Monday, February 13, 2012
Dedication: "For Ian, who looked up, and started to climb"
First paragraph: "I'm standing in a river. It's blue. Dark blue. Reflecting the color of the evening sky."
Review: This is the second book in the Matched series. However, before you read any more of my review, I'd highly suggest going out and getting a copy of that book and reading it since I can't really review this book without spoiling at least part of the plot of Matched and this is definitely a series worth reading.
Crossed picks up right where Matched left off. There is no extensive reintroducing of characters or reminding you of what is going on. I think that's a good thing (unless you had to wait a year for the second book to come out) because I hate reading a series where each book spends the first 50 pages retelling what you really should have already read.
Cassia has been sent to a work camp to help squelch her rebellious attitude that developed after her Match Banquet, or at least that's what The Society believes. Little do they know, Cassia wanted to be sent away - to be given a chance to find where Ky was sent and bring him home. Cassia is cunning, smart and knows it won't be easy so she leaves behind the safety of Xander and her future and teams up with a girl named Indie to set out on the adventure of her life. It doesn't take long to realize she's searching for more than her stolen love - she searching for a rebellion.
I have an intense love for Utopian society stories. Of course they are never as perfect as they seem and it's always fun to see what the author's imagination can create for the futuristic perfect society. Condie creates the perfect image of this for me. I feel like each detail is carefully thought out and The Society is definitely trying to do good but has lost sight of some of the most important characteristics of a successful leadership. They've decided to bind their citizens to them through lies and deception rather than inspire loyalty through commitment to do good and make the world a better place.
The characters - Cassia, Ky, Xander - are further developed. We get a chance to get to know more about Ky's history. Something I've been dying to discover since I first read Matched back in May. Cassia's development was lacking but I feel like we spent so much time learning about her in the first book that it didn't detract from this story. As for Xander - I still don't know what to think about him. I'm confused. He's a mystery that I think will be discovered in the final book. Even Condie's less prominent characters were developed as much or as little as they needed to be to make this story great.
Finally, I love the strong female role Cassia plays. She relies on others and trusts them as much as someone with her upbringing would trust. She makes her decisions based on this upbringing but she pushes herself harder than normal citizens would and she is determined to right the wrongs she has committed. She's determined to give others the life they deserve and not the one they were assigned.
The only flaw: the final book in the series isn't released until Fall 2012 and this book does not have a satisfying ending! It leaves you with questions that need answering now - not in 8 months from now!
Oh well. Until then you can click here for Ally Condie's official Matched series website.