The Dragon Whistler

The Dragon Whistler
Now available in paperback.


Matched by Ally Condie

As far as dystopian goes, there are many out there for YA readers right now (my recent reviews seem to be filled with them). In the MATCHED trilogy (Penguin, 2011) a future Society maintains complete control so that all needs are met, disease is eliminated, nutrition is regulated and everyone knows exactly when they will die.

Genetic curation through the Matching process (i.e. scientifically arranged marriages) allows the Society to give citizens a healthy, long life — one without freedom to choose — and with a defined ending even if your body is able to live beyond 80.

Cassia Reyes has just found out that her match happens to be her best friend Xander. This is unusual, as most girls have never met their match until the matching banquet, so she feels very lucky. But when she looks at the match data traditionally distributed to matches so they can get to know each other, a flash of another face (an alternate match?) shows up on the screen.

This hint that the process may not be as perfect as it seems sets Cassia's mind down a dangerous path. The other boy, Ky, is only an acquaintance, and Cassia soon learns he has more of a mysterious past than she knew. Could the Society have made a mistake? Was Ky meant to be her match? This seed of doubt grows after her grandfather's 80th birthday and he reveals to her that he and her grandmother didn't always follow the Society's rules.

The Society only allowed the preservation of 100 songs, poems, stories, paintings, (etc),  and the ones kept were chosen for a reason. A stolen poem is her grandfather's last gift to her, and the secret feeds the fire of rebellion in Cassia's heart.

A deeply woven story of self-discovery in a time reminiscent of many other futuristic utopian stories (funny how those NEVER work out), MATCHED is one of those dystopians that prove HUNGER GAMES might have re-introduced today's readers to the genre, but there are unlimited ways to tell such stories.

Book 2, CROSSED, is out and the third book REACHED comes out in the fall.

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