Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

This is another of the Penguin teen advance reader books I had to read. And I loved it! It's set in the future. Our main character is Cassia. We first meet Cassia on her way to her Match Banquet. In this future society, everyone is matched sometime during their 17th year. They get to wear a really fancy dress for the night instead of their normal basic clothes that are the same as everyone else. They get to have really fancy food, instead of the normal just what is needed food rations each person gets. At the banquet they call each girl, and then the screen shows the match live from all around the different boroughs. Only in Cassia's case, something that has never happened before, or at least not in a very long time happens. She is matched with her best friend, someone from the same borough, Xander (I just love that name!). When they're matched they're given a little data card to look through and learn about their match, since usually they don't know them. Cassia waits to check hers, but when she does, just for the fun of it, after Xander's face pops up, it goes blank. Then, another face appears, another boy she knows, Ky. Because she's played the card in the house computer, it's no secret. An Official shows up and collects the card and tells her it was a mistake. She now learns that Ky is an Aberration. He is not ever supposed to be matched.

This of course has intrigued and made Cassia wonder who she is really supposed to be matched with.

This futuristic world, or Utopia in a way you might say, is just incredible to read and think about. To save Society, they have gotten rid of all but 100 paintings, 100 poems, 100 books, etc. When you reach the age of 80, you will die. You live a very healthy, full life until then. But we get to experience Cassia's grandfather's final banquet. Every person carries a container with pills, 1 when they're really young, 2 when they get to be teens, and a 3rd, red pill when they become adults. WE find out later in the later part of the book what the red pill is for. We find just how far this Society will go to make sure their rules and ideas are followed.

This was a really good book. I don't know that they definitely left it open for a sequel. It could have one. Or it could just leave off the way it did. Either way would probably be fine. In fact, I sometimes think it is okay to just end instead of having to continue all stories. This is supposed to come out at the end of November, and I may put it as one of my staff recs at the bookstore at that time.