[YA/Dystopian Review + GIVEAWAY!] REACHED by Ally Condie

Posted on 11/28/2012 in Book Review, Giveaway / 61 Comments

[YA/Dystopian Review + GIVEAWAY!] REACHED by Ally CondieReached by Ally Condie
Published by Penguin Group on 11/13/2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 512
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.


In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.


Finally, after two years since the beginning of the MATCHED trilogy, we finally get to the conclusion of an epic dystopian series.  Except…it turns out not so epic, for me.

Cassia, Ky and Xander have reached the resistance, and have been dispersed to various assignments, aiding in the Rising’s goal of seizing control from the Society.  The love triangle continues in this third book, but it becomes obvious who Cassia will choose (and let’s just say, it’s not who I had hoped for).  The Rising is prepping to take over the Society, albeit in a pretty nasty way.

I really liked MATCHED.  I thought the world was intriguing, and I was hoping that Condie would explore it more in CROSSED.  When that didn’t happen, I figured it was just Second-Book Syndrome and we’d finally get an epic conclusion and world-exploration in REACHED.  I truly looked forward to this novel, and while I liked it, I feel a little let down at the same time.  Condie’s writing is fluid and poetic, and it’s nice to read.  But I don’t want nice to read.  I want exciting to read and I don’t feel like I got that in REACHED.  The poetic nature of the book took over the story, so much so, that the action felt overshadowed to me… what little there was of it anyway.  There were also a lot of questions about the world that I thought were left unanswered, like, who exactly is the Society?  Who the hell runs the Society??  Who is the Rising?  Why aren’t people allowed to communicate with one another after the Rising takes over?  This is never explicitly stated, but it’s hinted strongly that they aren’t allowed. And… Who the f*** is the Enemy?!  This one bothered me the most, because The Enemy is mentioned in all three books, but you never find out who they are and I think Condie just expects her readers to accept that an enemy exists and they needed to be dealt with.  Yeah….no.  Not this reader.

I also feel like Cassia’s character never really grows from MATCHED to REACHED.  Yes, she has to make tough decisions, and I respect her for them, but in the end, I think she’s the same person she was in the beginning, just a little more worldly about her surroundings.  I disliked Ky a lot less in REACHED than I did in CROSSED and believe me, that’s a good thing.  I think being in his head less helped his cause a lot, but he also seemed less whiny and more accepting of their situation… and he really seemed to fill out while having something worth fighting for.   (I know in my CROSSED review I said I liked Ky, but after I thought about it some, & met with my book club, I realized, I didn’t really like him all that much and kind of actually wanted to stab him in the gut, he was such a crybaby.  But anyway…).  In the end, I was really proud of Ky.

Xander was the most interesting character of this book.  Finally, we get the story from his point of view, and he had so much going on in that head of his, that I found him fascinating.  It’s clear that when Xander loves, he loves with his whole being, but he also feels a sense of purpose in his life that his love doesn’t necessarily distract him from.  He is multi-dimensional, and multi-faceted.

There are a lot of themes going on in this novel, but the one that at one point wanted to make me beat myself in the head was The Pilot.  Pilot pilot pilot pilot pilot pilot pilot.  God damn, it was all they talked about, like an obsession really.  At one point, I was ready to scream, “STFU about The Pilot already!”  For all their searching for The Pilot, I think the answer to this burning question is, we are our own pilots, carving the way for ourselves.  Or maybe that’s just how I interpreted it.

The other themes throughout REACHED drew heavily on poetry and while Condie’s prose was beautiful, I often felt lost in the story, just trying to muck my way through it, and hoping to understand something in the end.  Most of it I didn’t.

Overall, I did enjoy the book.  It was a good ending to MATCHED and CROSSED, but out of the three, I think the first book was the best, because that’s where we learned the most of the world.  But I think that MATCHED series fans will still love REACHED and I do recommend you read it.  Just make sure you devote the time necessary to puzzling out the writing.



You cannot change your journey if you are unwilling to move at all.

Oh right, the giveaway!

One lucky winner is going to win a signed copy of REACHED by Ally Condie. She is going to be in my lovely town on Thursday for a signing, and I’m going to grab a signed copy…JUST FOR YOU.

Giveaway 411

  • To enter, fill out the rafflecopter widget below
  • You must be 13 years of age or older to enter
  • This is an US-only giveaway, sorry to my international peeps!
  • One entry per person
  • Winner must have a valid US postal address, no PO boxes
  • Winner will be announced on this post after giveaway ends
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond to email or they forfeit their prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimers: This book was purchased by me, but my review is still honest. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads.  *If you decide to purchase this book through any of these links, we do receive a small monetary kick-back that helps fund this blog.


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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.


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61 responses to “[YA/Dystopian Review + GIVEAWAY!] REACHED by Ally Condie

  1. My favorite dystopian of the year is Divergent/Insurgent. I read Divergent right before Insurgent came out and I loved both of them. I really enjoyed Matched, Crossed was good but I was torn. I still am excited to read Reached. Great review & thanks for the giveaway! :]

  2. Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

    This series just didn’t do it for me. I really enjoyed Matched. I desperately awaited Crossed. And then I read Crossed, got halfway through, put the book down and never looked back. I don’t think I’ll ever finish these books based on the reviews I’ve been reading, but I’ll always enjoy Matched as standalone dystopian (even if it doesn’t really standalone!)

  3. My favorite has been Divergent/Insurgent and Vanquished the conclusion to Nancy Holder’s Crusade series. I can’t wait for the last book in the Divergent series, 2013 can’t come soon enough

  4. suzanne_earley

    No wrong answers, right? Why am I nervous, then, about picking a favorite? Possibly because as soon as I say….me too on Divergent/Insurgent, I will think of something else…

  5. Penny Yoke

    Ah I have been in love with Matched and Im still waiting for my library to get Reached. Maybe I will have a different impression of Reached. Maybe there will still be more books in the series to explain more about the Enemy and stuff! Too bad Im not a US citizen! 🙁

    • 🙁 I wish I could have made this international, but they charge a TON to ship anything out of the US overseas 🙁 Thank you for commenting though! Maybe I can do another giveaway for strictly INTL peeps soon…

  6. Julie Kornhausl

    What a great review for Reached! I am looking forward to reading the last book in this trilogy. I enjoyed the first book, Matched, more than Crossed honestly. \n\nIf you haven’t had the chance to read Lia Habel’s books, I highly recommend Dearly, Departed and Dearly, Beloved. They’re YA steampunk/zombie romance stories, I loved them :)\n\n\nJulie K\nkornhsl@yahoo.com

  7. Sarah

    Divergent and Insurgent!!! (I just glanced down and saw some similiar lol..Yay im not the only one) lol

  8. Amy @ bookgoonie

    Shadow & Bone and Unwind so far. \n\nI’m not caught up on the series ;( very sad that it peaked with Matched ;(

  9. Laura Hartness

    The closest thing to dystopian fiction I’ve read this year is Resurrect, although it isn’t really dystopian. It does have to do with the end of the world, though! It was a great read– like a movie thriller for sure.

  10. Texas Book Lover

    I read both Divergent and Insurgent this year and adored them both!\n\n\nThanks so much!

  11. I really enjoyed Surrender by Elana Johnson. It’s the second book in the Possession series. Also, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Both great books.

  12. There’s been a few I really liked: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth, Renegade by J.A. Souders, Possession and Surrender by Elana Johnson, and The Hunger Games!

  13. Hmm… That is very disappointing that there isn’t more of a resolution. The problem I had with Crossed was that it left too many questions, but I was hoping that would be cleared up in Reached. *sigh* We don’t even find out who the Enemy is?! I mean, what?! What is that?! UGH. How frustrating. I’m even less looking forward to it now. Did you at least find out who put Ky’s name in the matching pool?

  14. The Readingista

    I still have to start this series. It is always a shame, but common enough, when expectations are set high in the first installment and things slowly decline from there. I can see the frustration with the mystery surrounding “the enemy”. I would at least expect it to be a part of the conclusion. Thanks for the great review.

  15. Well I am still getting used to dystopian novel but am still a little wary (I prefer romance books) but I mist say I really enjoyed The Hunger Games 🙂

  16. Rabiah

    I haven’t read many this year… but Glitch by Heather Anastasiu was really good 🙂 Thanks for the amazing giveaway!!

  17. Kriston Johnson

    I have really been on the fence about reading Reached. I love Matched but Crossed left a lot to be desired. So far my fave dystopian this year is Insurgent.

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