Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Source: ARC from Penguin Teen
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, the much anticipated sequel to Matched, picks up shortly after Matched leaves off with Cassia working in the fields to try to get to Ky. She spends quite a bit of time there looking for the best opportunity to get to the outer provinces, where she believes Ky is, but is slowly losing hope of finding one. Cassia is about to be moved to another assignment when she receives a visit from Xander, her lifelong friend and actual match assigned to her by The Society. Xander is also who helped set her on her way on this journey to find Ky armed with a large stash of blue pills.
Cassia is allowed to have a supervised outing with Xander, since he’s really her match, and during this outing she finds an archivist who trades with her some information about “The Pilot”. This Pilot will be key throughout the whole book as it represents the leader of The Rising, the rebellion that is taking place against The Society. She finds a way to make it to the outer Provinces and goes on a personal mission to find Ky whatever it takes while taking with her a girl she met at her previous assignment, Indie.
In the meantime, Ky is dealing with the fact that he is being sent by the Society from Village to Village as a decoy in order to fool the enemy (the Rising) into thinking that there are actually villagers living there. He knows they aren’t fooling anyone though because they are getting fired upon and tons of them are dying, from being fired upon and also from not having any way of defending themselves. They are sitting ducks in hostile territory. Ky had been lucky so far by staying alive and devised a plan to escape into The Carving, a mountainous territory with canyons where he believes lives a community of farmers independent from The Society.
The book focuses on Cassia and Ky’s journey, to find each other first, through basically the same territory. They both find themselves in The Carving finding clues about where the other might be. When they finally do find each other, the book’s focus changes on how the plan to get out of there and what their plans are for the future. Secrets are revealed, unlikely relationships are formed, and shocking revelations are found hiding in The Carving. The story is told from alternating viewpoints, from Cassia to Ky, which I really enjoyed. It was nice seeing things from Ky’s perspective after reading Matched which was all from Cassia’s point of view.
I cannot say, however, that I was happy with the way the book ended. I know that there is another book in the series which I am looking forward to reading, especially after the way things were left off in Crossed. It’s not much of a cliffhanger but rather a disappointing decision that is made that really angered me. I felt like the characters had gone through way too much for this lapse in judgement to take place. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that you won’t look at Cassia the same way after that.
All in all, fans of Matched should definitely read this sequel. I view it as a stepping stone to Matched before the third book comes out. Not much resolution in the end there but probably what had to happen before the real action. Ally Condie’s writing is very pleasant and easy to follow and she has once again given us complex characters faced with complex situations in a not so perfect Society.