Tag Archives: Ky

Author Interviews
November 24, 2010 posted by Christina

Interview with Ally Condie

Ally Condie is the author of the fantastic new novel, Matched, which is our November Book of the Month! She was nice enough to take the time out for a Q&A in the lead up to the book’s release on Nov. 30th (Dec 2nd for Australia).

**Beware of some spoilers ahead**

Cassia’s world in the Society is so complex and fascinating – where did the idea for the story come from?

Matched was inspired by a few different events—specific ones, such as a conversation with my husband and a time we chaperoned a high school prom—and general ones, like falling in love and becoming a parent.
Matched raises a lot of questions about our own society, as well as, what it means to be happy and the value of freedom – are they issues you wanted to particularly highlight?

Yes! I think happiness and freedom are both things we all want in our own lives now. And sometimes it feels like happiness and freedom don’t go hand in hand. Freedom means tough choices, living with consequences. But is true happiness possible without also knowing hardship and despair? I don’t think so. I think you have to have both sides of the coin.

How much research did you have to do before starting this novel?

I didn’t do any research before starting the novel, but as it progressed, I did do a bit of research into optimal fertility ages (so I’d know when the Society would match people) and also into game theory, the prisoner’s dilemma, etc. My husband is an economist so things like game theory and algorithms come up at the dinner table all the time. He was a great resource, but of course any mistakes in the book are mine alone. J

I guess, as the writer, you get to chose which paintings/songs/poems etc get to be included in The Hundred – did you pick your favorites or did you opt for a list of the most popular of each?

I haven’t actually made lists of all the Hundreds. The only ones I “know” for certain are the ones that I’ve used in the book. And my list of favorites would look very different from the Society’s Hundreds. The Society would be very careful not to include anything subversive or inflammatory. The Society has also eliminated a lot of diversity and culture when they made their Hundreds, which is creepy.

Though Cassia seems quite decided in this book on who her Match is, will we see Xander try to make a comeback?

I don’t want to give too much away—but I will say that Xander is not giving up.

The film rights for Matched have been picked up by Disney – has there been any progress so far?

Not yet! Disney is still looking for a screenwriter. But I will be sure to post any updates I can on the blog.

I know I’m dying to find out what happens next (as I’m sure everyone else will be), what can we expect from the next book?

Let’s see…what am I allowed to tell you? 😉 Book 2 will have two narrators telling the story. And it will be the next part of Cassia’s journey, both physically and emotionally.
Any quirky writing rituals or habits? Where do you prefer to write? Cafe, at home…etc

I like to write at home in my basement “office,” and I also like to write at the public library. I drink a LOT of water while I’m writing and I like to wear a certain hoodie. And I don’t snack a lot while I’m writing, but if I need to stay awake, cinnamon bears usually do the trick.
What’s currently in your to-read pile?

Where She Went by Gayle Forman, Great House by Nicole Krauss, and The Beyonders by Brandon Mull. I can’t wait to read them all!

Thank you Ally! Check out our review of Matched here and Ally’s guest blog here

Book Reviews
November 4, 2010 posted by Christina

Matched – Ally Condie

“On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life.
Except he’s not.
In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die.
But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own.
And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel . . .”

On the day of her seventeenth birthday Cassia Reyes finally gets to meet her Match. She’s another example of her Society working with precision and accuracy to achieve the best Match for each of its citizens. But what if they’re wrong? Cassia never questioned that she was meant to be with anyone but Xander…until she noticed Ky.

The civilization the Society has created is based on a utopian principle – its aim is to create an “optimal” life for its citizens. It believes enforcing control, creating restrictions, boundaries, and making certain sacrifices are worth a life free from disease, crime, depression, poverty, hunger and anything else unpleasant that plagued the former society.

Sounds pretty logical right?

Though this sounds all well and good, it’s the flaws and cracks in the plan that shows the dystopia that lies beneath the surface. Everything from paintings, to music, to poetry have been reduced down to one hundred – all else is burnt. The excess is deemed unnecessary. Creativity is dead and gone, with people not even learning how to write by hand or have access to items such as pens and pencils – all communication is done electronically. Your day is strictly scheduled, evenone is uniformed, and your food pre-prepared and customized for your metabolism – no sharing and no treats unless it’s a special occasion. Your dreams are monitored and you’re given the illusion of freedom in an allocated a one hour free-rec time period where approved, supervised activities can take place.

The Society decides where you work, where you live, when you die – even the person you marry is predetermined when you become Matched.

It’s through Cassia that we slowly peel back the layers of a seemingly happy society from the moment she first thinks “that’s not fair”. Initially, I would’ve said Cassia isn’t a very strong character. Looking closer from her perspective though, you see that her view of the Society shows a type of outspoken rebellion that in her world is unheard of, her way of thinking is dramatically changing from what she’s always been led to believe. As she grows closer to Ky and sees the way the Society has treated him, as well as her own family, she finds a reason worth fighting for.

This then poses the question – do you bring down a whole system of social order just for one person when everyone else benefits? Are they really benefitting? Are they even happy? What is happiness?

Ally Condie does an amazing job at building the world in Matched and makes it completely believable. Though it was slow to start, once Cassia starts to come into her own the book really kicks off. The romantic storyline in Matched will completely steal your heart. It was beautiful to see how stolen words could become a secret shared that let love grow.

There is a major difference seen to the type of love between Cassia’s Match – Xander and her chosen love – Ky. I adored Ky, with his innate knowledge, his passion and his control, you’re kept on your toes just waiting for him to come back into the scene. I also admired Xander – he’s loyal and perceptive, and is also coming to see the Society in a new light.

This book is a fantastic start to a clever new series, I am beyond curious to see where the next two books will take us after so much was left hanging right at the end. This book will really get you thinking – just how much is love worth and how much must you sacrifice for the greater good?

Pages: 369
Publication Date: December 2010
Rating: : ★★★★½

Teaser Quote: “The questions in my mind seem to make a humming sound, like the hum of bugs in the woods earlier.
Are you supposed to be my Match?
Later I realize that the one question that didn’t even cross my mind was the most important one of all: Will you keep my secret?”

Matched is set for release on November 30th for the U.S. and December 2nd for Australia.