"I couldn't change myself. This epiphany led me to the realization that I didn't love easily, but when I did, I loved with all of myself and I loved completely." The lynchpin novel of Ally Condie's Matched trilogy finds Cassia in the dangerous Outer Provinces in full pursuit of her beloved Ky. Fortunately, he is at least temporarily safe, but rapidly evolving developments offer her little opportunity for tranquility. With each passing event, threats and potential betrayals seem closer; unless Ally acts, her future will be forever locked closed. Editor's recommendation.
Separated by the dictatorial Society that rules them, Cassia has been searching for Ky while suffering the harsh conditions of labor camps far from home. About to be sent to the Society’s biggest city for her permanent work assignment, Cassia instead grabs an opportunity to reach the war-torn Outer Provinces, where she finally gets a lead in tracking Ky. Ky has survived being used as a pawn in the Society’s war against a nameless and faceless enemy; he and two companions have escaped into a no man’s land, and Cassia follows. As Cassia and Ky hike through dangerous territory in search of a rumored rebellion and the freedom to be together, the specter of Cassia’s betrothed, Xander, hangs over them. Narrated from Cassia and Ky’s viewpoints, Condie’s sequel to her acclaimed Matched is very much a middle book, centering on a transformative journey and setting up the finale to come. Newcomers will need to read the first book for background, but vivid, poetic writing will pull fans through as Condie immerses readers in her characters’ yearnings and hopes. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)
Praise for Crossed:
“Cassia and Ky grapple with secrets, wilderness and the tumultuous meanings of love in the second installment of this addictive, layered dystopic trilogy… Although two-boys-one-girl triangles run rife in this genre, Condie’s is complicated and particularly human, involving real emotional scars… Both rich and easy to digest, this will leave fans hungry for the third book.” - Kirkus, starred review
“Told in alternating chapters from their points of view, the book gives readers full access to the hearts and minds of two memorable characters. Their needs, love, and internal conflicts are palpable. Their voices are distinct and authentic, and the writing is often poetic.” - School Library Journal
“This is more than just a placeholder between the first and last parts of a trilogy… Condie effectively sets the stage for the final chapter in Cassia’s story by leaving the reader hanging at the end of the book. Matched fans will devour this book and be eager for the concluding one.” - VOYA
“…vivid, poetic writing… Condie immerses readers in her characters’ yearnings and hopes.” - Publishers Weekly
Gr 7 Up—Cassia, Ky, and Xander are back in this eagerly awaited sequel to Matched (Dutton, 2010), joined by new friends and facing new obstacles. Ky has been banished to the outer provinces along with many other young Aberrations to serve as cannon fodder for the unseen enemy of the Society. It is a brutish-and certain to be very short-life. But Ky and his friends Vick and Eli escape into The Carving, a vast system of canyons seemingly beyond the reach of the Society. Meanwhile, Cassia escapes a Society work camp and flees into the canyons, risking everything to find Ky and a rumored rebellion called the Rising, once again leaving behind Xander. Ky reluctantly shares bits of his past with her, only hinting at his aversion to the Rising. Xander, though not physically present in the canyons, intrudes on their relationship again and again and is withholding important information. Caught between the Society and the Rising, and wanting only to be together, Ky and Cassia must choose a side if they are to survive. Told in alternating chapters from their points of view, the book gives readers full access to the hearts and minds of two memorable characters. Their needs, love, and internal conflicts are palpable. Their voices are distinct and authentic, and the writing is often poetic. But this volume resolves little, leaving readers hungry for the final book in the trilogy.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Cassia and Ky grapple with secrets, wilderness and the tumultuous meanings of love in the second installment of this addictive, layered dystopic trilogy. Far away from both each other and the neatly manicured and repressive Society suburbs, Ky and Cassia are both on the run. Cassia slyly gets herself moved from a work camp to the Outer Provinces, where kids are shipped to die as "decoys"--defenseless shooting fodder for the Enemy. She's not positive that Ky's there, but readers are: The two alternate narrating in first-person present. Ky's voice is dry and harsh, Cassia's lusher, befitting their life histories. They're desperate to find each other. She's exhilarated at whispers of an anti-Society rebellion called the Rising; Ky hates the Rising but holds his reasons close, parceling out his story slowly. When Cassia and Ky find each other, deception looms large, as does Cassia's official Match, Xander, geographically distant but sharply relevant. Although two-boys-one-girl triangles run rife in this genre, Condie's is complicated and particularly human, involving real emotional scars. While more loosely woven than Matched (2010), this volume has its own boons, including non-linear travel through a rough canyon and critical interpretations of Tennyson's symbolism, which could change their world. Questions--about Cassia's vulnerability to the Society's pills, about the Enemy's identity and the Rising's true nature--hover for next time. Both rich and easy to digest, this will leave fans hungry for the third book. (Science fiction/romance. 13 & up)
"[A]n action-driven sequel, steered by characters who break the rules, form new alliances and commit to surprising paths."