y 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.

Book Trailer:

Book Talk:
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.

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Free Will & Determination
Mate Selection

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:

  1. What makes Matched dystopian? How does the Society compare with the worlds in other dystopian novels you’ve read.
  2. In what way is it futuristic? What role does technology play in this novel?
  3. 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?
  4. What scene sticks with you after you’ve finished reading? What is it about this book that is most frightening? Most comforting?
  5.  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?
  6.  What is the novel’s major theme, its message for you, the reader? How is this message important to our society today?
  7. 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?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. Cassia has an impossible choice. Would you make the same decision as Cassia? Why or why not?
  11. Now that you’ve read Matched, what questions would you most like to have answered in the upcoming sequel?

Related Websites:
Author's Website -
Matched Official Website -
Book Movements -
Brave New World @ -
Children's Books: Apocalypse Now - Teens turn to dystopian novels by Karen Springen, February 2010 -
Dystopian Categorizatoin -
Dystopian TImeline -
Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics -
“Dystopias: YA Fad, or Here to Stay?” -
List of Dystopian Films -
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster (1909) -

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Other Books by the Author:
Freshman for President, 2008
Crossed, 2011 (sequel to Matched)

About the Author:
Ally CondieI'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 ( 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.