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Matched [Paperback]

by Ally Condie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,578 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: For Cassia, nothing is left to chance--not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the "burden" of choice. When Cassia's best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable--rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her. As author Ally Condie’s unique dystopian Society takes chilling measures to maintain the status quo, Matched reminds readers that freedom of choice is precious, and not without sacrifice.--Seira Wilson


Amazon Exclusive: Author Q&A with Ally Condie

Q: What inspired you to write Matched?

A: Matched was inspired by several experiences—specific ones, like a conversation with my husband and chaperoning a high school prom—and general ones, like falling in love and becoming a parent.

Q: How do you think Matched differs from other dystopian novels?

A: I think it’s different in that it’s perhaps less action-oriented and more introspective. This is really the story of one girl, Cassia, learning to choose.

Q: The cover for Matched is so eye-catching and mysterious. What does the image represent to you?

A: I cannot imagine a more perfect cover for this book. To me, the image is a clear representation of Cassia, the main character, and the way she is trapped in her world. It’s kind of a lovely world—the bubble is beautiful—but it’s confining nonetheless. And, of course, the color green is very important to the book. I’m just so thrilled about this cover. Theresa Evangelista, the designer, and Samantha Aide, the photographer and model, are incredibly talented.

Q: In Matched, each member of the Society is not only assigned a spouse, they’re also assigned a job, and Cassia, your main character, is a data sorter. If you lived in the Society, what job do you think you’d have?

A: I would definitely not be a data sorter. I am terrible with numbers and patterns. I think I would probably be a teacher or instructor. Or maybe one of the people did a mundane task, like dishwashing. I have a feeling that I wouldn’t fare very well in the Society.

Q: Dylan Thomas’ classic poem, “Do Not Go Gentle,” is part of a theme that you’ve woven throughout Matched. Do you remember when you first came across this poem? What made you decide to use it in your novel?

A: I don’t remember when I first read this poem, which is pretty embarrassing. But I do remember the first time I heard a recording of the author reading it. I remember feeling almost reverent, and paying close attention to how he said the words and went through the lines. This poem came to mind almost immediately when I started writing the book. It’s probably the most universal poem I’ve ever encountered. The first line alone resonates immediately with almost everyone.

Q: What do you like about writing for teenagers?

A: Everything. I like talking with teenagers themselves about books. I like trying to capture the teenage voice. And I like writing about teenagers because they have SO MUCH happening in their lives, and they are passionate about those things.

Q: What were some of the books you loved as a teen? Did any of these books influence Matched at all?

A: I loved (and still do) Anne Tyler and Wallace Stegner. I remember being introduced to those authors in ninth grade and being floored by the beauty of their writing. I also loved anything by Agatha Christie. I think these books did influence me—not in any concrete, specific way, but in that I wanted to write a story about a character worth caring about even though/because of the fact that she is flawed and human.

Q: What would you like your readers to take away from the experience of reading Matched?

A: I hope they can take away whatever they need from the story. I hope there is something there for a reader--whether it’s relating to a character or reading a scene that feels true or anything else.

Q: Will there be more books featuring Cassia, or set in the world of Matched?

A: Yes! There will be two more books in the Matched trilogy.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–In a story that is at once evocative of Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993), George Orwell's 1984, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Condie introduces readers to the “perfect” Society. Cassia Reyes is a model student, daughter, and citizen. How could she not be when the Society has everything planned and functioning perfectly? All of her needs are met: food, shelter, education, career training, and even her future husband are selected by officials who know what is best for each individual by studying statistical data and probable odds. She even knows when she will die, on her 80th birthday, just as the Society dictates. At her Match Banquet she is paired with Xander, her best friend and certainly her soul mate. But when a computer error shows her the face of Ky, an Aberration, instead of Xander, cracks begin to appear in the Society's facade of perfection. A series of events also shakes her dedication to Xander and puts her future in jeopardy. Cassia exhibits some characteristics of Winston Smith and Lenina Crowne in her silent rebellion against societal control and in her illicit friendship with Ky but ultimately, and more satisfyingly, she is more like Lowry's Jonas. Her awakening and development are realistically portrayed, and supporting characters like Cassia's parents and her grandfather add depth to the story. The biggest flaw is that the story is not finished. Fans of the Giver will devour this book and impatiently demand the next installment.–Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

“Do not go gentle into that good night.” Cassia’s feelings of security disintegrate after her grandfather hands her a slip of paper just before his scheduled death at age 80. Not only does she now possess an illegal poem, but she also has a lingering interest in the boy who fleetingly appeared on her viewscreen, the one who wasn’t her match, the man she will eventually marry. What’s worse, she knows him—his name is Ky, and he is an orphan from the Outer Provinces. How could she love him as much as Xander, her match and best friend since childhood? The stunning clarity and attention to detail in Condie’s Big Brother–like world is a feat. Some readers might find the Society to be a close cousin of Lois Lowry’s dystopian future in The Giver (1993), with carefully chosen work placements, constant monitoring, and pills for regulating emotional extremes. However, the author just as easily tears this world apart while deftly exploring the individual cost of societal perfection and the sacrifices inherent in freedom of choice. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Condie's enthralling and twisty dystopian plot is well served by her intriguing characters and fine writing." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"I can't stop thinking about Matched. It's impossible to put down this enthralling romance, set in a chilling world where every choice is predicted and even love is controlled. I need to know what happens next. More please!" --Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves

"Matched is a page-turning, dystopian love story, written with the soul of a poet. Finally, a brave new world that readers from Twilight to The Hunger Games will claim as their own." --Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, New York Times bestselling authors of Beautiful Creatures

"Absolutely riveting! Matched is a must-read." --Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series

"This futuristic fable of love and free will asks: Can there be freedom without choice? The tale of Cassia's journey from acceptance to rebellion will draw you in and leave you wanting more." --Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.
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