I was part of this book pairing. My wonderful partner took on the duties of writing up our rationale for the book that we feel should move on to the next round. We both liked the two novels that we were chosen to read, but one stood out in the spotlight. We think we found ourselves a book that could make it far.
The books that we had to read were
Matched by Ally Condie
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen
Here is our rationale and the book we are moving on to Round 2
Although I really enjoyed both books, my vote has to go to Matched by Allie Condie.
Some people may feel that the whole dystopia theme is being over done, however I think Matched has done it in such a creative way.
I really like the idea of a future society that feels compelled to narrow down what they deem as too much information, such as only keeping 100 songs and 100 poems. Plus, they specialize so much that they are at the point where no one can do any other task or job that they aren't trained to do. For instance you can't make dinner because that's the job of the food crew, not you.This way everyone is dependent on the Society to keep order and comfort. It didn't lean too heavily on the love story aspect, which was nice as well. In my opinion, an all around original book and I can't wait for the second one to come out later this year.
Runaway is a good story with a strong plot, but how many ways can someone do the "write a diary to your teacher in which you're hesitant and resentful at first, but eventually you let your deepest darkest thoughts and feelings pour out on paper"? I thought that the "voice" of the main character Holly was so realistic and it helped draw me into the book. I think some of the actual reality of being a lone, 12 year old girl on the street was glossed over a bit.
So in the end, my choice is for Matched to move on.