Ally Condie used to teach high school English in Utah and in upstate New York. Currently, she is employed by her three little boys, who keep her busy playing trucks and building blocks.
Gr 7 Up-In Ally Condie's first title (Dutton, 2010) of a planned trilogy, citizens no longer have the burden of choice-from selecting meals and leisure activities to occupations and life partners, everything is regulated by the Society. Cassia, 17, is so happy the night she is matched with Xander, her best friend. But when she sees Ky's face appear for an instant on the Matching screen, she begins to question everything she believes, despite reassurance that seeing Ky was a glitch in the system. Kate Simses conveys Cassia's confusion and growing love for Ky as well as her determination to somehow make her own choices despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. There are a few jarring notes in this otherwise intriguing world which has clear echoes of George Orwell's 1984. The words police and money aren't mentioned at all until the last quarter of the story, when they suddenly make an appearance and bring those concepts into the Society's more sterile world, which doesn't seem to need money or police. Also, the intermittent music that appears later in the audiobook distracts rather than enhances the building tension. Still, the cliffhanger ending will have teens that enjoy dystopian worlds excitedly awaiting the next installment.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, who to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn't be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky's face show up on her match disk as well? She's told it was an error, but something once noticed clamors for attention, and now Cassia can't look away. Ky has many secrets, but the most stunning to Cassia is something she never suspected still existed: creativity. As they fall in love, Cassia's eyes are opened to the truth of the Society, and she knows she can no longer blindly follow its dictates. But the Society isn't through with them, and things get much, much uglier. Condie's enthralling and twisty dystopian plot is well served by her intriguing characters and fine writing. While the ending is unresolved (the book is first in a trilogy), Cassia's metamorphosis is gripping and satisfying. Ages 14-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.