Crossed by Ally Condie
Rules are different outside the Society.
Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his sure death–only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Narrated from both Cassia’s and Ky’s points of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.
In my review of Matched, I made a mention of the fact that I was “eager” to read Crossed “despite” the reviews I had read. And I was, I really was. The problem? I should have listened when every single one of them said–in one way or another–that nothing happened.
Alright, I’m getting quite snappy and far ahead of myself. I was excited to pick up Crossed, because I thought Matched carried so much promise. Before 100 pages had gone by, however, I was quite disappointed. My first shocker was that the book kept switching back and forth between Ky and Cassia as narrators. Yes, yes, I see that the blurb mentions that, but I didn’t read it before I dove right in. I probably should have, but what can I say? The back and forth got quite choppy in places, and as Ky and Cassia met up again it got fairly bulky. Some of those chapters seemed like they were just thrown in so that a chapter break could be had in between (mostly) Cassia’s viewpoint.
My second problem was the apparent ADD the book had developed. Now, I don’t mind flashbacks when they’re done properly but this…wasn’t it. Both Cassia and Ky were jumping in and out of the past and present with almost no warning, leaving my jolted out of the writing and thoroughly confused. This was heavily prevalent in the front of the book, disappeared in the middle and showed up once or twice again in the end. It was a very, very messy use of flashbacks that left me rather annoyed.
The thing about Crossed is that it really wasn’t a book. Sure, there was a vague plotline taking place, but if I was being kind I’d call it filler in between Matched and the final and yet untitled third book. It was barely even that. Reading Crossed felt like reading Condie’s character sketches and paragraphs of her own personal delve into her world’s background. There was more discussing of Ky’s past, Cassia’s inner feelings and a whole lot of dark poeticism on love, life and philosophy.
By the time any real plot developments occurring, I was already quite done with the book. I skipped through most of the middle and missed nothing. The only reason I started reading again was because Cassia and Ky found each other and I’m a sucker for romance. When it did occur, however, it felt…trite and forced. For instance, Ky’s whole issue with going with Cassia to the Rising. He goes on and on for chapters about how he can’t go with her, but then when they finally decide to go there is no question that he’s going with her. As if there ever was. Xander’s “big secret” as being a member of the Rising felt contrived so that the love triangle would remain viable. And of course, that end. THAT END. No, no, no, no. At least make it somehow believable. All this fighting and nearly dying and death and self discovery to get back together and Cassia ends up being sent back into Society by the Rising where she SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED because she ought to have been RECLASSIFIED as was mentioned several times throughout the story. None of it made sense and none of it felt right.
Overall, Crossed was a huge disappointment. I really, really wanted to like this book, but it just defeated my attempts at every turn. If you really do want to hold on to this series, I don’t recommend reading this one unless you are deeply in love with Cassia and Ky’s romance and think learning all about Society’s history, Cassia’s inner thoughts and Ky’s past is awesome and can overlook that it isn’t presented well. Personally, I wish I’d just read a summary and kept waiting for the finale. Though I am still vaguely curious about how the last book will go, I now feel that Condie’s storyline is far too predictable to keep me on my toes, so whether or not I actually read the final book will depend on my whim and the money in my bookstore stash. It certainly won’t be a must-get for me.