Crossed Book Review

“Cassia,” someone else says, a voice I know.
And then I look up, and I don’t believe what I see.
He’s here.
-Nook Sample

Crossed by Ally Condie

Right now I’m listening to Florence + the Machine and it’s certainly altering the rugged feelings I had for this book. Condie’s sequel picks up right where Matched left off. Cassia had just sorted Ky as one of the people who will be sent into the dangerous outter lands beyond the safe cities of the Society. Regreting her decision, and now seeing it as a wrong one, she goes after him. As she searches, she picks up a new friends, a girl named Indie.  Ky, whose own voice is now added as a first person narrator, also gathers some new pals that join him in his escape from the desert-like lands that Cassia accidentally sent him. Together, these two young lovers cross the land, looking for each other, and end up finding a lot more.

Like a resistance movement.

Okay, so I knew that was coming. Dystopian trilogies are so obvious. You know the first book is the realization that something is wrong. The second starts the rebellion. Ever single one I’ve read so far is like this. What ever happened to innovation?

Anyways, the resistance is so fantastically normal that I actually cared very little about it. It’s exactly what I expected it to be, which is slightly militant (borderline the exact Society it’s trying to bring down) and underground. As it wasn’t anything new, I was bored by Cassia’s insistance that she find it once she was reuinted with Ky. Because I know how that’s going to end; she’s going to join and the Society will die and someone (maybe Indie) will become the new leader, etc, etc.

I always knew this story was heading in that direction, but I definitely hoped it wouldn’t. I was thinking a takedown from the inside. Ky and Cassia’s romance builds. Their families discover it. They fear for their lives because of a few well-positioned governmental threats. A public declaration of undying love between Ky and Cassia leads to their capture and possibly Cassia’s public execution, which would be the spark of a revolution. Ky is freed from jail, spreads propoganda from the days of old Democracy and the Society collapses at the hands of the people, instead of a small group that thinks it’s doing what’s best. And during that entire time, nobody set foot outside the city.

Because honestly, it makes no sense that Cassia just escaped like that. And found Ky again. And that both parites were able to steal friends as well. All of that– without the Society caring.

Riddle me this: how does a system so advanced lack the ability to find escapees? Why don’t they care that there are so many people on the loose? Do they just assume that the outterlands are too dangerous to survive in, or that by taking the actually poisonous pills (citizens are led to believe they’ll sustain you) everyone who runs away will die?It’s clearly not working. There’s a huge rebellion growing. Are they unaware of this too?

Besides all these questions, the other unfortunate thing about having your characters play a main role in a large resistance movement is that the resistance itself has to be very well thought out. This one wasn’t. It’s more legend than reality for the majority of the book; and when it becomes real, it’s described in very vauge terms. And it’s much, much larger than I expected. Again, how does something this massive escape Society eyes?

Rebellion aside, the rest of this book did not need to exist. I loved the first, Matched. I thought it was different and quite interesting. The society wasn’t revolving on an axis of romance (like Delirium, or Bumped) and the people guninuely seemed happy to me, which made Cassia fascinating to read about as she discovered on her own why she didn’t like her world. It was like the Hunger Game’s told from the Captiol’s point of view.

But in this second book, Cassia and Ky stumble around in the wild, find each other, and then the resistance. And the plot advances not at all. This entire book could have been two or three chapters at the begining of the third one, or the end of the first.

Not to mention Cassia goes from a certain and likeable young woman to just another girl that starts question her romantic deceision. Seriously, guys. Can we end this once and for all? Love triangles are not interesting when everybody does it. It just makes the girls seems flimsy and indecisive and mostly distracts from a greater storyling.

As far as character growth, and introduction of the new characters, I’d call it all very average. The strength of Condie’s tale is in the simple writing of an unusual relationship between Ky and Cassia. The new people almost seem to get in the way and aren’t particularly interesting.

I’m ragging a lot on this book, but I feel like I have a right. I read it. Every page. And when I was done, the characters were exactly where they started; Cassia going back to the Society and Ky heading out into the wild. There was no action, no adventure. Some mild romantic growth. Nothing worth reading for. Just a lot of walking. So while the writing was readable, the plot was just not worth it.

I’m upset, alright? I had some high hopes for this. It hasn’t come to the point where I’m thinking of abandoing the series. But I’m definitely going into the next one much more skeptical of the quality.

Ri’s Rating:


0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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