Published on December 14th, 2011 | by BookCrack0
Review: Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie
A Best YA Book of 2011
Crossed by Ally Condie*
or go back to the beginning with Matched
Why read this book: Crossed is the exciting followup to Matched, a YA dystopian romance set in what was meant to be a utopian version of the future. Crossed is told from both Cassia and Ky’s POV and the stakes are even higher now as they have been forced apart. As the story begins we find Cassia and Ky struggling to survive, desperate to find the other, and trying to be brave enough to believe they have a future together in a world outside the Society where their choices and forbidden love has them being hunted as the enemy. But don’t count out Cassia’s best friend and proper match, Xander, who hasn’t given up on Cassia and has kept secrets of his own.
Crossed 4.0 STARS
Matched 5.0 STARS
*Number in countdown does not denote ranking on our best list!
“In the end you can’t always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.” -Crossed by Ally Condie
SPOILER ALERT! Check out our review after the jump.
For those who are new to the Matched trilogy there will be just a smidge of spoilery here as we briefly discuss the first book, Matched. As wildly popular as this New York Times Bestselling series is, thanks to the amazing success of other dystopian series such as the Hunger Games, Divergent (#21 on our Best list!) and Delirium more and more readers are venturing to read YA, PNR and fantasy and for those of you who are tip toeing into these genres for the first time here’s a snapshot of how Cassia has come to turn her back on her “perfect life”:
In Matched we find that teenage Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. Even where she will work and who she will marry. So when her best friend Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they find themselves inexplicably drawn together they steal away moments where he risks everything to show her what life was once like before the Society and Cassia finds herself slowly falling in love with this mysterious, forbidden boy who knows of a life where choices are one’s own. Soon Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow…one of their own choosing.
Crossed picks up close to the end of Matched and Cassia is once again faced with impossible decisions. Should she continue to risk her life and the lives of those she loves in search of a future with Ky outside the Society? And, if she finds him and survives the journey, who should she share her life with Ky or Xander?
In Crossed, the hotly anticipated second book in the New York Times bestselling Matched trilogy by Ally Condie, Cassia journeys to the vast desert of the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky, the boy to whom the Society “mistakenly” matched her with for life, but forbid her to love. Naturally, after what they have shared and fought hard not to be brainwashed to forget, Cassia longs for Ky, the boy who was taken by the Society to his certain death. She now clings to the belief that Ky has escaped his captors, and that if she can do the same she will be able to follow a series of clues he has left in his wake.
Cassia’s dangerous quest continues to reveal information that further challenges her beliefs as she investigates the possibility of a different life beyond the border. And just as Cassia begins to solidify where to take a stand and whom she can trust, the world around her conspires to make her uncertain about her future with Ky and we find Cassia questioning how well she knows this boy who risked his life to gave her his heart.
An opportunity to join the rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and Xander’s reappearance in her life are game changers reminding Cassia that, thanks to the Society, nothing is ever as it seems. Soon the very real possibility of having been double crossed by the Society-or worse-by someone she loves threatens to become that much closer to reality.
Crossed much like Matched is a romantic and thought provoking read. It holds some of that same adrenaline rush of uncertainty and fear of “the man/society at large” much like in Hunger Games but without the intensity and carnage. And that’s a good thing. The beauty of these books is the poetry and pace: the way the characters change and grow and let themselves and their secrets be known.
The story is told from Cassia and Ky’s alternating POV and having Ky’s perspective is what really hooked us this time around. In Matched we get to know Cassia though her hopes and fears and this time we get a deeper feel for Ky, the boy with the complicated past who has serious questions of his own about where his path leads with or without Cassia. At times Cassia and Ky’s search for one another, their struggle to survive/fear of discovery by the trackers and the desert setting brought to mind flashes of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host but the similarities end there.
Our only concession would be that Crossed moves at a slower pace than Matched and while the action and tension is kept up, at times even with bullets flying it feels a bit hesitant or distant as they describe it and it loses some of the heart pounding immediacy/urgency of the original. On the flip side, this is often the way of sequels, and in turn Condie introduces us to some interesting new characters and gives us some major game changers as it sets up the series finale.
And, as much as we have TEAM KY and TEAM XANDER folks here…after reading Crossed (Oh it’s so hard to not drop a spoiler bomb here!!) Well let’s just say a few BookJunkies have now switched teams and one has even said they are now a bit UNDECIDED…having fallen for Ky and Xander both!
Gasp! And we never even saw that coming. We’re usually a rather loyal bunch. We’ll just have to snag some ARCs and pre-order the final installment in the Matched trilogy and wait, wait, wait to see what Condie has up her sleeve for the third book due in 2012.
Who are you routing for Ky or Xander? Tell us in the comments below!