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Teen Review: Matched by Allyson Condie

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia was so excited for her Matching ceremony. She’s been restlessly waiting for 17 years for this day to come. The Matching ceremony is when she will know who she has been ‘matched’ with. Who she will marry, who she will have kids with, and who she will spend the rest of her life with. Who she is matched with is of course decided by the Society. Every single decision is made by the Society.

When the day comes, Cassia and everyone at the ceremony become utterly surprised when they see that Cassia’s match is her best friend, Xander. It is extremely uncommon that the two matches already know each other, so the two best friends become sort of celebrities.

At the ceremony, every Matched girl/boy receives a card that holds more information on their match. When Cassia entered her card about her match, instead of seeing Xander’s face and facts, a different face appears on the screen…Ky Markham’s.

Ky was just a mutual friend of Cassia and Xander, but now that Cassia has seen Ky’s face on her Match card, she can’t stop thinking about him. She’s suddenly doubting everything the Society stood for. She doesn’t want all of her decisions to be made for her anymore, especially when it comes to whom she loves.

Cassia learns more and more about the world she lives in and in return learns more about herself and about the person she truly loves, Ky.

This book is interesting because it was about a young girl completely going against everything she’s ever known. The love story in it is sweet and cute, but most of the characters are rather one dimensional. Overall, this book would be rated a 3/5.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

If you’re an avid reader of the Farmer’s Almanac you’ll know that the last winter frost of the year usually occurs sometime this week in Pittsburgh.   If you’re not an avid reader of the Farmer’s Almanac, you may wonder why you should care about this random meteorological fact… Don’t worry.  I’m here to help!

Right now is the best time to plan your spring garden.  Now that there’s no more danger of frost you can begin planting all the fruits, vegetables, and flowers you’d like. Gardening is so rewarding and really pretty simple.  It only takes a little time and even less money to get started.  Plus it beautifies your community, helps the environment, and can provide a year’s worth of healthy food to eat.

You might be imagining a huge garden with tons of flowers and good things to eat.  And that’s a great way to start, but if you’re a little shorter on space, money or time there are still lots of great options to check out.

If your plan is to transform your whole back yard into an edible landscape there are plenty of resources out there for foods that look beautiful and taste great.  Or you can go all out and design an entire outdoor space to meet all your needs.

If some vegetables and flowers in the yard are more your speed maybe a few small raised beds are the way to go.

If you’re like a lot of Pittsburghers, without a front or back yard space to work with, there are still plenty of ways you can grow flowers and food.   You can make a window farm start a herb garden or build a gutter garden.

Or if you love the idea of planing things but cant think of a single place around your home to grow them, get in touch with a community garden organizer near you.  Some people even go underground with their gardening passion.

Really, whatever your style you can find a way to go plant something and now is the perfect time!

-Brooke

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