Sunday, 1 April 2012

Crossed - Ally Condie (#2)

*There may be some spoilers in this review for those who have not read Matched. To go to the first book in the series, click here*

Also, this is a really rubbish review because I wasn't entirely sure on what I thought of this book.

Last year I read the first one in this series, Matched (review can be seen here). The first book was good, but merely just good. I felt although I did enjoy the book and thought the plot and writing was good, but there was something missing about the book which made me not rave this book or enjoy this completely. So needless to say, I was not rushing to the nearest book shop when the sequel came out last year. However, when I was in the library the other day bringing a book back, I glanced in the Teen section (quickly as I was on my break) and noticed this - so I picked it up. I was intrigued to find out what happened next...

Synopsis: Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again. 

Review: So needless to say, I did not have high hopes for this book. Like I said in the Matched review, I would only be reading the sequel to simply find out some of the secrets in the first book and to see what happens next. 
Throwing myself into this book with low expectations, actually I think made me enjoy this book much more than Matched. I have read tons of reviews where people slate off the book, saying nothing happened, too much poetic language, more action, no Xander. 

I loved those parts and for pete's sake - so much happens that affects the future for both Cassia and Ky. The relationships, ideas and beliefs are very different by the end and we get any idea of the world outside of the Society in the Outer Provinces. I liked this change of setting and gave a nicer idea of the whole world that Cassia and Ky live in. 

The characters themselves were much more established and more engaging this time round. Yes, Cassia is portrayed weaker at times throughout this book, but honestly, I think here she is shown quite strong especially the dangerous and passionate thing she has to do - I know it would have been a hard thing personally for me to do. 
I hated Ky immensely in Matched. I loved the relationship of Cassia and Xander so when Ky intervened, I just did not like him. In this book, there were times where he made stupid mistakes that impact on his relationship with Cassia and I just thought that he could easily have prevented these and it would be easier for him just to tell her. SO MUCH EASIER.
Xander is hardly featured in this book - in fact, only in one scene early on. He was as lovely as usual - I guess it's because he's supposed to be perfect but Cassia, girl, I would go for him so much more than Ky. However, for all those Xanders-lovers (like me), some things are hinted at that I think may ruin the image of Xander for me, anyway. 
We also had some lovely new characters - Eli and Vick. Plus some odd ones where I can see mixed judgements like Indie.

The writing IS much more poetic here, but for me, it didn't bother me too much. HERE I AM SAYING I LIKED THE POETRY. I HATE POETRY NORMALLY. Therefore, I think those 'whiners' (I use that word lightly) that do love poetry can live with the poetry in this book. Yes, it is different to Matched lyrical wise, but it's hardly a radical change. The thing I don't understand is that novels such as Wither by Lauren DeStefano was raved by bloggers for her lyrical language - and yes, it was very nice. However, there were no horrible, rather rude reviews actually, slating the poetic language. The idea of the Rising is based around poetry and the events fit with that. In both of these books, it worked just in different ways. 

The book is very different to Matched so for those that absolutely loved the first book in the series, this isn't going to be the most enjoyable read I think. But for those that had mediocre thoughts on Matched like me, then, this is a sufferable novel that you may actually enjoy this more such as I. 
Those that are saying nothing happens - ignore them completely. There is much suspense, intriguing scenes and many many secrets both solved and created through this beautiful, sparkling narrative. 
Despite my linkness for this book compared to Matched, the ending was again not that fantastic. For me, it kind of just suddenly ended like Ally Condie just didn't know what to write next. I think ended in the right setting and situation but overall, it just was quite abrupt for me. 
Again, I had the problem once again that there was something really missing throughout the whole book - I enjoyed it partly from the things I have mentioned but I would not commit myself to say I absolutely loved it. Some of the reviews around have been way too harsh, judging this sequel on the both positive and negative thoughts on Matched. This was a more enjoyable read than Matched but nothing for me, too special. I'm definitely picking up the next book however, to see what happens once and for all.  
Verdict: Read Matched first before this one if you're intrigued. There is a lot of mention to past events that I had a struggle to remember. 

I give it a 3.5 out of 5

Author's Website: http://www.allysoncondie.com/
Pages: 367
Publisher: Dutton
Challenges: None 

Related Posts:
Book #1: Matched
Book #3: Reached

3 comments:

  1. I totally agree with your review! This book wasn't boring at all. And, although being a Ky fan myself, I get what you're saying about Xander. :)

    Oh, and, I also usually hate poetry! But I thought it worked well with the book.

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    1. Ah, thank you! I just didn't like how most people just dismissed the book in its entirety because it wasn't as good. I mean, like you, I dislike poetry with a large passion yet I was able to read this book - that's got to say something, right?

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  2. I read the book over the summer and just picked up Reached yesterday. I was looking for something to refresh my memory a bit and came across your review, of which, I agree on the most part. Although, I have to disagree about Ky. I like Ky and Xander, but I can understand why Cassia chose Ky over him. Ky had way more to offer, he shared things about himself with her that most didn't know, he taught her something, and he introduced her to viewing the world she knew differently. Xander is her best friend and her Match. As she reviewed the profile that the Society gave her, she already knew the information about Xander. There was nothing new about him. Nothing alluring. Xander as Cassia’s match was nothing exciting, and romance is exciting! In conclusion, Ky was simply something new and exciting (sorry about the repetition). What more could a girl want from a painfully dull world that decides basically everything you do?

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