Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie



Though I was entertained but not blown away by Matched, I still was intrigued enough to want to continue the series with Crossed. Perhaps it was because the novel's setting took us outside the Society, or perhaps it was the addition of Ky as a narrator, but I enjoyed the 2nd installment in this series better than the first. 

The novel picks up where Matched had left us.  Cassia has been sent by her family to a work camp.  They sent her there, under the guise of a punishment, so that she could pursue her search for Ky.  Ky, in the meantime, has been sent to the Outer Provinces.  He is sent there to impersonate actual visitors, when in reality, those sent there (mostly Aberrations and Anomalies, or non-Citizens) are essentially sent to their death.  They are fired upon by the Enemy and fight to survive each day.  Xander waits for Cassia back in the borough.  He remains an upstanding member of the Society. 
Ky, in the company of two other survivors, escapes the Outer Provinces.  They run to the Carving, which is a dangerous canyon that holds its own mysteries and secrets.  Ky hopes to somehow return to the Society and get back to Cassia.  Meanwhile, Cassia stows away on an airship that she knows is heading for the Outer Provinces.  She knows this is her chance to find Ky.  Following his trail, she and another companion head into the Canyon as well.  After being reunited, the group must fight to survive and decide whether they will join the Rebellion.  It is rumored that the Rebellion is working against the Society.  However, Ky, Cassia, and the other members of their group have different ideas about what the Rebellion is.  Cassia and Ky struggle with tension in their relationship as Cassia realizes that Ky is still holding onto his own secrets, including one about Xander.

There were a few things that I did not like about this novel.  First of all, as in Matched, some of the language, in an attempt to sound poetic, seems a bit forced.  Also, Cassia and Ky's reunion occurs very quickly and without much struggle on either character's part.  I understand that Condie needed to move the plot along in order to carry the rest of the story, so I wasn't too upset by this.  It is refreshing to read from a new character's point-of-view, and I commend Condie on this because it's a brave move and it definitely adds an interesting element to the story.  Although, in this sequel, we miss some of the minor characters from the first, we are introduced to quite a few new ones that truly add some interest... Indie, Eli, Hunter, etc.  Though some may complain that Xander, the 3rd character in this love triangle, is all but missing from the book, I find that he is a large part of it.  What is revealed about Xander gives him the most character development in this sequel. 
Though I enjoyed it more than Matched, I still was not completely thrilled by Crossed.  I found myself reading it just to find out what happens and be done, not out of any true interest in the characters or their fate.  Still, after reading the first two novels in a trilogy, one can't help but carry this through to the end, so yes, I will be picking up Reached on November 13th. 

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