If you’ve been following along with my weekly book reviews, you probably saw my recent blog post on Matched by Ally Condie. The book was okay, good enough that I was curious to continue reading and figure out how the series ended. Maybe not my best choice since I’ve gotten myself burned out on YA Dystopian Fiction lately…
Background for Crossed (excerpt from Reached not included due to spoilers)
The Society chooses everything.
The books you read.
The music you listen to.
The person you love.
Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him.
And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.
But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems…
A rebellion is rising.
And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything.
My Thoughts on Crossed and Reached?
Like the first book in the series, they were just okay.
Crossed became what I had hoped Matched would be. The first book of the series was lacking in excitement and depth, the characters somewhat one-dimensional solely based on their sheltered societal upbringing. Main character, Cassia, was just beginning to break out of that shell at the end of the first book. In book two, she really comes into her own, escaping beyond the bonds of her place in the world in search of the man she loves. All of the characters gain more grit in this manuscript.
The world building is also much more extensive, expanding beyond the boundaries of the city to explore the outer provinces and more. You can tell Condie is passionate about the scenery described, each new scene painted in bold, vivid strokes as the characters explore this new world and uncover each others’ secrets. I thoroughly enjoyed the second novel and would rate in 4 out of 5 Stars.
On the other hand, the third and final book of the series did not meet my expectations.
Condie tried her hand at expanding her YA dystopian well into the realm of science fiction, using descriptive laboratory explanations written at a 6th grade level. For those without a medical background, maybe it would have been interesting and informative, but I found that it fell flat.
For characters growing into their own, taking on adult careers and relationships, the interactions, especially love interests, seemed somewhat forced and unrealistic. I was highly disappointed, giving this book maybe 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not a great ending for a series that had some serious potential.
With all things considered, I give the whole series 3 out of 5 stars. Condie had an interesting idea that is worth a read if you’re looking for another YA dystopian novel, but it might not be for everyone.