When I fist spoke with Ally Condie in February 2010, she was promoting her sixth published title, “Being Sixteen,” a book about sisters dealing with eating disorders. At the time, she was also basking in the glow of having signed a three-book deal with Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.
The product of that three-book deal: The Matched Trilogy.
“It’s starting to sink in,” she told me. “I’ve been writing books for a long time, almost 8 years. I’ve been writing for several hours a day. But it’s more. This is bigger.”
In “Matched,” Ally asks the simple question, “What if your government chose who you married, who you were matched with?”
The ensuing story follows Cassia, a 17-year-old, who grows up knowing “the Society” will select her ideal mate, only to find herself falling in love with someone else. As the tale unfolds, Cassia is forced to make impossible choices with lifelong consequences.
“It’s not a contemporary novel, which I’ve always written,” Ally said of “Matched” this past November. “But I’m the same writer. … There’s not a huge departure in style of writing or the content. But it’s a very different setting that I think is exciting.”
“Crossed,” the second book in The Matched Trilogy, hits bookstores on Nov. 1, but fans of the series can read the upcoming novel’s first two chapters in the trade paperback edition of “Matched,” which will be released Tuesday.
Ally hopes her readers can take away whatever they need from her story. “I hope there is something there for a reader — whether it’s relating to a character or reading a scene that feels true or anything else,” she said in a recent press release.
Also available Tuesday is “Enthralled,” a short story collection in which Ally contributed the story “Leaving.”
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