Published by Penguin Group on 11/1/2011
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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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.
Crossed is the second in the Matched series by Ally Condie. In Crossed, Cassia has been taken to a camp, where she labors each day for the Society and secretly plots a way to find Ky. She’s no longer the girl excited for her Matched Ceremony, just another sheep in the herd; she’s determined to find him, at almost any cost.
I really liked Matched a lot, even though it has less action than most other books in the dystopian genre. There is a particular sinister undercurrent to the Society that I enjoyed immensely. Crossed didn’t have as much of that, because hey, you already know they’re sinister so the cat’s out of the bag, right? Crossed becomes about Cassia trying to reach Ky, wherever he is, and also trying to leave the Society. There is no Pleasantville-esque landscape; the world around her is rough and tumble, barren and dry. But what I found really scary is not only what the Society controlled within their walls, but what they controlled outside as well. Just how far are they willing to go to control their people? You’ll have to read to find out, but it’s kind of crazy.
Cassia and Ky have been sent to camps where bombs are dropped by the “Enemy” nightly and they have to act like decoy villagers. I have a feeling there is no Enemy; these are all anomalies and abberations, the Society doesn’t care about them!
Ally Condie builds on her characters throughout Crossed. Cassia is much stronger than she was in Matched, but she also doesn’t feel so front and center either. A lot of that has to do with the dual-perspective, because Crossed is written in first-person, from both Cassia AND Ky’s point of view. I’ve never been a fan of that, although it was done pretty elegantly in Crossed. I still had a hard time figuring out whose chapter it was though, because I would miss their name at the beginning of it and have to flip back. But I digress. As I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself with my own tangent, Cassia grows as a character throughout Crossed and I enjoyed that. Gone is the little sheep who believes whatever anyone tells her and in place of that is a strong woman, willing to fight for what she believes in. We really get to know Ky in Crossed in a way we never did in Matched. He is such a deep character, much deeper than originally portrayed and he has been faced with such tragedy…we finally get to know his story. I really like him. Xander is SUCH a surprise. I really love Xander. For the second time ever, I have no idea who I want a character to end up with in a love triangle – Ky or Xander? Who do you think it should be? Condie gives us other characters that are also very fascinating: Vick and Indie were my two favorites. Vick was a hard character to “read” but in the end, I understood him very well. Indie was also very hard to “read” and seemed as though she had her own agenda. I had a hard time figuring out if she had ulterior motives or if she was genuine. I went back and forth on her very often. Condie details them both richly.
So yes, while Crossed wasn’t as good as Matched, it is still quite entertaining. I’m really hoping for a lot of action in the last book, especially considering where Crossed takes us. I had a hard time putting it down and I definitely recommend it to any fan of Matched or the dystopian genre.
If I died here, and someone were to carve my epitaph on the stone of this cave, I don’t know what I would want them to write.
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