Published by Penguin Group on 11/13/2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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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.
- 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