By Ally Condie

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Dutton Books, 2010

Genres: Science fiction, dystopian, romance

Series: Matched; 1

ISBN: 9780525423645

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 369

Setting: The City & Mapletree Borough, Oria Province

Time period: An unspecified time in the future

Plot summary: Cassia Reyes lives in a perfect society.  Debilitating illnesses have been eliminated.  People die when they are old, surrounded by loved ones.  The Society makes all the decisions for everyone to ensure that everyone is contributing to The Society for the benefit of all.  This includes who people will love and to whom they will be Matched.

When Cassia learns that her Match is her best friend Xander, she is both happy and confused.  It is extremely rare for Matches to know one another from childhood.  Her confusion is magnified, however, when she looks up the information about her Match given to her by The Society at the Matching Banquet.  For a moment, she does not see Xander’s face on the screen; she sees another friend.  But how can this be?  The Society does not make mistakes.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Brisk

Characterization: The story is told in first person through Cassia.  The most important secondary characters are Ky and Xander

Frame: A perfect world which slowly reveals its imperfections bit by bit until the ugly reality is revealed.

Story line: A coming of age story set in a dystopian future where there is no place for passion, choice, or true love.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Fantasy fiction.

Mate selection — Juvenile fiction.

Triangles (Interpersonal relations) — Juvenile fiction.

Self-realization — Juvenile fiction.

Similar works:

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

Rash by Pete Hautman

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Personal notes: This was an excellent book.  I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did when I first started it.  I got turned onto this book by a suggestion that it was similar to The Hunger Games.  While I don’t think this is quite true, I think that many people who like The Hunger Games will enjoy this story – as long as they don’t expect the same kind of action packed story.

Other: Diversity – Officials, an Aberration

Ally Condie’s website

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