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Amulet 6: Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi
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Below by Meg McKinlay
Birdmen by Lawrence Goldstone
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Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle
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Ghostbusters, Volume 7: Happy Horror Days! by Erik Burnham
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Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson
If This Be Sin by Hazel Newlevant
Little Bo in London by Julie Andrews Edwards
Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch by Eric Orchard
Madlenka by Peter Sis
Matched by Ally Condie
Neurocomic by Hana Ros and Matteo Farinella
1.4 by Mike A. Lancaster
Over The Wall by Peter Wartman
Sea of Shadows: Age of Legends by Kelley Armstrong
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
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Comments for Matched

Matched: 11/26/14

cover art

Matched by Ally Condie is the first of the Matched trilogy. Cassia at age 17 is ready for the matching ceremony and lucky enough to have it fall on her actual birthday. Most teens are matched to other teens living in different cities but Cassia's match ends up being her best friend, who is also present at the ceremony. Just as she's settling into the perfect fairytale ending ever, the picture in her matching info packet changes, to show another boy she knows, and one due to a family crime can never be matched.

That opening scene sets up a near future society familiar to any regular reader of speculative or dystopian fiction. It's set squarely with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ira Levin's This Perfect Day. As the society seems to be functioning at the start of the book — with a fairly high acceptance rate — I'd say the book is closer to Levin than Orwell.

The Society's stated goal (whether true or not) is to provide the best possible life for all its citizens through the management of personal data. Cassia is on track to be a Sorter — one of the Society who take the data and make decisions based on it. She's very good at it — efficient and observant. And as she has the eyes of the Society for a very important position, she gets glimpses into the seedier underpinnings of it.

And it was through the Sorting plot that I fell in love with the book. See, I'm a sorter too, of a sort. The Society is basically a curated one, a civilization created and run by over zealous librarians who uniformly decided on the 100 best songs, 100 best poems, 100 best novels, 100 best movies and how best to use metadata to manage people.

Five stars

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