cover image for MatchedCondie, Ally. (2010) Matched. New York, NY: Dutton Books.

Plot Summary:

On her seventeenth birthday, Sorters from the Matching Department will announce who Cassie will be partnered with.  Cassie knows her match will be perfect, only the best Sorters do Matches and every pairing is based on statistics and experience.  But when her Matching Card flashes two images, not just one, Cassie begins to doubt the well-ordered society she lives in.  Can she find out the truth behind the false match? Does this mean there is a flaw in the Match she was given? Is there more going on than citizens have been led to believe?

Critical Evaluation:

Like many dystopias that appear to be set in a future North America, I kept wondering where all the blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans were – it’s never said that everyone is white, but the only people whose appearance is described are white.  It’s a bit jarring, especially in a book in which every aspect of people’s lives are controlled.  I kept wondering if maybe there was something more sinister at play – and then deciding that no, it’s simply bad writing.  Aside from being shockingly (but, depressingly, not unusually) non-inclusive, this kind of oversight points to incomplete world building.  There are times when the future that Cassie lives in feels cohesive and possible, at other times the gaps in our knowledge seem to be more because the author does not know than because the Citizens do not.  Cassie, at least, is a likable and believable heroine, flawed, determined, and curious.  In the end it’s not a bad book, merely a pedestrian one.

Reader’s Annotation:

Cassie, now that she is seventeen, is about to find out who she will be Matched with.  She knows that whoever it is, he will be perfect; the Sorters never make mistakes.

Author Information:



Science Fiction

Booktalking Ideas:

As with most dystopias, the premise is what will draw readers in and what I would emphasize.

Reading Level/Target Age:

4th grade/14-17

Possible Controversy:

As with all dystopian novels, there is a lot in here about corrupt governments and questioning authority.  It’s also part of the recent trend that is almost nostalgic about modern day, however, so it’s less likely to attract challenges than other popular dystopias.

Reasons For Choosing This Title:

This is one of the dystopias I read for our group project; it’s a title that I’ve heard many people talk about and have helped many teens request.



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