My friends and I have known Ally Condie since 2008 when we first invited her to a celebratory party for Freshman for President. Ever since then, we’ve hosted a party for her with each book release of the Matched trilogy. (I wasn’t able to go to the Crossed one.)
Last night, we had our Reached party and it was so much fun. We found out Ally’s favorite food is chicken tikka masala. We decided to order it for everyone from the Bombay House, a local Indian restaurant. Although, I ate vegetable coconut kurma. We also had naan, curried cauliflower, red lentil soup, and salad. Our food was served in tinware to represent how the food is served in The Society. My friend, Christie, made a pond drink with swedish fish to represent the poisoned fish found in the ponds in Crossed. We hoped the fish would float, but they didn’t. My other friend, Meagan, made delectable brownies with cute green, blue, and red M&Ms on them.
After dinner, we played a really fun game called Scribblish, but we did it Matched Trilogy style. We started out with a sentence representing one of the books, then the next person had to draw a picture to represent the sentence, and then the next person had to write out another sentence based on the picture. We did this for seven rounds and then read the final sentences. Some of them were pretty close and most weren’t.
After the game, we asked Ally questions about writing, the trilogy, and her upcoming projects (she wasn’t able to share anything because she’s not at liberty to say anything yet, but she is working on other things). She also told us a little about how much research it took to just get the plague right.
Afterward, we showed her the gallery. Most people brought an art project of some kind–painting, quilting, writing, etc.–to represent all the art within the trilogy. Ally really liked this and we all enjoyed finding out why the “artist” chose to do what they did.
We gave Ally a picture from the Hubble Telescope to represent that it’s okay to wonder. And, my friend, Nancy, gave Ally a beautiful wind chime made out of heirloom depression glass because Ally named a character after her in Reached. (I was too shocked at the thought and the beauty of the gift to remember to take a picture.) Then, Nancy gave everyone party favors of little bird salt and pepper shakers to represent the mud glass bird in chapter 13–Dalton Fuller, the character who made the bird is the one named after Nancy. Each box came with a picture of something to do with the trilogy and once of Nancy’s favorite action words from the trilogy. I chose “Hope” with a picture of the Carving.
All in all, it was such a fun night. We had a lot of laughs and enjoyed each other’s company. I really love that my group of friends go all out to show Ally, and other authors, a good time at our parties!