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The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy
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.
Crossed picks up where Matched left us in torment. Ky is now being forced to work in the Outer Provinces, the danger of attacks by the Enemy a constant fear. Cassia is on a 3 month work detail, secretly using this in hopes of finding Ky. Both enduring grim, labouring days... until they manage to escape their groups. Both on the run, so close, yet still so far away from one another. Each accompanied by fresh allies, they journey through the Carving in search for one another. In search for love and purpose and answers, but will they find what they're looking for before it's too late?
I absolutely loved Matched, so I was expecting big things from Crossed. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's much more slower-paced than it's predecessor and while slow journeys aren't really a problem for me, I just didn't feel as though much happened. There is definitely emotional developments and some new things come to light about the Society, but I found the lack of action, suspense and plot progression a little disappointing.
While it wasn't as involving and forward-moving as I'd hoped, I did love that we got to see more of Ky this time around. There was a note from Ally in the beginning of the book and what she said certainly rings true – this is Ky’s story just as much as it is Cassia’s. Yes, there are some struggles and conflicts that Cassia must also deal with, but Crossed begins to chip away at the mystery of Ky. We explore deeper into his past, peel back the emotional layers and gain a greater understanding of what shapes this beautiful, tormented boy. Although sometimes, mostly when he and Cassia are in the same place, I found myself confusing their chapters. Each chapter switches narrative and their voices are incredibly similar, so if I wasn't paying attention to the change of a new chapter, a few paragraphs into the next one I was thinking, 'Huh? Why is Ky hugging himself? Oops, it's Cassia's POV!' haha.
Cassia is still torn between Ky and Xander and you can see why she feels this way. Her feelings for both boys are well developed, even if there is really no question that Ky is the boy she ought to be with! I do give props to Xander though, he’s a nice guy and while he doesn’t play a huge role in the sequel, he still makes enough of an impact to be seen as a potential threat (but really, we all know she'll end up with Ky.... right?!), not to mention Xander is hiding a few secrets of his own. The love between Cassia and Ky deepens and becomes more complicated and intricate, as love does.
While I didn’t love it as much as the first, I still enjoyed the emotional journey Crossed took our main characters on, especially Ky. Ally Condie once again uses the power and beauty of words to inspire, to motivate, to show love and regret and pain. And to incite rebellion, a rebellion that is simmering beneath the surface and will hopefully ignite into an explosive finale.
3/5 Golden Apples