Crossed by Ally Condie
Rating: PG-13; 4 1/2 stars
Summary: Cassia is determined to be reunited with Ky, no matter what it takes. After working in various camps with Aberrants, Cassia may be close to finding Ky. That is, if Ky is still alive and hasn't run away...which he has. Oops. That won't deter Cassia, however, and she is determined to follow his trail into the wilderness, perhaps locating the legendary Rising along the way.
Opinions: Perhaps you will recall the tail end of 2010 when I reviewed Matched, the first book in this trilogy. As good as Matched was, Crossed did not disappoint. I read the entire book in just two sittings, and for the most time was riveted. I found myself alternately laughing and gasping aloud, and when my friends assured me they didn't mind spoilers, I began ranting about the stupidity of various characters. One of my big pet peeves is when characters are obstinate, even though I know it's for the sake of the story, and it usually drives me to read more.
One of the big things that I liked about Matched was the fact that Cassia was not working to save her dystopian society. She was simply trying to live her life the way she wanted to. It was a refreshing change from the standard convention. Crossed follows in much the same way. Cassia is trying to reunite with Ky. Along the way, she learns of an underground rebellion, and she wants to join, but her priority is finding Ky.
I would have liked to see more of Xander, but since the book is from Cassia and Ky's perspective, I understand that why his presence was limited. Still, I really like his character, especially after learning certain things about him in this book. I can only hope that he will once more become a major player in book three, which is slated for release late this year.
I have to say, something that I continue to love about this series is the repeated use of older poetry, particularly Tennyson, because I'm a Tennyson nut. I've also become incredibly fond of Dylan Thomas' “Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night,” which I believe is a villanelle...Sorry, that's the English major in me coming out.
Middle books in a trilogy are hard to write. They usually both pick up and end at a bit of a downswing, tension-wise. However, Crossed does not seem to suffer from middle-book-blues. Yes, the ending is not as satisfying as I wanted it to be. However, it tied up many loose ends, while still indicating that more was to come. It did not end on a cliffhanger, which I personally like. Others will disagree.
I gave this book a PG-13 for violence, as there is quite a bit at certain points. I don't recall any swearing, but that doesn't mean there isn't any. I gave it 4 1/2 stars for being an awesome book, but still missing that final, almost indescribable, “oomph” that puts it into the 5 star range.
I recommend this book to anyone who has read and enjoyed Matched. If you haven't read the first book, but you enjoy dystopian fiction, give this trilogy a read. So far, I've enjoyed it immensely.