Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Crossed

Ally Condie
Dutton Juvenile
Since this is a review of a sequel (Crossed), there may be slight spoilers for the first book in the series, Matched.

The second book in the Matched trilogy, Crossed is told from both Cassia and Ky's perspectives as Cassia, having left the Society, travels through the wilderness to search for Ky. Along the way she discovers more about the Society and those who rebel against it.

I loved Matched. Loved it. It wasn't the most action-packed dystopian novel, but it was beautifully-written with a kind and compassionate protagonist. I was looking forward to the continuation of Cassia's story, but I have to admit - Crossed was a disappointment. A large part of this, I suspect, is that half of the book is from Ky's POV and I just don't get him. I don't see the big deal. His personality mostly seems to be an extension of Cassia's. In the first book it was fine that there wasn't much to him because we got to view him through Cassia's love-colored glasses, but getting his first hand account slowed the book for me.

This book suffers from the worst type of middle-book syndrome in that there's a lot of set-up for the next book and plenty of things carried over from the first book, but just on its own there's not much there. Despite Cassia finding out about some fairly big revelations about the Society, Ky, and what lies ahead, it always felt like there was nothing happening. Cassia and Ky are, aside from a few travel companions, mostly cut off from other people - Cassia's family isn't part of this book and though Xander is still important to Cassia he's not much a part of the story this time around. And whereas in the first book the obsession with words and art was meaningful as it showed the choices that Cassia wanted but didn't currently have, here it slows the book even more as, apart from the Society, it was harder to see the poetry and art as forms of rebellion.

One of the things I loved so much about Cassia in Matched was her devotion and loyalty to her family. And while this is still a part of her character it's fairly unimportant here as her family isn't around. With all of her emotions and attention focused on finding Ky and on how much she loves him and how much she's willing to risk to be with him, she started to feel like a one-note character. If I liked Ky, of course I would probably feel differently about it.

This was an extremely slow read. Yet in spite of that I kept reading. Partly because I felt invested in the story after liking Matched so, so much, and partly because there are just enough seeds planted for the next book in the series that I didn't want to give up on it. Though Crossed was ultimately a disappointment I still have hope that the series, as a whole, won't be.


  1. I couldn't (and didn't) say it better myself. I totally agree.

  2. Jenny
    Thanks. I'm hoping book 3 is better.