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.
©2011 Ally Condie (P)2011 Penguin
In my review of Matched, I was anxiously anticipating this sequel and was hoping to learn more about The Society, The Rising and Xander in particular (a promising character that I felt was underserved in Matched). Well, I did learn more about some of those things...
I liked Crossed, but it also frustrated me as well. When we last saw our protagonists, Ky was being hauled off to the Outer Provinces by The Society and to certain, eventual death. Cassia decides to somehow follow him no matter what the cost. Xander sadly watches the entire scene unfold, still harboring his love for Cassia despite her inherent idiocy, sorry, I mean tenacity...and Cassia's family is shipped off to do some farming for awhile and learn the errors of their rebellious ways.
So...that brings us to Crossed. Here's what I liked:
I liked (and disliked, see below) that Crossed was told from the perspectives of both Cassia and KY. This technique helped me to like and understand Ky more. (Full disclosure: I'm a budding Xander fan.) They are both in the Outer Provinces and then ultimately on the run, but for a great deal of the book they are apart, searching for each other.
Along the way they pick up some friends and I liked these characters. They are a great addition to the series, especially Indie (you know I like strong female characters who don't put up with BS) and I know we will see more of them in the sequel.
Condie's descriptions are beautiful and you can visualize easily the surroundings of The Carving and The Outer Provinces.
Now here's what I had a problem with:
1. Where the heck's Xander?
He shows up for like a minute, is mysterious and then leaves. I really feel like his character has potential and possibly more depth than Ky given all of theses "secrets" and "mysteries" surrounding him. I again am hoping we see more of him in the third book, how about the next book is from his perspective? That I would be interested to read: "Cassie's breaking my heart, so I gave her a big packet of blue pills. Hope they work..."
2. Speaking of perspectives...
While I liked the idea of both POV's, after a while they both started sounding the same. The only thing that helped me in this regard was that I actually listened to Crossed as an unabridged audio book on Audible and they had a guy and a girl reading each chapter. However, in tone and sappiness, they both sounded alike to me.
3. Enough with the poetry already.
I get how integral these poems are to the story, just not sure if I need to read them again every other chapter until I have them memorized too. Sidenote: I was reading another book last night where a character died and they were looking for the perfect poem for his memorial. Immediately I started reciting Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" (brainwashed much?) and guess what? That's the exact one they used...
4. The Society sucks at catching people. Or do they?...
I can't decide if Cassia and Ky are still part of some big Society experiment or if The Society is in a recession and they just don't have the manpower and resources to find our motley crew. Cassia and Ky both spend a great deal of time piddling around and very little (or absolutely zero) time actually in danger of being caught. This decreased the suspense and thus my enjoyment of Crossed.
Well...after that diatribe, I guess it looks like I didn't really like Crossed at all, but I did. I think the series overall has promise and Crossed was just a slow Act II. I love Condie's writing style in general and it is a testament to Matched that I even am riled up enough to be a little disappointed in the sequel. I promise, I will be first in line for the third book and there better be more Xander, dang it!
Story - I didn't feel that this book was a good as Matched, but it was ok and I feel that it sets up for a potentially thrilling conclusion to the trilogy with the next book. I loved Matched, so the bar was set pretty high in my expectations for Crossed. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great story, just not what I thought it could be.
Narration - I read Matched on my Kindle, so I hadn't heard the audio version. I used a credit for Crossed and wish I hadn't. I did not like the narrators, especially Kate Simses. Her voice sounded way too young for what I envisioned Cassia should have sounded like. I've heard Ms. Simses on other books and it didn't annoy me, but I found it almost unbearable to listen to her on this book. If you listened to and liked Matched, I'm sure Ms. Simses narration won't bother you, but if you didn't listen to Matched, I'd think twice before using a credit on this book.
The Dragon Mother
This is the second story in the Matched series and picks up where the last one left off. If you did not read the first in this series, I don’t think a lot of things would make sense for you in this story.
This story mostly follows Cassia and Ky as they journey in the outer providences, each hoping to find the other. Along the way, they pick up a few new people that follow along with them and have their own little mysterious back-stories.
I did not enjoy this story as much as the first. The beginning starts out promising with Cassia assigned to a work camp and wondering how to get away and Ky assigned to a farm town to act as a target decoy. The narration skips back and forth between the two as the story develops.
The middle and ending of the books were not as exciting. There are still a lot of things going on that the author hasn’t revealed, but action wise, the book was moving like a stream of fudge rather than a chocolate waterfall. I would rate this book at 3 stars.
The main conflict in this story is that there is a three way love triangle between Xander, Ky, and Cassia. More than that is that Ky, the one that Cassia really, really, loves is going off to die. So Cassia did what most people would do, she goes to the Outer Providences to find Ky and find the “Rising”.
In the beginning of the story Cassia is at a camp doing work, but she only went there to find Ky, which is somewhere in the Outer Providences. She then gets sent off to a camp like the one Ky is at, to go die. Ky is at a camp with about one hundred people to be bait for the ships that fly around killing them all, they call themselves decoys. The Capital tells them if they stay there for six months that they wont be Aberrations anymore, nobody lives that long in the camps. Almost every night in the camps there are bombings. Ky and another person named Vic have stayed there the longest, only twelve weeks. Ky and Vic run away from the camp with Eli, a boy that was at the camp. They ran to the Carvings.
What I liked about this book was that there was a lot of action, like when people were getting blown up. What I HATED about this book was that they killed one of my favorite characters. I hated that part. I didn’t like the parts when they were in the Carvings. They just walked and walked for a long time and didn’t really do anything. Over all I liked this book, I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
The Narration Review
This autobook was narrated by Kate Simes and Jack Riccobono. Kate Simes also narrated the first book in this series. I still think she sounds very young for the part of Cassia, but it doesn’t distract too much from the story. Jack Riccobono sounded about the correct age for the Ky portion of the narration. They complimented each other very nicely in the telling of the story from both points of view.
Combined rating = 3.5 stars
I enjoyed Matched. I did not enjoy crossed. The book progressed soooo slowly. Everything about it was slow - the dialog, the plot. I found myself struggling to get throuh th ebook. It's almost as if Ally set out to write a poem, but decided to turn it into a full length novel. It was so verbose and descriptions of the tangible and intangible were way overdone.
The only part I enjoyed was the first hour and the last 30 minutes, where the language was a bit shorter and the action faster-paced.
If it weren't for the exciting last half hour, I might have no interest in reading the last book in the trilogy.
Narration: Jack Riccobono was a very believable Ky. However, his narration of Eli was annoying, adding a questioning intonation at the end of every sentence. I realize many children love to question, but even Eli's statement's came out like questions. He also sounded like a guy trying to sound like a girl when reading for the girls.
Kate was great, as she was last time in Matched.
Say something about yourself!
Book one was better than this one... but, it sets up a good story line for the third book. I personally prefer one narrator and the back and forth narration for me was not enjoyable. I did like this book and do look forward to the third in the series.
We are doing AR reading at my school, well this year the teachers and staff are competing to try and encourage the kids to read. I LOVE LOVE to read but was having a hard time finding any Teen/ YA books that I could stand to read/listen to. Well this one had it all. I cant wait for the next book in this series. Only bad things is it left me at a cliff hanger and the wait is going to kill me.
This one was good but the story felt so different from the first one. With the two main characters out of the town and away from their families and as many prying eyes, the intensity I felt in the first book was gone. Also, the narrator made the characters sound a bit dim. Maybe this is how the author imagined it in her head, but when I read the first one (via paper copy) I imagined the main characters as very intelligent and brave. This girl sounded weak and meek. The first one was soo good, I could barely put it down but this one was only mediocre. Hopefully the next one is just as good as the first!
I really enjoyed the first book and the narration is even better with the split pov, but the story moves so slowly that I found it hard to pay attention.
I like to read VERY much .. I'm obsessed with reading I don't have time to actually read a book so I've been a listener for three years now
I would change the male narrator because he needs improving and his narration often put me to sleep
also the story lacked some action , it felt it was all talk nothing is really happening and that made me bored
I would recommend the whole series if the third installment is any good , because I liked matched very much but I'm not so sure about crossed
I liked the scene when ky and Cassia reunited .. also the scene where ky is talking to himself about how much he loves Cassia
I felt it could be better as an audio book but I was glad that I listened to it , the female narrator is excellent but the male is stiff hope he gets better
I expected to enjoy the story much more than this because I liked matched very much .. hope the third book will be better
The plot was dragging. The long separation of the two main characters- the plodding mushy sentimentality -it was a little too much for a little too long. I'll admit that I fast forwarded- partly due to long internal dialogues- (in the male's narrator's nasal voice that was quite irritating and whiny!) and partly due to the lack of action. I don't think that this book was even necessary. It seems like this was filler. I haven't read or listened to the last book, but I believe everything probably could have been condensed into one large novel.
Something else. The same male narrator is used on the last book. If I do complete the series, I will read the book and not purchase the audio version.
The girl character is okay. She sounds a little young, but does a decent job. The male narrator is absurd. He has an annoying voice- nasal and weak. When an audio version is used to represent the entire character- it is important that the voice be able to represent that character well. His representation of the female characters is grating as well.
I did cry. There were some truly emotional moments. Unfortunately it is hard to get invested in either character when the perspective is constantly shifting.
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