Good Read: Matched by Ally Condie

Aug 2, 2012

Summer time might be winding down, but it's still a great time to pick up some good reads! Our Good Reads for Kids Series continues with Matched, the first book from Ally Condie's dystopian trilogy. WKMS Youth Project Reporter Brynn Jones contributed this commentary.

My name is Brynn Jones. I am a huge fan of fantasy literature. I love books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and the absolute thrill of a whole new world. I have been on the hunt for the next big hit in this genre. I recently read the book Matched by Ally Condie. While the book was very well written, it bore, in my opinion, an uncanny resemblance to The Hunger Games, except much less interesting because it’s only about dating, as the title suggests.

The story takes place in another dystopian civilization, this one called the Society instead of the Capitol, and revolves around Cassia, whose name even sounds a bit like Katniss, and her life in her Province, not unlike the Districts in The Hunger Games. In the beginning, Cassia gets all dressed up for The Matching Ceremony; again, not unlike The Reaping that opens the Hunger Games.

Cassia, like Katniss, gets paired up with the Peeta Mellark of this book, Xander; a blonde everyone loves who she’s known for years. But instead of the fight to the death, they are paired for dating, and future marriage. But Cassia is also matched to the Gale Hawthorn of this book, a darker boy named Ky, who is not eligible to be Matched. While she loves Xander, she also slowly falls in love with Ky. Cassia has to try to hide her love for Ky, without hurting Xander, who loves her.

I really don’t want to ruin the whole book by just summarizing it, but I will say that this book would be very appealing to a person on Team Gale who thirsts for Hunger Games fan fiction. The structure of the series is not unlike the Hunger Games also in that the first two books are similar to each other, and the 3rd book also looks to be a conclusion about the revolution against the evil Society.

The 3rd and final book of the series hits shelves in November, and you should pick it up only if you’re ready for well-written fan fiction.

Book Description from Amazon:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.