Reading Level: Young Adult
Series: #1 in the Matched trilogy
Teen Buckeye Book Award (2012), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of the Year for Fiction (2010), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2013)
Plot Summary: Cassia Reyes has never had any cause to doubt the Society and its benevolence. When the Society Matches her to her best friend, Xander, everything seems perfect. But when Cassia catches a glimpse of a different Match for her--one the Society says was just a mistake in the system--her peaceful world explodes into possibilities.
Red Flags: Some very mild violence
My Rating: B
This rating really has less to do with anything technical and more to do with the fact that this story just didn't interest me. If you want a dystopian novel that's heavier on the romance and lighter on the heavier stuff that often comes with dystopian novels, this will hit the spot. If you like an angsty love triangle or fretting over the question of "Which boy??" this is your book! But as for me, it was just kind of dull and uneventful. The Society was kind of interesting but not really new and I didn't have much patience for Cassia's mental back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth) with EVERY decision.
I think Ally Condie has some nice turns of phrase, but I do question her frequent use of people "popping" food in their mouths. You pop nuts, candy or popcorn in your mouth--but noodles? Try popping a forkful of spaghetti in your mouth. It's a small detail, I know, but there are so many words for eating! Shouldn't an author, of all people, know more than one and know which one works best in a sentence?
Overall, for me, a standard dystopian novel with a bit too much romance (and romantical angsting) for my taste.
Also I kept picturing these two boys. Which begs the question, does Ky have a belly button??
"My mother yawns, her blue eyes opening wide." (Just try doing this.)