BY SEAN CLARK

[JABBIC is now on a monthly schedule. Look for the next one in January. Find previous installments here. And you can suggest covers we should use, or volunteer to write a blurb, by emailing us here.]

JABBIC is kind of like Balderdash with book covers. Based only on the cover at right, four of our contributors made up a one-paragraph premise for this week’s contestant, Matched, by Ally Condie. Can you reverse-engineer their fabrications and pick out the book’s real plot? (The answer will be posted in the comments later today.)

1. Journalist Sara Harmon should have known better.  She’d never had much faith in online dating, but meeting Mark began to change her mind. Handsome, funny, successful – he was everything she’d been looking for… Wasn’t he?  Sara has to call on all of her investigative skills to uncover whether she’s met the man of her dreams or trapped herself in a nightmare of deceit.  Romance meets thriller in Condie’s debut novel that delivers a timely, although somewhat predictable, reminder of the dangers lurking for single women looking for love on the internet.

2. In this modern-day changeling story, Samantha Ryan is trapped in the faerie realm by her deceptive twin, Ryan Samantha. Forced to reckon with otherworldly powers, Samantha will draw from the inner strength of her heritage to fight her way back into the human world. She must hone her skills in order to stand up to Ryan, ensuring that this time the battle is evenly matched.

3. For Cassia, nothing is left to chance–not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the “burden” of choice. When Cassia’s best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable–rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her. As author Ally Condie’s unique dystopian Society takes chilling measures to maintain the status quo, Matched reminds readers that freedom of choice is precious, and not without sacrifice.

4. Last she remembered, Amelia Flent was reveling in the last dance of her Senior Prom,wrapped neatly in her boyfriend’s arms and praying for the moment never to end.Now Amelia has awoken to find herself kneeling in the center of a sterile white room, inexplicably surrounded by her entire immediate family, half the Prom, and Kev, her boyfriend, his tux torn and blood-spattered, his face drained. She is encased, trapped alone in a warm, hard sphere, and despite her pleas for help, ignored by those she loves most. Shocked, she realizes they are looking not at her, but at an identical sphere next to her in which a girlwho looks eerily like Amelia lies lifeless and bloody. In Ally Condie’s riveting new sci-fi narrative, we follow Amelia’s journey of discovery as she struggles to come to terms with who and what she really is and to carve out a place in this world for herself and others like her.

5. Nora Filigree, a daughter of privilege, whose surpassing beauty is matched only by her keen intellect and fierce sense of independence, finds herself victim of an arranged marriage. Never having been consulted by her father, or her prospective consort, she finds herself little more than a trophy wife. Despite strong feminist convictions, and  her misconceptions about arranged marriages as being barbaric and cruelly chauvinistic, Nora eventually comes to terms with her marriage and ironically finds herself immensely satisfied.

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