A sequel that did not disappoint
In a society that dictates every aspect of a person’s life - what they eat, where they work, who they should marry, even when they die - Cassia, made her first non-society choice between a boy that society has chosen for her (her best childhood friend) and the boy that society deems an aberration; untouchable, but suddenly desirable to Cassia.
Ally Condie’s Crossed, written from the point of view of Cassia and Ky, follows soon after Matched. Setting-wise we are introduced to different districts and lands outside of Society’s rule. Ally isn’t very descriptive in her writing so it’s a little hard to imagine the setting unless you’re filling in the space on your own. This isn’t usually a problem for my imagination, but some readers might be put off by this.
The narrative, from Ky’s point of view, illuminates aspects of his personality that we didn’t necessarily get to see though Cassia’s rose-tinted glasses in Matched. It makes him more three dimensional and highlights flaws that were easily overlooked in the first book.
Xander hardly makes an appearance, however, more is revealed about his personality and background through the other characters. I enjoyed the layer of complexity this brought to the story.
The story was well-paced; I was hoping that Cassia and Ky’s paths would intersect early in the narrative and found the timing for this to be just right. Still, I wished there was more Xander, I’ve always found his character to be more interesting than Ky’s - from his introduction in Matched, Xander has always been the one I viewed as the bad-boy/risk-taker due to his citizen status.
While Crossed did a good job in setting up the final book of the trilogy, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. I’m curious to see how Ally Condie will tie them all up and am looking forward to the conclusion of Cassia’s story.
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile || Details →
Similar books I’ve read→ Matched
Statistics or the unmeasurable?
Cassia has a choice. In a culture where the decisions are made for you and doing as you are told leads to happiness, choices are a rarity. However, the choice Cassia has to make happened accidentally and is practically improbable.
Somehow Cassia gets matched with two boys who are from the same province as she is, both of whom she knows personally. This is a mistake that the society never makes. So what’s going on?
The most fascinating thing about this book is the Society. Ally Condie builds a dystopian society that has full control over the decisions of its citizens. The Society tells them what to eat, where to live, where to work and who they should marry. It’s important that they regulate the lives of their citizens so that they could live a healthy life in harmony with each other. Cassia, after being given two matches, begins to see the hold that the society has on her and the citizens. She begins to experience the dangers and excitement of making her own decisions and doing things the way she wants to - she wants to take control of her own life.
Matched focuses a lot on Cassia and Ky, and though I understand that this seems to be a Ky arc, I wanted to see more of Xander. Xander seemed to be the down to earth and sensible choice, however, Cassia is a teenager caught up in the danger that is being with Ky (now I’m sounding a bit like the society). In focusing on Ky and Cassia’s relationship, it left the world building and Xander’s character - though seemingly nice - a little flat. Putting these things aside though, it was quite enjoyable. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens to Cassia and Xander as well as the Society. This might be the first dystopian book in which I’m rooting for the government’s choice as opposed to the protagonist’s.