Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Crossed

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched #2
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Published: November 10th 2011
Source: Publishers for review

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.

Where do I start? When I fell in love with Matched last year, my expectations for Crossed were extremely high. After being tortured with that emotional cliffhanger, I expected to be pulled out of my misery but was sorely mistaken. Crossed isn't a fast-paced and exciting adventure but a slow-burning learning journey. In this sequel, we learn more about Ky and Cassia's personal stories and the Uprising, which is surrounded by many clues, secrets and conflicts. While these pieces of information did interest me, I was desperate to see the action and passionate romance from the first book.

When Ky is sent to the Outer Provinces to "work" with other anomalies and aberrations, bombs are dropped on his camp almost every night. The Society uses them as decoy villagers and moves them around constantly for the Enemy to kill. At the same time Ky plans his escape, Cassia makes it her mission to find the boy she loves, even if it means venturing out into the dangerous unknown herself. The beginning section of the novel is probably the most suspenseful and heart-wrenching. You can only hope that the two will reunite and not be hurt by sheer bad luck. It was also at this time that my heart felt as if it would explode out of my chest and you could probably hear my shouts of "no way!" from Antarctica! As Ky and Cassia are separated for a good amount of the novel (no who/what/when spoilers here!), we learn about their upbringing through memories and things we questioned in Matched are somewhat explained.

Venturing deep into the canyons, we're able see the abandoned villages, filled with books and information - a total contrast to the high-tech Society. I enjoyed learning about the "other" lifestyle, but found it very hard to engage with the story, as there wasn't much dialogue but internal thoughts. The lonely setting of the novel didn't help and I really felt that the book could've been shorter, as we strayed from the point of the story from time to time. Discoveries about the Society's dark secrets and the Uprising are made though, setting up a lot of background for the next book. When Cassia decides she wants to join the movement, Ky is adamantly against it. What does he know that we don't? Here's where the secrets start unravelling!

While Crossed isn't a riveting read that'll glue your eyes to the pages, you'll feel the intense emotions of desperation, pity and frustration that resonate through all of the characters. I can only hope that Condie finds a good balance between the action and internalised emotions in the third book! With many still unanswered questions, there's a lot of fixing that needs to be done because things aren't exactly bright and sunny by the end of Crossed...


What did you think of this book?

Find Ally on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Crossed from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

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