Author: Ally Condie
Published: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Series: Matched #2
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Rating: 3 stars
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*Warning: This book review contains spoilers for Matched*
“Everyone has something of beauty about them. But loving let's you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as why's, you can love those parts too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete.”My Thoughts
― Ally Condie, Crossed
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever. (Goodreads)
If I had to compare Crossed to Matched, I'd have to say I was a little disappointed. Sure, I had some issues with Matched, but I was all excited to read about life outside the Society and I wanted to see Cassia and Ky reunited. Yet Crossed was just missing that spark, that oomph that makes a book last in your memory. Every page was beautifully written, and Condie has a poetic style of writing. There were so many wonderful quotes that I kept reading over and over again. But when it came to actual plot, I can't help but feel that not much happened in this book. For most of Crossed, Cassia is searching for Ky. Nothing important really happens until the end. While we learn more about life outside the Society and the suffering of the Aberrations, I found this book was more of a in-between book in the series, one of those filler novels that moves the reader into the third book.
I did love how Crossed shifted between Ky's and Cassia's POV's. We finally learn more about Ky, and all of those burning questions I wanted answered from the first book are answered. Unfortunately, with books that have more than one POV, there's always the chance that one of the POV's will be less interesting. In Crossed, I loved reading Ky's thoughts, but I always wanted to speed through Cassia's side of things to reach Ky's parts. It's not that I don't like Cassia, but that I just didn't care what happened to her. That sounds awful, but I wasn't invested in her throughout the whole book. Plus, I felt no chemistry between Ky and Cassia. They had their stolen moments, but it just wasn't the passionate romance I would have imagined.
The love triangle: frustrating. I feel like I keep repeating myself, but I really need to read a book without a love triangle next. I know it was necessary for the premise with the whole two Matchs received which is an anomaly, but I'm still not a fan. I love both Ky and Xander, and I hate to think that one of them or both will get hurt in the end. For the love triangle to work in this case, I think both of the guys need to be present throughout the book, driving Cassia to have to choose between her safe life in the Society and a dangerous match with an Aberration. But the book synopsis above is a little misleading because Xander was hardly in Crossed. I wanted to see more of him. He was present in thought and conversation, but he just wasn't a significant part of the book. There was an unpredictable twist concerning Xander which interested me (no spoilers), but I wanted more scenes between Cassia and Xander. Right now, it just feels like it's Cassia and Ky, and then that other guy. Not cool.
As always, I loved the inclusion of poetry and the value given to literature and art in Crossed. I liked the new characters introduced, especially Vick. I couldn't stand Indie, but she's a strong character (though a little cold) and the complete opposite of Cassia. I'm glad it wasn't the same old characters, and I loved the Carving and the new parts of this dystopian world we're allowed to see. But I was confused about the whole Enemy versus the Society versus the Rising. I thought the Enemy was the rebellion? Maybe I just missed something.
I will read the third book, Reached, when it comes out in November because I feel like I've committed to this series, and now I have to know what happens. I just hope I like the third book more than Crossed. I liked the sequel, but it's not a new favorite or a possible reread.