Series: Matched #2
By: Ally Condie
hardcover, 384 pages
Publish Date: November 1st, 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
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, 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.
*Review May Contain Spoilers - Read at your own risk!*
My Review Breakdown:
Total Score: 19/25
Story/Plot: The story picks up a bit after Matched ends; and jumps right back into the story but with way more action than the first book. The whole book is pretty fast paced, answering some questions, showing us more insight into the staple characters from the first book as well introducing new characters, and presenting new challenges for everyone. As far as where the book takes us, it's a decent plot. It is a good middle book for the series, bringing some of the questions from the first book to their conclusions while posing new scenarios for the third, final book to wrap up.
Characters: Cassia has really grown into a strong character in Crossed; finally moving away from the puppet that she was in Matched; controlled by the Society. We get to see a lot more of her thinking, get inside her head. There's no doubt in my mind that she loves Ky - even with the challenges that they faced both physically and mentally/emotionally as a couple.
Ky was also a great character this time around - getting more of his "Back Story" into his family and how he became an Aberration, and his true love for Cassia, as well as seeing him fight himself as well with inner turmoil and feelings.
New to this book are Indie, Eli, Vick, and Hunter. Indie was great, I truly loved her character and hope to see more of her in the final book. To see her grow from someone neither Cassia or Ky thought they could trust, to becoming a key player in their survival and ultimate goal being reached. Eli was an okay character; didn't really like or not like him. Hunter's character was just tragic but I find myself wondering as well if he'll make it into book three. Vick was interesting as far as seeing Ky's interaction with him.
Not much in this book was about Xander, but we do learn very important information about him that will most likely be a huge factor in the final book.
Writing: I thought Condie did a fabulous job in Crossed. Her writing has improved tenfold, and has a lyrical tone to it. Her weaving of classical poetry into the plot is fantastic. While I generally am not a fan of stories told in multiple points of view, Condie nailed it this time, giving Ky and Cassia both deep, distinct voices. It really got inside both of their heads, and proved that love can conquer all. I hope that the final book brings even more growth to Condie's abilities as an author, and will absolutely read more of her in the future. Matched was one of the first books to break me into the Dystopian genre and I'm definitely staying here for the long run.
Ending: The ending was good. Not great, not so-so, not mediocre; but satisfying. It ended at a great spot to open into the next book; and ended this one well. There were definite questions left unanswered, but Condie seems good at leaving no loose ends and I have faith that the conclusion will wrap up a lot.
Cover: The covers are very simplistic, clean and crisp but relay a bigger message. The cover of Crossed shows "Cassia" inside the "bubble" of the Society; one foot inside - still tied to the Society through Xander, and her new "assignment" given her by the Rising; yet shows one hand punching, breaking through - this representing her place in the outside world (Outer Provinces, with the Rising). I see green above her head, like the cover of Matched. In my opinion green represents growth - growth in Cassia, her place in the world, and beside Ky.
Last Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed Crossed - devouring it in less than twenty-four hours. It's a fun, action-packed, fast-paced story of love, betrayal, and hope, mingled with large doses of happiness and sorrow; closure, and struggles. If you love romance and Dystopian tales as well as strong heroines then I'd definitely recommend this series.