A couple of weeks ago, Ally Condie came to Oxford as part of the Oxford Conference for the book. The ninth graders in Oxford read MATCHED and heard her speak about her writing process and how she came up with ideas for her book.
My favorite story that she told was about students at a high school where she taught English. At this school, when prom season rolled around, several of the senior boys (football players, student council members ...) didn't ask a date. Then a list circulated around a couple of weeks before prom which listed the names of all the girls who didn't have dates to the prom--and all of the guys who had waited asked those girls to go with them. That way, all of the girls got to go to the prom and nobody stayed home crying in their pillows. Pretty sweet, huh?
This was just one of the stories that sparked Ally's imagination as she was writing MATCHED--what if everyone were paired up, but the stakes were even higher? What if you were matched up with the person you were going to spend the rest of your life with?
If you haven't read MATCHED yet, where have you been??? From the MATCHED website, here's a quick summary:
In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.
Ally posted about her trip to Mississippi on her blog. Thanks Ally! We loved hanging out with you!!
And, this book's clean. I was happy to pass it along to my twelve-year-old who absolutely couldn't put it down and is begging me to score an ARC for the next book in the series CROSSED which comes out this fall.
Check out the other Bookanista posts this week: