were a few times where there is singing and that was painful for me!
Overall, if you are prepared for the trigger warnings and how you might end up feeling with this book, go for it. You might actually enjoy it. For me the book was all about Yolo!
Author: Ally Condie
Published: November 30, 2010
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 20-26, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
I read this series back in 2014 and rated the books 4 stars (Matched), 3 stars (Crossed), and 2 stars (Reached). I remember enjoying Matched the most, but the series got weaker as it went on. I needed to have an audiobook to listen to and Matched was available with no wait, so I went for it and wondered what my thoughts would be this time based on my memory. This time I give Matched 3 stars.
This is a weak series and if you are looking for a dystopian read with a strong female character, stay with The Hunger Games or Divergent. This series would be suited for younger teenagers. In Matched, the Society chooses everything for you from what you eat, what your occupation will be, what you can read or listen to (There are only 100 poems and 100 songs, 100 paintings, etc to choose from), where you live, when you die, to whom you will marry by being matched with.
Cassia receives notification that her Matching ceremony will be on her 17th birthday. This is where citizens find out who in the Society will become their spouse. During her matching ceremony she finds out who her match is and surprisingly she actually knows him! Later, she goes to look at the electronic file on him despite knowing so much about him, but another face briefly appears and then disappears. Surprisingly she also knows this boy. Thus begins a love triangle for Cassia and her beginning doubts about the ‘all perfect society’ that she is a part of.
Matched has a great premise, right? The delivery just did not work for me this time versus when I previously read it and gave it 4 stars. I am not the target audience for this novel as it is YA and I the lower rating this time is because I am older. There were so many things that bothered me about the Society: How has all this time passed and the citizens just let the Society have so much control over them? Since their spouses are selected for them , have they in a way been ‘bred’ to be controlled? Or they so indoctrinated in this life that they can’t really think for themselves? Has no one had doubts about the Society as Cassia starts to do as the novel progresses? Yes, Cassia does begin to question more as the novel goes on and begins to become a ‘threat’ to the Society, but for most of the novel it deals with her developing triangle of feelings of Xander and Ky. Xander whom she has known her whole life and Ky who she knew but he was ‘not on her radar’ until he showed up and then disappeared in the electronic file.
There is a lot more to the Society than I have mentioned here. Would I say read this novel? Yes, as everything the Society does is intriguing and the fact that the citizens do live this way. Would I say read the other two in the series? No. The ending for Matched does lead up to the second in the series, Crossed, but based on my memory and seeing my previous ratings for the other two novels, I will pass on it.
As previously mentioned, I listened to the audiobook this time and the narrator Kate Simses is a great voice for Cassia. One thing that I did not like about the audiobook was towards the end when the book climax was happening (which isn’t much of a climax) there was a score that started playing. I think it was to add to the climax, but for me it didn’t help build on it and made what should be serious eye roll worthy.
This one just had a lot of promise that did not deliver well. I will leave it up to you on if you want to read this one. It is a terrible pity as the covers of this series are absolutely GORGEOUS and worthy of owning just because of their looks. The covers have a lot of meaning to them, which includes the colors which become apparent as you read the novels.[Top]