To see my post about Matched, click here.
Crossed by Ally Condie is the second book in the Matched Trilogy. That being said, there will be spoilers in this review.
Matched ended with Ky being taken away from The Society due to a sort that Cassia has performed at his work. Cassia so far has been set up as an ideal candidate for society, in a way. She has a sorter’s brain, and can look at a set of data and put it in order, but at the same time she wants more than that. She wants to create, learn, write etc. In Crossed, Cassia seizes the opportunity to escape from Society life, and to go find Ky herself.
Crossed takes place in the Outer Provinces and the Canyon where The Society does not have as strong a hold on its people. Ky is sent to fight the elusive “Enemy”, and Cassia sets out to find him. On her journey she teams up with some Aberrations, or individuals that The Society set aside, like Ky. She also has a chance to learn more about the history behind The Society, Aberrations, and The Rising which plans to overturn The Society. Joining the rising soon becomes Cassia’s driving force in life, and she will have to figure out what she is willing to give up to get there.
I would say that there is less action in Crossed compared to Matched, maybe because of the solitary setting of the Carving compared to that of The Society. That being said, it is still a good read, and Condie really digs into character background and motivations, which I enjoyed. While Matched was narrated solely by Cassia, Crossed has alternating chapters between Cassia and Ky. I have enjoyed books with alternating chapters before, but I am While I do find alternating chapters to be jarring at times – you’ve just gotten back into one character’s mindset before you switch to another, I did enjoy seeing Ky from another angle. He is portrayed as such a mysterious character in Matched, that I enjoyed learning more about him first hand rather than through Cassia’s narration. I found his motivations to be really interesting, especially in terms of his opinions on The Rising.
As I said in my post about Matched, dystopian novels always end with the society falling apart – it is the how and why of the matter that is interesting. I would say that Condie has done a good job in Crossed of setting up a finale. Both Cassia and Ky grow as characters and learn about their environment and history in ways that they could not have done in the first book. The love triangle, once again, is also used as more of a subtle driving force that connects Cassia, Xander, and Ky together, although I saw more “Team Xander” and “Team Ky” material in Crossed as compared to Matched. Or rather Xander has the potential for being a more interesting and well rounded character than he was first thought to be in Matched. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are other things going on in each person’s life beyond the love triangle, which I always find to be refreshing. This also makes for a more multi-dimensional read. Still curious as to what will be after the love triangle fad though.
I’m reading Reached now – review to come. So far it’s pretty good…