by Ally Condie
Publishing Information: Dutton Children's Books: New York, 2010
ISBN: 9780525423645 / 9780142428634 (Audio)
Pages: 384 p.
Ages: 12 & Up
Cassia always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her, but she begins to question just how perfect her world really is when she notices things are not what they seem.
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.
SOCIETY MATCHED THEM, BUT LOVE SET THEM FREE. In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one … until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.
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Awards & Reviews:
Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2010
Kid's Indie Next List #1 Pick, Winter 2010/2011
Publishers Weekly Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011
Texas Lone Star Reading LIst, 2012
Young Adult Library Services Association Best Books for Young Adult Readers, 2010
Young Adult Library Services Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2011
Booklist, September 15, 2010
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, November 1, 2010
Horn Book, May 1, 2011
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2010 (Starred Review)
Publishers Weekly, October 4, 2010 (Starred Review)
School Library Journal, December 1, 2010
VOYA: Voices of Youth Advocates, December 1, 2010
Discussion Questions and Ideas:
- What makes Matched dystopian? How does the Society compare with the worlds in other dystopian novels you’ve read.
- In what way is it futuristic? What role does technology play in this novel?
- What details and events make the world Ally Condie created realistic and believable? What do think the positive qualities of the world are? What do you think the negative qualities of the world are?
- What scene sticks with you after you’ve finished reading? What is it about this book that is most frightening? Most comforting?
- What role does the society play in this novel? Why do you think The Society was so restrictive with the art and literature it permitted?
- What is the novel’s major theme, its message for you, the reader? How is this message important to our society today?
- Cassia has a special relationship with her grandfather. Why do you think he gave her the poem even though it was so dangerous? What artifact from your life would choose to pass down to other generations?
- Why do think that Cassia is so inspired by Dylan Thomas’ poem Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night? How do you think her understanding of the poem changes throughout the novel?
- Cassia is to be assigned as a data sorter. If you were to be assigned a role in The Society what would it be and why?
- Cassia has an impossible choice. Would you make the same decision as Cassia? Why or why not?
- Now that you’ve read Matched, what questions would you most like to have answered in the upcoming sequel?
Author's Website - http://www.allysoncondie.com
Matched Official Website - http://www.matched-book.com/info.html
Book Movements - http://www.bookmovement.com/app/readingguide/search.php?qt=matched&action=search&submit.x=0&submit.y=0
Brave New World @ Huxley.net - http://huxley.net/bnw/index.html
Children's Books: Apocalypse Now - Teens turn to dystopian novels by Karen Springen, February 2010 -
Dystopian Categorizatoin - http://hem.passagen.se/replikant/dystopia_categorisation.htm
Dystopian TImeline - http://hem.passagen.se/replikant/dystopia_timeline.htm
Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics -
“Dystopias: YA Fad, or Here to Stay?” - http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/132267-dystopias/
List of Dystopian Films - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dystopian_films
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster (1909) - http://www.plexus.org/forster/index.html
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, 2008 (2010 RITBA Nominee)
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix, 2000
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien, 2010 (2012 RITBA Nominee)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1932
The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd, 2010
The Carbon Diaries 2017 by Saci Lloyd, 2010
Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins, 2009
Cherry Heaven by L.J. Adlington, 2008
Children of the Dust by Louise Lawrence, 1985
The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy) by Carrie Ryan, 2011
Dark Life by Kat Falls, 2010
A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve, 2006
The Dead and The Gone (Trilogy) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, 2008
The Dead Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy) by Carrie Ryan, 2010
The Death Cure by James Dashner, October 2011
The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington, 2005, (2007 RITBA Nominee)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, 1968
Edda by Conor Kostic, August 2011
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, 2002
Epic by Conor Kostick, 2007 (2009 RITBA Nominee)
Extras (Uglies Trilogy)by Scott Westerfeld, 2007
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, 1953
The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy) by Carrie Ryan, 2009
The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen, 2010
Gathering Blue (The Giver Trilogy) by Lois Lowry, 2000
Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K. LeGuin, 2004
The Giver (The Giver Trilogy) by Lois Lowry, 1993
Gone (Gone Trilogy) by Michael Grant, 2008
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, 1987
Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman, 2001
Hunger : A Gone Novel by Michael Grant, 2009
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins, 2008 (2010 RITBA Nominee)
I Feel Like the Morning Star by Gregory Maguire, 1989
Incarceron (Incaceron Trilogy) by Catherine Fisher, 2010
Infernal Devices (The Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve, 2006
Lies : A Hunger Novel by Michael Grant, 2010
Life As We Knew It (Trilogy) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, 2006 (2008 RITBA Nominee)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, 2008
The Maze Runner by James Dashner, 2009
Memory Boy by Will Weaver, 2003
Messenger (The Giver Trilogy) by Lois Lowry, 2004
Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins, 2010
Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve, 2003 (2006 RITBA Nominee)
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, 1949
Powers (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K. LeGuin, 2007
Predator’s Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve, 2003
Pretties (Uglies Trilogy) by Scott Westerfeld, 2006
Rip Tide by Kat Falls, 2011
River Rats by Caroline Stevermer, 2005
Saga by Conor Kostick, 2007
Sapphique (Incaceron Trilogy) by Catherine Fisher, 2010
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner 2010
Ship Breaker by PaoloBacigalupi, 2010 (2012 RITBA Nominee)
Specials (Uglies Trilogy)by Scott Westerfeld, 2007
The Telling by Ursula K. LeGuin, 2000
Uglies (Uglies Trilogy) by Scott Westerfeld, 2005 (2007 RITBA Nominee)
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz, 2010
Unwind by Neil Shusterman, 2007 (2010 RITBA Nominee)
Voices (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K. LeGuin, 2006
We by Yevgeny Zamiatin, 1924
Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) by Lauren Destefano, 2011
The World We Live In (Trilogy) by Susan Beth Pfeffer, 2010
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien, 1974
Other Books by the Author:
Freshman for President, 2008
Crossed, 2011 (sequel to Matched)
About the Author:
I'm Ally Condie, author of the Matched trilogy. Matched was released in November 2010, its sequel, Crossed, will be released on November 1, 2011, and the third book will be released in November 2012. In my former life, I was a high school English teacher (and I still keep my license current, just in case!). In my current life, I write, read, run, and hang out with my three boys. I post (www.allycondie.com) on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and other days if the mood strikes me) and I'm on twitter (@allycondie). Ally Condie 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.
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.