Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Penguin: Dutton Juvenile
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.
So while I liked Matched, I have to say that I simply LOVED Crossed. Crossed made up for all the things I found Matched to be lacking (besides more Xander. There can never be enough Xander).
First of all, I think Ally Condie is a brilliant writer. She really is able to capture ambience with words, and she sets up Crossed with such an atmosphere of lost hope and desparate dreams that it's almost overpowering. And unlike Matched, there's even more action and adventure in Crossed (although I'm not sure I'd quite classify it as being action-packed yet).
But my favourite part about Crossed was Ky. I confess, he has finally grown on me a little bit. In Matched, I barely saw the appeal in Ky over Xander, besides the fact that it was forbidden and therefore appealling. But in Crossed, we finally get to know Ky a bit more and he really is sympathetic. And I have to praise Condie for finally creating a real love triangle; one where both boys are appealing in their own way, and neither one stands out as a total jerk.
Plus, the chapters from Ky's perspective are filled with the most beautiful descriptions of love. He is such a hopeful, strong character and completely atypical from most YA love interests. And this brings up so many questions about what loving someone means; and as Crossed asks, is it better that the person you love be safe or have a choice? It isn't as easy to answer that as you might initially think.
The one thing that can make it difficult to follow along with is that the overlap chronology of the two POVs can make it hard to follow; there were times when it took me a few pages and some rereading to understand that Cassia's chapter began in the middle of the previous Ky chapter.
Regardless, Crossed is the perfect set up for the final book, which I am so incredibly anxious for now!
ARC received from Penguin Canada; no other compensation was received for my review.