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Jul 08

Teens Review, SRP Edition: The Selection & Matched

Posted on July 8, 2020 at 12:00 AM by Elizabeth Land

During this year's Summer Reading Program, teens can submit reviews of books they have been reading. Below find our first two reviews, both dystopian young adult fiction. Already read these? Check out our list of readalikes, hand-picked by library staff.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Reviewer: Diane H.The Selection by Kiera Cass book cover
Rating: 5 stars
I've read this book twice now and both times it felt like a completely different book. It is the type of story that the more you read the more details you pick up.

It follows the life of America Singer. She lives in a society that is separated by castes and she is in one of the lower ones. When her name is picked to come to the palace and compete in The Selection, which gives her a chance to compete for Prince Maxon's heart, she takes it not because she wants the crown or his love, but for her family to get money sent home and to enjoy the palace's food. Little does she know that Maxon will take her stubbornness as a challenge and try to win her heart.

Matched by Ally Condie
Review by: Phoebe S. Matched by Ally Condie book cover
Rating: 3 Stars
I have wanted to read Matched, by Ally Condie, for a while. It’s on most young adult dystopian book lists, so I had high expectations for it. Certain parts of the story were good, but overall it wasn’t as good as I was thinking it was going to be. Matched is about a girl named Cassia who lives in a dystopian world called the Society. In the Society, the officials control everything, including who you marry. The book starts on Cassia’s seventeenth birthday, which is the day she will be matched with her life partner. The book follows what happens before and after Cassia gets matched.

The main thing I enjoyed about this book was that it surprised me. As I started it, I thought it was just an average young adult dystopian story. I quickly predicted that Cassia would be matched with Xander, who she had been friends with since they were little. However, things started to get interesting when, the day after being matched with Xander, she inserted the micro card she received and saw a different boy’s face. Sadly, that was the best part of the book, and that occurred in the second or third chapter. The story was slow at points and I didn’t see where it was going. I only stuck with it because I had heard so much about it.

The main problem with this book is that there are so many young adult dystopian novels. Unless what the author has written is something new and amazing, it is hard to wow the reader. Especially a reader like me who has read so many other dystopian books. Matched had a lot of elements that I have already seen in other books, making it seem less original. So, if someone hasn’t read a lot of dystopian books, they might enjoy it, but if someone is a big fan of dystopian books, they might find this story boring and predictable.

Dystopian Readalikes
  • Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu book cover
    Summary: In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    Summary: Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a post-apocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
    Summary: Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until right before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
    Summary: In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
    Summary: Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.
Summer Reading

These reviews were submitted as part of the York County Public Library Summer Reading program, where we're imagining our stories everyday. Are you a teen participant? Make sure you submit a review of a book you read during the program to help earn your "Imagine Your Story" Quest activity badge. Haven't registered, yet, you say? It's not too late to sign up! Register through our Summer Reading Portal and start logging minutes and activities to win prizes all summer long.