The LA Times featured a review today of Ally Condie's breakout novel Matched, the first book of her dystopian trilogy, and I have to say it sounds pretty good.
According to the Times:
It's a story that will appeal to fans of Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" and Allegra Goodman's "The Other Side of the Island" — young-adult titles that follow similarly well-behaved and intelligent heroines who slowly realize they've been duped.
- From Booklist:
“Do not go gentle into that good night.” Cassia’s feelings of security disintegrate after her grandfather hands her a slip of paper just before his scheduled death at age 80. Not only does she now possess an illegal poem, but she also has a lingering interest in the boy who fleetingly appeared on her viewscreen, the one who wasn’t her match, the man she will eventually marry. What’s worse, she knows him—his name is Ky, and he is an orphan from the Outer Provinces. How could she love him as much as Xander, her match and best friend since childhood? The stunning clarity and attention to detail in Condie’s Big Brother–like world is a feat. Some readers might find the Society to be a close cousin of Lois Lowry’s dystopian future in The Giver (1993), with carefully chosen work placements, constant monitoring, and pills for regulating emotional extremes. However, the author just as easily tears this world apart while deftly exploring the individual cost of societal perfection and the sacrifices inherent in freedom of choice. Grades 9-12. --Courtney Jones
- If comparisons to Lois Lowry, Suzanne Collins, and Allegra Goodman aren't enough, consider this: There are already talks to make Matched into a movie; Signed advanced copies of the book are listing for up to $80; There was an auction with 7 publishers fighting for rights to publish the book before Penguin/Dutton won out with a 7 figure bid for the trilogy. This is a book that everyone in the publishing world seems to be clamoring for/over. Not to mention the number of positive reviews coming out.
As a reader of YA dystopian novels, this is one that will find its way into my collection. As a collector of books, this may be the next Hunger Games (at least that's what the publishers are hoping), but its collectibility is yet to be seen. According to Publishers Weekly, Penguin has printed 250,000 in the first run, which is not outrageous, but its not low either. This is also not Condie's first novel. Since 2006, she's written five YA novels, most with a religious slant. However, this is considered her break-away novel. Naturally, the value of the book will be highest if you can acquire a signed copy.
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- List Price: $17.99
- Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 30, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0525423648
- ISBN-13: 978-0525423645
Labels: Ally Condie, collectible, Crime fiction, dystopian, Matched, science fiction, teen, YA