Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (November 1, 2011)
Source: Library

From 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.

Thank goodness my number finally came up at my local library! I have been waiting for this book since it came out, and immediately put my name on the hold list. I just got the book this week! Crossed is the sequel to Matched, a dystopian story about a world that is on the verge of change - but not quite there yet. We catch up with Ky, Xander and Cassia as their worlds are coming together once again. Ky has been banished to the Out Provinces, and Cassia is willing to do whatever it takes to find him, even if it means pushing Xander out of her life again.

Crossed manages to build upon the confused heart of Cassia as she looks to the two boys in her life she loves. Xander is the one that is her "match" but Ky is the one that has opened her eyes to the world. And, as much as she doesn't want to, she knows she will have to choose one or the other someday. While I love Cassia and Ky, my favorite part of this book was the new characters that accompany them on their journey - Indie, Eli and Vick are all perfect foils for Cassia and Ky's wild pursuits. While Indie makes the biggest impact in the book, it is Vick that stole my heart. I loved learning more about people whom the Society has affected and pushed out of their "perfect" world..

One of the things I love the most about Crossed is that it is a very smart book. The use of poetry and paintings creates a sense of loss and a sense of a bigger story being told at the same time. I love that Ally Condie uses things that are part of her world to impact the world of Crossed. This is a smart book for people who are willing to slow down and really read and appreciate what is happening. While many middle trilogy books are full of nothing but action, Crossed blends action with moments of quiet reflection, which allow us, as readers to learn more about Cassia and Ky.

In the end, their journey comes sort of full-circle. As we wait for book three, the readers are left wondering who Cassia will choose, if she really gets a choice at all, and if the Rising is going to really change everything. I really enjoyed Crossed, and loved that it broke the mold of a traditional middle story.

Final Thoughts: Unexpectedly paced and beautifully executed.

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