review: crossed by ally condie

Author: Ally Condie
Publication Date: 11/01/2011
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 367
Source: ARC (thank you, kathy!)

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.

How far would you go to follow your intuition? Cassia, having been relocated to the far reaching Tana Province, finds herself in a work colony where every day is a repetitive action, with each action bringing her closer to the end of her time on the outskirts. Determined to find Ky, an unlikely series of events give her the opportunity to embark on a path that a few months ago she might have never been able to imagine, finding answers to questions she hadn't known to ask.

There's been a lot of debate about this book due in part to two things: it being told from alternating viewpoints (those of Cassia and Ky); and the supposed relative lack of action to move the plot along enough. Neither of these things were issues for me. Alternate POVs, if done correctly, are something that an very much enhance the way a story unfolds. Also, one of the things I dislike most in dystopian novels is when there's not enough background given to explain why things the way there are, and why people act the way they do. I'm not going to say that Crossed offers all of the answers - and I'm glad that it doesn't - but the way the information is doled out is done in such a manner that truly aids the overall feeling of the book.

We get pieces of information from Cassia, others from Ky, and some still from new characters that are introduced. It is because everything isn't offered up right away that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I really loved being able to see something happen to Ky, with Cassia slowly being able to figure it out and having the opportunity to see Ky's internal reactions. Cassia, having grown up within the Society, would not have the raw responses to certain things that Ky does and it made all the difference.  I'm of the opinion that Book 3 would not make the impact that I think it will without the pacing of Crossed.

While Xander isn't that verbally or physically present in this book, his absence allows the story to take a certain path with things that I would never have guessed. One of the big reasons I enjoyed Matched was the writing, and it does not disappoint here. Ally has a way of making words and thoughts flow so nicely from transition to transition and that are unique to each character. The prose was a bit like moving water, and so every time I glanced at the blue on the cover I thought that it was wholly fitting.

Give this book a chance. I really think it may surprise you. If Matched was strong and steady, Crossed is quiet, but sure.

2 comments on "review: crossed by ally condie"

We Heart YA wrote: Sun Sep 25, 11:01:00 AM

Ooo, great review! Now you've got us excited for Crossed again. (Which is nice, because we all enjoyed Matched.)

Anna @ Literary Exploration wrote: Sun Sep 25, 09:43:00 PM

I NEED this book. You have no idea! I am SO excited for it :) I love alternating POVs so I'm stoked about that! I can't wait to get my hands on it :) I'm glad to hear it's a good one!

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