Ally Condie, a Latter-day Saint and graduate of Brigham Young University, is best known as the author of the Matched trilogy. These three books contain all the ingredients for a successful YA (young adult fiction) series: a plucky heroine, a love triangle, a dystopian setting. And a success it is: each volume has spent numerous weeks on various best-seller lists, Disney has optioned the film rights to the trilogy, and numerous fan sites and social media groups are active online. If it were just those ingredients alone, the trilogy would not be worth noting amid the outpouring of YA novels (and YA novels by LDS authors) that has occurred in the past decade. What sets Condie's trilogy apart are its lyrical prose and the complex way it dramatizes the key YA themes of courtship, rebellion, and control, and, above all, the way it explores agency.
As Matched begins, a young woman named Cassia is on a train to City Hall to attend her Match Banquet, one of the few elaborate ceremonies allowed by the Society. Being matched in a couple is an honor, an entry into adulthood. The Match is decided by the Society, which "sorts" individuals based on their compatibility.