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.
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Dutton Juvenile
Two and a half stars: A disappointing follow up!
Cassia finds herself in the farmlands near the Outer Provinces. Day in day out she scratches in the soil planting seeds, tiny specks of hope thrown into the cold ground. Far from all traces of her former life in the center of The Society, including her family, Xander and Ky. She survives on the meager messages that sporadically come from the Port, scraps of love from her parents, who loved and trusted her enough to set her free down her path of discovery. A trip that will hopefully lead to a reunion with Ky and her destiny outside of the omniscient clamp of The Society. She clings to the memories of the stolen minutes she shared with Ky. Her determination to find him sustains her through the toil in the dirt. Will Cassia escape and strike out to find Ky in the wilderness?
What I Liked:
- The beginning of the book continues where Matched left us dangling. Cassia is scraping by on the Farmlands trying desperately to reach Ky. Again I felt the overhanging dread and anxiety of the suppressing, demands of Societal Life. In the Outer Provinces, Ky is in a fight for his life. Society is dumping the castoffs, Anomalies and Aberrations, into the deserted villages and using them as decoys, knowing that this is a sufficient way to have them conveniently eradicated without having to dirty their own hands. I appreciated the chilling, terrifying parallels once again presented. In Matched, I witnessed the sickening, dread of life in a strictly controlled environment, reminding me of events that transpired during World War II. The massacring of the unwanted populace in Crossed is reminiscent of the genocidal slaughter that history witnessed in our world. A stark, frightening reminder of the darkness that mankind can possess.
- I liked unearthing the past of Ky. Crossed offers Ky's view point and through his voice I gained an understanding of his history, feelings toward Cassia and all the events in his life that carved and chiseled him into the man he is today.
- Normally my reviews contain an abundance of positive points. I struggled with this book because unlike its predecessor, there is not much for me to rave about. Crossed starts out thrilling but about half way through it flounders, languishes and drags to a stagnant finish. The latter portion of the book involves the characters dallying in the deserted farmer's confines. Almost nothing happens and the gripping sense of anxiety fades and you are left with a dull, lethargic story. A devastating let down in comparison to Matched.
- This book felt like a filler book. There are no big developments, shocks or major events. Nor, is there significant movement in the plot regarding the characters' struggles to break free from The Society. Instead, Ms. Condie spends the majority of the pages trying to impress with fragments of poetry and metaphorical descriptions, that fail to elicit much of a response. While I appreciate that she is a talented author, this time I think she overreached and tried too hard to produce a work with stunning detail hoping for a prolific impact. It ends up fizzling and falling flat.
- Again as in Matched I hungered to snatch up details regarding The Society's rise to power and eventual corruption and twisting of ideals. There is nothing in this book to satisfy my palate. All I found was a tiny snippet that stated Society was initially a choice and it formed to stave off another "Warming Event" and to eliminate illness. That is it! If she truly aspired to write a sandwich book she could have at least thrown me, the starving reader, a few satiating scraps of information to feed my craving for knowledge about The Society. My stomach is still growling and churning, longing for nourishment.
- This book has two points of view, Cassia and Ky, while I liked seeing through Ky's eyes, the concept just does not work for me. I do not mind the flickering of view points in books, I know many readers disdain them but for me if they are well executed, it usually is not an issue. In Crossed the voices flit back and forth so many times it gave my brain whiplash. I would be reading along engrossed in a view point and then wham, two pages later it switched. Sometimes (even despite each chapter being labeled with either Ky or Cassia) I failed to perceive the shift. I think one of the main reasons for this, was no radical differentiation between the two voices.
- Cassia, what happened? I admired her tenacity and determination to follow her heart even at great cost. She makes her decision to be with Ky and then after near death and personal sacrifice she is ruminating over her choice? Really? Big fail especially since Xander is for the most part absent in this book.
- The author introduces three new characters, Vic, Eli and India but she fails to fully develop them. Vic was the character I had the best grasp on but he is not involved in the entire story. India particularly needed more augmentation. Again, due to the lack of action or story progression she should at least take the time to fill in the secondary characters that are spending time with Ky and Cassia especially since there are only four characters for most of the book.
"And it is strange that absence can feel like presence. A missing so complete that if it were to go away, I would turn around, stunned, to see that the room is empty after all, when before it at least had something, if not him."
"Because in the end you can’t always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go."
"Watching Ky wake is better than a sunrise. One moment, he’s still and down deep, and the next moment I can see him returning out of the dark, coming to the surface. His face shifts, his lips move, his eyes open. And then his smile, the sun."