It looks like dystopian themes are here to stay for a while in YA fiction!
Crossed definitely has a different feel when compared to the previous book in the trilogy. Matched created the Society and featured a well developed world with rules, quirks, and strange practices. Crossed, however, is more of the story of a journey. The story takes place largely on either the edges of The Society (both physically and philosophically) or entirely outside its confines, and there is the constant threat of danger from all sides. This book alternates between Cassia and Ky's perspectives from chapter to chapter. Typically I'm not a fan of this, but I think it would've been almost impossible to tell this story in the first person without employing that technique. It also gives us a glimpse into Ky's mind for the first time, and allows us to learn a bit more of his background.
I do think that in some areas this book falls prey to the problem that many second books in a trilogy do: it's just a placeholder between the beginning and the end. The book is filled with a lot of travel, most of it within the same general area, and there are parts that are slow moving and seem to just be used to up the page count. That said, the book also introduces a lot of backstory about The Society, Abberations and Anomalies. It introduces a whole new movement in The Rising, and also brings us several intriguing new characters who seem to still have more of their story to reveal. I would've liked to have learned more about the rebellion and about The Society's influence outside of its boundaries, but I assume most of that will be fleshed out in the third book.
This is definitely a more action oriented book than Matched, and you see Cassia nurturing a streak of both defiance and determination that was only beginning to develop in the previous book. It is much more focused on survival than on a love triangle, although Xander does appear briefly and is mentioned throughout the book. Those who read the first book primarily for the love triangle may find this one disappointing, but there are plenty of teasing clues as to the truth behind both Xander and Ky--and what they each mean to Cassia.
While the world building in this book wasn't quite on par with Matched and I don't think it was a strong of a book, it was still a quick, enjoyable read. Looking forward to the next book in this series!
I really, really enjoyed Matched and was eager to read Crossed. Crossed was a bit disappointing, there just isn't much that happens in this book. It kind of came off as a necessary transition to book 3. I still enjoyed reading it, but was disappointed that it didn't grab my attention like the first book.
Cassia has gotten herself reclassified to the Outer Provinces so that she can search for Ky. Ky struggles to survive as he is placed in a wartime situation with other Aberrations. Ky and Cassia both escape their situations and struggle towards each other and towards the rumored rebellion.
My above description is pretty much what happens in the whole book. Cassia and Ky are in bad situations and escape separately with different companions. The story switches between Ky and Cassia's viewpoints. Cassia basically chases Ky in a series of near misses for a good portion of the book. This is frustrating because there is that whole, "oh, if she had just been a little quicker she would have found him" thing going on. When they finally do meet up there are so many secrets between them that relationship felt a bit flat to me. Ky and Cassia constantly preach that they can't live without each other but when it comes to what really drives them towards their goals they have completely different ideas about what to do.
Xander is in the story very little, yet has more impact on the story in the end than Ky does. Xander has a big secret which is revealed to the reader late in the book.
This whole book is basically the story of how Cassia and Ky escape the society and hunt down the rebellion. Seems like a good basis but so much of the book is spent with them trudging around trying to decide what to do. A number of new characters are introduced as well; they are interesting characters but are never filled out all that well.
All the complaining aside. I still really did enjoy Condie's way with words; she has some beautiful writing and beautiful descriptions in this book...it is all just very deliberately paced. I really do enjoy Cassia as a character as well; she has a drive and a brightness to her that draws me in.
Secrets about the Society are revealed but despite this I still feel like more questions were created than answered. This again left me with a feeling of not much happening by the end of the book. The ending itself left me feeling a bit empty as well; it was just so anti-climatic.
Overall this was an okay book. The writing is beautiful and some of the descriptions absolutely wonderful; Cassia is a great character. We learn more background on Ky, meet some new characters, and learn more about the Society. Despite all of this I felt the story progressed slowly, didn't answer many questions, and that not much happened. The ending was anti-climatic and although I finished the book, the whole thing kind of left me with a "Huh, so what" feeling in the end. This seemed like a necessary transition book and in the end I feel like we didn't make much ground in this story. I will read the final book because I am curious to see what happens, but I was disappointed that this book didn't suck me in like Matched did.