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Great Illustrated Books

Matched

By Ally Condie

Dutton Juvenile, 2010
Pages : 384
Suggested Ages: 12 and Up
ISBN: 0525423648

In Cassia’s world everything is perfect. She wants for nothing. The Society provides her with the exact amount of food she needs for proper nutrition for her optimal weight, height, and age. She will live until her 80th birthday (80 being the optimal age for having a full life without falling into physical or mental deterioration). And, The Society’s systems will assess thousands of her attributes and process them in a database with all the other eligible seventeen year olds to identify her perfect Match. Cassia eagerly awaits finding out who that will be.

At the Matching Ceremony, Ky’s face flickers on the screen for an instant. But it is an error – a chip in the flawless perfection of The Society. Ky is not eligible to be matched, and just a second after his face appears it is replaced with Xander’s. Still, the mistake has planted a seed of doubt for Cassia – a seed that grows as she learns more about Ky. It grows again when she has to say goodbye to her grandfather on his 80th birthday. And it develops into a full forest of doubt when her grandfather secretly gives her a tiny (and highly illegal) written (also unheard of) Dylan Thomas poem.

The lines of the poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night,” pulse through the book. Cassia struggles to find happiness, no longer wanting to go gentle and live with the ease and comfort she has always known. That comfort has come at the price of her freedom, she realizes, and that has become unacceptable.

While there is a bit of romance in Matched, it is completely G rated. The Society is not The Capital of The Hunger Games; it is most disturbing in the way it controls its citizens, but always in the name of “their optimal life,” not in retribution.

The themes of the power of the written word, the value of creativity, and the importance of freedom to learn, pervade the romance-adventure story-line gently and seamlessly. Teens will easily be drawn in and then will keep reading well into the night.

Reviewed by : MES

Themes : ADVENTURE. FRIENDSHIP. POETRY. SCIENCE FICTION. SUSPENSE.

If you love this book, then try:

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games series). Scholastic Press, 2008.



Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight (The Twilight Saga series). Little, Brown Young Readers, 2006.



Pearson, Mary E. The Fox Inheritance (The Jenna Fox Chronicles series). Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 2011.

Critics have said

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


Absolutely riveting! Matched is a must-read.
The New York Times