June 28, 2013

Crossed by Ally Condie

If you loved someone, if someone loved you, if they taught you to write and made it so you could speak, how could you do nothing at all? You might as well take their words out of the dirt and try to snatch them from the wind. 
Because once you love, it is gone. You love and you cannot call it back.
-from Crossed by Ally Condie

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Please keep in mind that this review will have spoilers for the first novel in this series, Matched. If you haven't read Matched, I highly recommend you read it before you read this review.

After The Society has separated Cassia and Ky, sending Cassia to live with her family in the Farmlands and Ky to the Outer Provinces to fight the war against The Enemy, their love story seems hopeless. But Cassia is motivated to do whatever it takes to get to Ky, including sneaking onto a plane headed right for the front lines. When she miraculously gets close enough to where Ky has been, she learns that he has escaped to go search for her. As Cassia chases after Ky, she learns new things about Xander that further complicate this love triangle. Told in alternating perspectives of both Cassia and Ky, this installment of the Matched trilogy is full of adventure and helps the reader gain insight to Ky's perspective. 

I was surprised to find so many negative reviews for this book after I read it and thought it was better than the first in the series! So let me defend my rating, because I stand by it. I didn't quite believe Cassia's love for Ky in Matched which made it difficult to appreciate the story overall. In Crossed, however, Cassia and Ky are the central story and, as much as Condie tries to keep Xander in this love triangle, I don't feel that her efforts were enough to make him relevant to this book until the end. This helped me digest Cassia and Ky as a unit and get past my complaints about their relationship. 

Furthermore, despite Cassia and Ky almost literally going to the ends of the Earth for each other (at least from their limited perspective of the Earth), both experience doubts and see the limitations of their relationship in this book. This is refreshing compared to their teenage love phase. Both are maturing quickly and are looking further into the future than they had before. I thought that Condie was brave to give them an impasse that is difficult to compromise to prove how mature they are in their love for each other. It also gives a little faith that Xander might have a fighting chance!

This book is full of adventure and exploration of a new world never before seen or experienced by Cassia. It also includes new characters that help uncover new sides of both Cassia and Ky that we haven't previously seen before. I guess some readers may perceive the Cassia and Ky's journey to find each other to be a bit slow, but I definitely didn't. I thought Condie did an excellent job moving the story forward with the landscape in addition to the poetry used in the first book. I only wish there were more illustrations of The Carving to help me better imagine what Condie was illustrating. 

Bottom Line: I loved Crossed more than I loved Matched, so if you read Matched, I consider this a must-read!! Full of adventure, love and teenagers maturing into adults. Good for high schoolers and advanced junior high readers! 4.5/5 stars - but I'm rounding up!

Next week's book is Reached by Ally Condie

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