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7735333

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Publication Date: 2010

Publisher: Speak (Imprint of the Penguin Group Inc.)

Price: $17.99

Number of Pages: 369

Awards: YALSA Award for Best Fiction for Young Adults, Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for Fiction

Genre/Subgenre: Science Fiction/Dystopian

Ratings:

Popularity: 3/5

Quality: 3/5

Reader’s Annotation:

Cassia must choose: the Society’s path or her own? A secure future or the chance for true love?

Summary:

Cassia Reyes is seventeen and the world is at her feet. As a member of the Society, she is about to receive her permanent work position and her “Match” – the profession and person deemed to be best suited to her. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things seem like they can’t get any better – until another face is also shown as her Match – that of a boy named Ky with a mysterious past. Despite reassurances from the Matching committee that her double match was an error, Cassia can’t get Ky out of her head. When Ky and Cassia are paired up during recreational hiking, they begin to open up to each other and fall in love. Cassia discovers that Ky is an Aberration, a second class citizen, meaning that he can never be Matched or have a good work position. Knowing Ky and hearing his story causes Cassia to question the Society and to wonder about her own place in things. When an opportunity at work places Ky’s fate in her hands, Cassia must chose: should she trust the Society? Should she invest herself in Ky or in Xander and the life the Society has planned for her?

Evaluation:

While Matched is entertaining and would definitely be appealing to young readers, it isn’t particularly original. There are absolutely better-written YA dystopian novels out there. And yet, Matched is a very sweet love story and I think readers will really sympathize with Cassia and Ky. Additionally, I enjoyed the component of poetry and writing as key to the growth of their relationship – it was romantic and a bit different than the average teen love story. The novel also brings up interesting themes about choice, marginalization, and individuality that would be interesting and relatable for young readers.

Why I Chose the Book:

After reading The Hunger Games, I was really interested in reading more dystopian YA fiction. Matched caught my attention because the plot reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry, which was one of my favorite books in elementary school. I find the idea of a society where everything is government selected, from a person’s job to their spouse, to be intriguing.

Read-Alikes

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Selection by Kierra Cass

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Book Talk Ideas

Have students act as the Society and pretend that they are in charge of selecting the 100 of something – poems, songs, books, films, etc. Have them advocate for what should remain and what should not be saved.

Discussion Questions

1. In Cassia’s world, books, works of art, poems, historical events and musical pieces have been narrowed down to the top 100 of all time with all the rest either hidden or lost. What benefit does the Society gain from doing this? What is lost?

2. The Society designates “dangerous” citizen as Aberrations or Anomalies and prevents them from receiving “matches” or having desirable work positions, in effect creating a group of second class citizens. Can you think of any time periods or places in our society where people were marginalized in a similar manner? Do you think the author is making a statement about our society? Compare and contrast.

Resources

Condie, A (2010). Matched [iBook version]. New York, NY: Speak.

Matched (2014). Amazon. Retrieved from:

http://www.amazon.com/Matched-Ally-Condie/dp/0525423648/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1394951038

Matched (2014). Goodreads. Retrieved from:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7735333-matched?from_search=true

Matched Series (2014). Retrieved from:

http://www.matched-book.com

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