I don’t really need an excuse or challenge to read. I sometimes need more time, but I never, ever need an extrinsic motivator. But when I came across the 2015 Reading Challenge hosted by Anne at The Modern Mrs. Darcy, the simplicity drew me in.
My January read, the *book “everyone” has read but me* wasn’t just a book, it was actually a trilogy: the Matched trilogy by Allie Condie.
What’s interesting about this series of books is that they are nothing I would have chosen for myself to read. I just finished The Hunger Games trilogy last year because I just don’t do dystopian. Don’t judge me! But like The Hunger Games, the initial premise of the first book hooked me almost immediately.
When Cassia is sent to her Matching Banquet, the Society’s gala event where young adults are introduced to their future spouse, her initial match to Xander is completely expected and welcomed. But when she returns home and attempts to find out more about him via the society-provided data card, she’s faced with a shocking reality: she’s also matched, even if momentarily, to the secretive and quiet Ky. Unable to figure out which match is correct while trying to maintain a low profile in Society sets her on an adventure that challenges her heart, changes her future and forever alters Society in a way that’s been a long time in coming and fresh and new at the same time.
As I’ve read the series, I’ve shared updates with all of my classes. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of boys interested in the series. I have no problem imagining the appeal for teenage girls–the idea of your government assigning you a mate sparks a bit of rebel in every girl. But for the boys, the element of adventure and being forced to find a way to survive when the world seems against you has been the hook that keeps them entranced. Since I can read an average of 200 pages a day when I have time, their initial interest was in my page counts. But they soon started asking about the storyline itself. They couldn’t wait for my daily, one-minute summary of what I’d read the day before and when we missed a day due to snow, asked about the book as they came into the classroom before we even started class.
I absolutely hate when someone gives away a book ending, so I’ll cut out for now. But if you do enjoy a good dystopian or enjoyed The Hunger Games, add it to your own reading list. I’d love to hear what you think–or if you’ve finished it, what you thought.