Saturday, January 8, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Over the Christmas holidays, I discovered Twitter and I have 'met' many teachers who are as passionate about reading as I am. Matched is a book that was recommended by several people and I'm very glad I picked it up.

In this dystopian society everything seems perfect. Their lives are all laid out for them. The citizens all have jobs that they excel at, they are each given the right foods to meet their own nutritional needs and after their 17th birthday they are 'matched' with their perfect partner. For most teens, they dream of this day- when they finally meet the person they will spend the rest of their lives with.

The story starts on the day of Cassia's Matching, a day she has waited for forever. She is nervous, but excited. Her childhood friend Xander is also at the Matching ceremony looking handsome and calm. When the matching begins, Cassia watches as friends she has grown up with are matched with people from far away. Then, it is Cassia's turn. When she faces the monitor to see the perfect boy, the screen is black- which only means one thing- she is matched with someone from her home town. Her perfect match is Xander and Cassia cannot be happier. Xander is everything- charming, funny, smart and handsome and Cassia is relived and thrilled to be with Xander.

As Cassia and Xander get to know each other on a different level, things seem to be changing. Cassia suddenly finds herself thrown together with Ky, a quite boy whose past is a bit mysterious. The more time Cassia spends with Ky, the more feelings she starts having towards him and the more confused she gets.

While on the surface, this story seems to be only about a love triangle. However, the way that Condie weaves other elements of this perfect society make the reader realize that everything isn't as perfect as it seems. Cassia starts to question many things about the world she lives in and starts to gather the courage to make a change. However, change is hard and it will put those she loves at risk.

This book comes across as a romance novel, but I think the dystopian elements will appeal to many different readers. Fans of the Hunger Games will really like it and I think the sequel will be even better! You can check out the book trailer here.

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