Book Review: Matched by Allie Condie

Matched by Allie Condie

Published September 2011

Summary:  Set in a post-apocalyptic America, called the Society , the novel follows Cassia through her Matching ceremony. In this new world everything is laid out for citizens: their food is premeasured and send to them, their jobs are based on intense aptitude tests and their deaths are pre-planned. Matching is at the center of these plans and involves young people being chosen for each other by a committee. The Matching Ceremony allows the young people to see a picture of their match for the first time and to revel in their new “adulthood.”After the ceremony, the matched are given a computer chip with information about their intended so that they can get to know them. Cassia’s experience is complicated by the fact that she sees someone other than her Match on the computer chip. When this happens she begins seeing all of the things that have gone wrong within the Society.

Bechdel Test?: Cassia doesn’t really have any girlfriends so this is a little hard to determine. There is a female government official with whom she has conversations about the state of things, so I think it passes!

Rating: 3/5

Though I’m late to the party — the third book in the trilogy comes out this fall– I’m glad that I arrived! This is a thoughtful book about how government control can corrupt a society. I was most intrigued by the way the Society interacted with art and culture. . The Society decided that the world was too cluttered by choice so a committee chose 100 paintings, 100 poems, and other things to save and then burned all of the rest. I was appalled at the destruction of important documents but found it amazing that these treasures play such a central role in the novel!

Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott


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Pure by Julianna Baggott

Published February 2012

Summary:  It’s post-apocalyptic! (Note: this may seem novel at this point but once I post a few reviews you’ll start to notice a trend. I have a real think for post-apocalyptic YA and lucky for me there’s a lot of it. ) The world as we know it ended with a nuclear explosion. Some were able to escape the nasty fall-out by going into the Dome, a sort of biosphere with genetically engineered everything. Those who were left on the outside were disfigured and became part of whatever was around them at the time of the explosion. Enter Pressia and Partridge (ignore their names, yes they’re weird). Pressia grew up in the desolate landscape outside of the dome. She has a doll fused to her hand and lives in fear of the dangers lurking outside her door. Partridge grew up in the Dome and had the privileged life of a leading politician’s son. Both think the grass is greener on the other side.

Bechdel Test?: Surprisingly it passes with flying colors! Pressia befriends the wife of another politician and they have several interactions about how to overthrow the current system. Even better? Pressia’s mother isn’t entirely absent.

Series Potential?: Sure! There’s a lot more to be unpacked about the politics of the Dome and I would love to see more about what made Patridge’s father become as he is.

Rating: 4/5
For a post-apocalyptis YA it’s original and so interesting. It’s hard not to compare Pressia to Katniss Everdeen with all of the Hunger Games hype right now. This doesn’t necessarily bother me–I like to think the YA world is big enough for more than one kick-ass female hero!