In my review of Matched, I was anxiously anticipating this sequel and was hoping to learn more about The Society, The Rising and Xander in particular (a promising character that I felt was underserved in Matched). Well, I did learn more about some of those things...
The Scoop: (Goodreads)
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
Well, I liked Crossed, but it also frustrated me as well. When we last saw our protagonists, Ky was being hauled off to the Outer Provinces by The Society and to certain, eventual death. Cassia decides to somehow follow him no matter what the cost. Xander sadly watches the entire scene unfold, still harboring his love for Cassia despite her inherent idiocy, sorry, I mean tenacity...and Cassia's family is shipped off to do some farming for awhile and learn the errors of their rebellious ways.
|Maybe a little poop scooping will teach you to obey The Society!|
So...that brings us to Crossed. Here's what I liked:
I liked (and disliked, see below) that Crossed was told from the perspectives of both Cassia and KY. This technique helped me to like and understand Ky more. (Full disclosure: I'm a budding Xander fan.) They are both in the Outer Provinces and then ultimately on the run, but for a great deal of the book they are apart, searching for each other.
Along the way they pick up some friends and I liked these characters. They are a great addition to the series, especially Indie (you know I like strong female characters who don't put up with BS) and I know we will see more of them in the sequel.
|I'm a rainbow trout and kind of a big deal...|
|Not sure if this is what Condie had in mind, but this is what I picture the inside of The Carving to look like. Thanks, Utah, for being so beautiful!|
Now here's what I had a problem with:
1. Where the heck's Xander? He shows up for like a minute, is mysterious and then leaves. I really feel like his character has potential and possibly more depth than Ky given all of theses "secrets" and "mysteries" surrounding him. I again am hoping we see more of him in the third book, how about the next book is from his perspective? That I would be interested to read.: "Cassie's breaking my heart, so I gave her a big packet of blue pills. Hope they work..."
2. Speaking of perspectives...While I liked the idea of both POV's, after a while they both started sounding the same. The only thing that helped me in this regard was that I actually listened to Crossed as an unabridged audio book on Audible and they had a guy and a girl reading each chapter. However, in tone and sappiness, they both sounded alike to me.
|I love you. No I love YOU. You're my Pilot. No, you're MY Pilot...ugh.|
3. Enough with the poetry already. I get how integral these poems are to the story, just not sure if I need to read them again every other chapter until I have them memorized too. Sidenote: I was reading another book last night where a character died and they were looking for the perfect poem for his memorial. Immediately I started reciting Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" (brainwashed much?) and guess what? That's the exact one they used...
4. The Society sucks at catching people. Or do they?... I can't decide if Cassia and Ky are still part of some big Society experiment or if The Society is in a recession and they just don't have the manpower and resources to find our motley crew. Cassia and Ky both spend a great deal of time piddling around and very little (or absolutely zero) time actually in danger of being caught. This decreased the suspense and thus my enjoyment of Crossed.
|Hey! You feel like catching some Anomalies, or have you been laid off due to stringent budget cuts?|
Well...after that diatribe, I guess it looks like I didn't really like Crossed at all, but I did. I think the series overall has promise and Crossed was just a slow Act II. I love Condie's writing style in general and it is a testament to Matched that I even am riled up enough to be a little disappointed in the sequel. I promise, I will be first in line for the third book and there better be more Xander, dammit!
It's made of the same five ingredients every time, but still tastes good.