Published November 1st 2011 by Dutton Children’s
Cassia has sacrificed a lot to find Ky. She has left her family and is in a faraway province on a work camp. Despite being that much closer to her lost love, she is still under the watchful eye of the Society.
When a group of Aberrations is being sent to the outer provinces on a hopeless mission to act as decoys for the Enemy, Cassia manages to sneak into their group as well. She is sure that she will see Ky very soon, and doesn’t pay any mind to the very real danger. But when she arrives, she discovers that he has already escaped. Now she too must escape, and follow him into the canyons.
Crossed is written from Cassia’s and Ky’s points of view. They take turns, getting a chapter each. This is good, because you get to see what’s going on with each of them while they’re separated. I do find this style annoying sometimes because you often get little cliffhangers between chapters and sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between characters if they’re a bit too alike. But mostly it was done well here. Once I realised that there were multiple viewpoints, that is – I didn’t even notice the little names underneath the chapter headings to begin with!
This has a completely different vibe and setting to Matched. It’s a journey outside, across unknown and dangerous territory. You get to see what life is like outside of the cities, and meet some of the people who live completely separate to the Society. There’s also more focus on Aberrations and Anomalies. It’s a wider view of the whole world that Ally Condie has created, basically.
I always wonder if the second book in these types of series suffers because it’s basically a bridge between two novels. An example of this is The Maze Runner series – the first book was amazing, the second book was good, but it was just a journey, and it was a totally different vibe, and the third was set in a different city (it was also a major disappointment, in my opinion, but that’s a review for another day). Something about these in-between/gotta-get-to-the-next-place novels bothers me. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s that they don’t have much of a stand-alone quality to them.
I found the ending to be a bit bland. There’s something to be said for not having a massive cliffhanger, but you can go totally in the opposite direction and make the reader not care about the next book at all. Crossed isn’t quite at that level of extremity, but it’s not far off.
I did find it harder to get into Crossed, because of how different it is, but it was pretty good. I liked learning more about the history and seeing how things are outside. There’s still a few questions that I’d like to see answered (mainly about the Enemy(?)), but there’s plenty of time for that in Reached. Hopefully all will become clear.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Goodreads Rating: 3.54/5