New York: Penguin Group, 2010.
366 pages. +16 pages from next book Crossed. Grades 6 and up.
Cassia Maria Reyes lives in the perfect world and is preparing for one of her biggest nights of her life–the Matching Banquet. Where young women and men are paired with the person they will marry. The society matches them—all their data has been computed and the perfect match is selected (from any- where on the continent) and then revealed on this lovely occasion. That evening the food is wonderful and dresses are gorgeous–a far cry from the drab everyday clothes that everyone wears on a daily basis and the foil preselected foods that get delivered to their homes. Clothes are not only drab but everyone must wear the same clothes for everyone is equal.
Does Cassia have just enough choice in her life to keep her life content? After all the society before them had so much technology, that when technology failed—so did that society. Life is simpler for Cassia and her family, limited technology, society has kept the 100 best poems, 100 best paintings, 100 best books—the 100 best of everything and the rest was destroyed to keep their lives simpler and uncluttered. She has one token belonging—her grandmothers compact which she cherishes deeply.
But everything changes when there is a matching glitch and when grandfather dies. A slight glitch at Match Night during her match—the screen has gone blank—but then Xander Thomas Carrow face a appears, a boy she has known all her life, this was truly rare but Cassia couldn’t be happier until she catches a glitch on her port card of the boy who must have been on the screen during the blank out. Cassia shares all this with her grandfather on his predetermined death date (his 80th birthday) and he gives her something that changes her life forever.
A must read book—girls will like the love triangle, the boys will love the game intrigue and everyone will be enthralled with the time old question: can people be truly free without the freedom of choice?
I am intrigued by the parallel to Nazi Germany– great possibilities for use in the classroom. This was a great read!
Crossed is the sequel and is currently out. Reached will be out in November 2012. 🙂
Author Website: Ally Condie A great website to checkout! She links a playlist of music to match her books–fun!