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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Book Birthday to...MATCHED by Ally Condie

Hi there, readers!
You are in for a special treat me...for today is a BOOK BIRTHDAY celebration of grand proportions.  What's that?  You didn't get an invite?  Pfft!  Don't be silly...I've got one for you right here.

That's right!
Today is the release of this highly sought title, this talk of the town, this wonderful addition to the world of YA literature that's received so much buzz months and months before it ever hit shelves...and with good reason.  Let's get on with the party!  Today's book of choice (if not obvious by now) is...


Cassia, Xander and Ky.  All teens of a certain age, ready to make that leap into the great unknown...or are they.  You see, in their world, unlike yours, The Society makes all their choices for them.  From school to career, clothing to food, life and love...all their needs are taken care of, so what more could they want?  A choice but due to their acceptance of everyday life being as it is, this does not occur to least until now.  There comes a time in each young persons life where they decide whether or not to stay as a 'single' or be 'matched'.  That's right.  Matched.

Matching is done through a process like everything else; in this world, they look at everyone from a genetic standpoint almost like a blueprint and find the best combinations amongst the selections available.  Normal procedure...they attend a matching ceremony, their match is displayed on the giant screen for all to see, and they live happily ever after.  For Cassia, the circumstances are different as her match is unusual occurrence to say the the getting to know you phase is a fair bit less extraordinary; in fact, there's not even really a need for her to explore the get to know your match information given to each participant, but out of curiosity she does...and gets a lot more than she bargained for.  The disc containing Xander's, stats, and more...ALSO contained a brief glimpse of another young man.  One that is an exception to the rules and one that will play a big part in events yet to unfold.  Oh Cassia...whatever will you do?  Be ruled as you are by The Society and the way of life that you know or take a chance on the unknown to discover a future you could scarcely dream of?  The stakes are high, the ending unclear, but the journey to get there....memorable beyond compare.

I was so sad to see this one come to an end! I'd been savoring this one for about a month or two and can honestly say it was a GREAT read. The way it is written allowed me to pick up the book, read a chapter, and then come back to it another day, week, etc, and still be drawn right back into the questions asked...sounds simple, but that's quite a feat in my book.  The characters and their relationships with each other are memorable and heartbreaking all at the same time. Cassia is such a smart girl; accepting what she is told but learning to question things along the way.  Xander...her steadfast, strong, reliable best friend and match, or so The Society tells her so.  Then there is Ky.  He is the exception to the rule and was never supposed to be in the pool of those to be matched...or was he?  After all, The Society controls all they see, who's to say what really happened?  (Okay, sorry that's all the mysterious alluding I will do.)

Funny this is, it's really not hard to see a glimmer of reality in the world the author has created in this novel....a sad and scary truth to be sure. I mean imagine not having to make a decision about anything since they are already made for you.  Sounds ideal in some cases, no more bad dates or trying to decide what's for dinner (really, I can't be the only one that this particular question creates a rousing round of "I don't know, what do you want"'s)...but it also takes away that freedom and adventure that comes with making the choice ourselves.  If we choose wrong, it's a learning experience, but if you we choose correctly, the rewards are that much sweeter.  It just goes to show us that perfect is not always what it appears to be....sometimes we need the messiness of life to help us remember.

Recommended reading for one and all....if it's not in your hands or on your reading list, you don't know what you're missing.  ARC received courtesy of Dutton Children's Books / Penguin USA.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title and their full catalog, visit their website or follow along on Twitter.  One quick final note....there is a special website to give that interactive touch to this book (very appropriate considering all the technology in the story) where you can watch the trailer, read or listen to an excerpt, check out other reviews of the book, and get matched yourself (pretty cool if you ask me)! 

Until next time...happy reading!


Tales of Whimsy said...

OOoooo I really look forward to reading this one. Great review.

Lisa said...

Sounds great. Thanks for the review!

Mavie said...

I read Match already! I totally agree with you. :)

Happy Book Release for Ally! Thanks for your review :)

The1stdaughter said...

Fantastic review! And as usual I love all the images you chose. :o)

I really enjoyed this one, but as an answer to your early mention on my own review...I think I just wanted more of the personal relationships, not just with Xander, but with her mother and other family members. I really enjoyed the beginning with her grandfather, but we all know what happened to him. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book, the writing is just excellent!

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