367 pages, Dutton Juvenile
"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."
To start off this review, Crossed is the sequel to Matched and is the 2nd book in the trilogy. I read Matched because of my obsession with dystopian novels, but, furthermore, was unimpressed. I am the type of person who, once they start a series, must finish it. And I will admit, I had hopes for this series to improve, but really Crossed was yet another let down.
I think Ally Condie's main problem is her characters. Personally, I find that if an author cannot create likable, interesting characters, then I am instantly torn between even enjoying the book at all. The real issue is that after reading Matched and Cassia is unsure who she'd rather be with--Ky or Xander--even I didn't know who she should be with. And this wasn't because Ky and Xander were both equally amazing, it was because I didn't lean towards either of them. The emotional connection just wasn't there. Though we do see Cassia grow from book one to book two as she ventures with Indie, a free-spirited girl ready for any journey, I just could not feel bad for her. For some odd reason I didn't care if she didn't end up with either Ky or Xander. I didn't care if she got stranded on an island even, and that says a lot about a book. We also meet Eli, a younger boy who travels with Ky. He was a side character, just that, a side character. His addition to the plot wasn't much except for an innocence that was looking for sympathy.
The plot again was uneventful. Like Matched, Crossed had all of the action happen within the last fifty pages of the book. I feel as if not much really had happened up until then. My incentive to continue reading was to see how it ended. To be honest, the ending felt like other books I've read before. Maybe I'm picky since I've read so many other dystopian novels, but I just couldn't get over how similar it was to other books I've read.
Ally Condie makes references to poems throughout the novel. One particular poem is actually one of my all time favorites and it is called Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. I love the overall message of this poem and it connects to the major themes in the book. The only problem I did have with references to poems was that I felt as if Condie focused far too much on the poems rather than the plot and characters. Parts of it did enhance the story line, but after a while it really just left me a little bored.
Crossed did not leave me wanting more, but I will say that it was better than Matched. I hope Condie can end the series with a bang or my interest with her books will die altogether. If you're a poetry lover, absolutely enjoyed Matched, or like slower paced novels, then I recommend Crossed. But if you read Matched and couldn't stand it, then I do not recommend reading Crossed because it will only further disappoint you.
Again, I didn't hate Crossed; the writing style just wasn't to my liking.
Rating: 2 stars - I didn't like it. Barely worth borrowing.