Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Crossed

The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy

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.

  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
  • Release date: Nov. 1, 2011
  • Format: ARC paperback
  • Page count: 367
  • Unique elements: Chapters alternate POV- Ky then Cassia

Ashley's Review

Favorite Quotes:

“In some ways I like the dirt. It works into every crease of my skin, makes a map on the back of my hands. Once, when I felt very tired, I looked down at the cartography of my skin and imagined it could tell me how to get to Ky.”

“And it is strange that absence can feel like presence. A missing so complete that if it were to go away, I would turn around, stunned, to see that the room is empty after all, when before it at least had something, if not him.”

“The poems and stories we shared with each other could mean what we wanted them to mean. We could choose our own path together.”

“I thought I loved her and wanted her before, but as we walk through the canyon together I realize this could be more than a new shade. A whole new color.”


Crossed, the second book in the Matched trilogy, focused on Cassia’s attempt to find Ky in the Outer Provinces.  The point of view (POV) in the story alternates between Cassia and Ky.  I loved “hearing” Ky’s take on things and knowing what he was doing.  In the last book he was such a mystery and it was nice to get a clearer picture of him.  I liked the set up of changing POV, but I found the chapters to be choppy.  I suppose there’s no way to really segway between them in a smoother manner but I still found it a bit distracting.  Sometimes I became confused about whose POV the chapter was in; I frequently had to return to the chapter title page to remind myself. 

I cannot help comparing the love triangle between Cassia, Ky, and Xander to Twilight’s triangle between Bella, Jacob, and Edward.  Cassia and Ky seem to have been brought together by fate or destiny.  They had an instant and bone-deep connection in Matched and it continues in this story.  Xander is Cassia’s best friend and is her Match.  She loves him and would be happy with him, but in a way she’d be cheating the both of them if she remained with him.  I believe that she has already chosen Ky over Xander (whether she fully acknowledges this or not) and that Xander deserves to know this and have a chance to find his soulmate as well.  I continue to be a huge fan of Ky and his relationship with Cassia.
Xander makes a surprise appearance in the book before Cassia goes off the grid.  I was excited when he showed up for his visit and wanted a reminder of his charm and wit.  His role in the book was extremely small and seemed kind of unnecessary.  His visit seemed like more of a “hey, don’t forget I’m in the book, too!”  Cassia’s memories of him seemed more important to the plot and her confusion about being with Ky. 
I purposefully didn’t read Jenna’s review of Crossed because I didn’t want any details revealed or to be influenced by her opinion.  While I didn’t read her review (and still haven’t!), I did talk to her about it.  She told me that she found it a bit boring and was a little disappointed.  I enjoyed the book more than she did and wonder if that doesn’t have to do with my lowered expectations from talking to her.  We both had been waiting anxiously for this book to come out and it may have been built up in our heads.  I agree that it was a slower plot without much action, but I thought it was sweet.  The biggest thing to me was that Cassia and Ky found each other again.  I enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the final book!


 Jenna's Review

Favorite Quotes:

"With a piece of soap the color of this month, of November, I scrub my fingers one last time."

"We're lucky there is no snow: and the air is desert-cold, a sharp, thin cold that tricks you into thinking you aren't thirsty, because breathing is like drinking in ice."

"Ky watches me with that look in his eyes, the one sad and full of love at the same time, the one he gives me when he knows something I don't, something he thinks has been stolen from me."

"'River. That's one of the words we need,' and the way he says it, the way his mouth looks and his voice sounds, makes me want to leave these papers alone and spend my days in the painted cave or one of the little houses or down by the water, trying only to solve the mystery of him."

I reread Matched again so I'd have all the little details fresh in my mind. I'm glad I did because not much from the first book is explained again. There were several memories for both Ky and Cassia that had me going, "At least I remember that part." So for anyone who didn't read the first book or read it a year ago, I wouldn't be surprised if you're left scratching your head in confusion.

As far as sequels go, this one really let me down. It felt like merely an in-between: how do we get the characters from point A to point C? This describes Cassia's and Ky's desert journey in great detail. Probably too much detail. Flashbacks help develop character motives (mainly Ky's), but the action falls short.

Because the characters are running from Society, the book takes place almost solely outdoors in the Carvings. At times the red-gold rock scenes were too overwritten. Water/rain was described as being gold and silver in flashlight beams. It did strike me as pretty the first time, but then it was mentioned again. Still, there were some phrases that captured my interest. When Cassia and Indie climb the rock face of the Cavern, Cassia thinks, "I wish the rock would hold us, cradle us back as we cling to it, but it doesn't."

Several times a sentence tried to sum up a thought or a lesson (not just at the end of chapters). Some of them were excellent, some of them just seemed placed for the sake of having the characters come to a realization. After-school special lines, if you will.
The thing I'd most anticipated was the telling of the story from both Cassia's and Ky's point of view. I enjoyed Ky's much more. I'd actually have liked it if the whole book had been from his perspective, but then the reader wouldn't have seen Cassia during her journey to find him or learned about her experiences with Indie.

I appreciated the addition of some new characters; young Eli was my favorite because he was like Cassia's brother, Bram. I also admired Hunter's dedication to his sick daughter Sarah. The story about why the farmers painted blue lines all over their arms was creative. Indie was a strong survivor and an asset to Cassia's survival, but I'm not sure I grew to like her by the end.

What I didn't expect to feel: I wanted Xander in the story more. I'm definitely not a fan of the Cassia/Xander hookup, but he was doing all this sexy whispering to Cassia when he visited her at the camp. And then you read all these hints about Xander having a secret (that went on for such a long time) and I just really wanted to know what it was. It's revealed--not to worry!

I did like that there were a few different love stories: Vick and Laney, then Hunter and Sarah's mother. There is an underlying message that not all love ends happily. Will it carry to the third book with Cassia and Ky? They had quite a few secrets. There is a part where Cassia catches Ky destroying something important to her and I felt she severely underreacted. Even after their ups and downs, somehow I can't help thinking they'll end up together.

Cassia has a view of Xander that is super similar to Bella's thoughts about Jacob (yes, from Twilight). With Xander, it's a different kind of love, less complicated; but it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The passage where she thinks these thoughts seems selfish but definitely human. Comfort does not equal love. I frequently wanted to yank Cassia by the hair and scream, "Make a decision!"

Seriously, they both love you, but there's only one real choice. Even her heart knows it. The "settle" option never works.

The ending was very mysterious, an interesting lure for readers: which HE is Cassia actually planning to meet with?

I've got to cross my fingers for the third book. I need action, suspense, and a whole lot more details in the romantic scenes! I know Ally Condie has got it in her!


Laura BurgandyIce said...

Aaaaah... you got your hands on Crossed already!! :-) Very, very nice!

I had a feeling this was a middler book. I absolutely plan on reading it, but maybe it would be funner just before the third comes out, like a full trilogy altogether read. What do you think? Would you reread Crossed before the final?

Thx for hopping over to my site. I'm a new GFC. Your Must Read Monday looks like a lot of fun, a good way to share favorite reads. I'll post your chick pic in case I get my stuff together fast enough to participate Monday. (I'm always optimistic!)

Jenna and Ashley said...

A friend of mine who read it was raving about it, so I know mine isn't the only opinion out there. I would definitely say read them in a row if you can! I'll have to reread Crossed before the third comes out since it could be another really is a good plan though, keeping us on the edge of our seats with anticipation.
You may love it. It had some really great parts.

Thanks about Must Read Monday. Still trying to get it up and running:)

Jenna and Ashley said...

Ashley, I am totally rooting for Cassia and Ky. He has such a broken past. But I also liked Xander and am curious to know his secret. I agree with you: she needs to be firm and put her foot down with Xander so he can find happiness:) Sigh...thinking about it makes me hope they make a movie.