Crossed by Ally Condie, published by Puffin on 24th November 2011
Rules are different outside the Society.
Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky-taken by the Society to his certain death-only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's points of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever...
'Crossed' is the sequel to the fantastic 'Matched' by Ally Condie which has been one of my favourite dystopian books of the last few years. The ending left me hanging, so I couldn't wait to get started on this one as soon as it arrived. I have to admit that I was feverish with excitement because I'd been waiting for this book to be published for months and was dying to find out what was going to happen on the next step in Cassia's journey.
After Ky is sent away to the Outer Provinces, Cassia is determined to find him so sets about leaving everything she loves behind - her family, friends and more importantly Xander, to track him down. The narrative is split between Ky and Cassia who tell the story in alternate chapters, providing greater insight into both of their feelings and motivations. I wasn't a huge fan of Ky in the first book, but I enjoyed getting the opportunity to find out more about his background and family history. Although he is growing on me, I still love Xander and was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see more of him.
My main problem with 'Crossed' is that the plot was very slow to progress. I think it did suffer a little from middle book syndrome and it felt like there was much more to come but it was all being saved for the last book in the trilogy. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, there was no real resolution to the Cassia, Ky and Xander love triangle and although more was gleaned about the the Society and the Rising, it wasn't enough to feel like a substantial step forward had been taken with the story. Ally Condie is obviously keeping a lot up her sleeve!
I liked the fact that both characters were not only on a physical journey, but also a mental and emotional one. Cassia discovers that her path and Ky's may not lead them in the same direction and has a lot of time to think about what she actually wants out of life and more importantly, who she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
Some interesting secondary characters were introduced, such as Eli, who reminds Ky of Cassia's younger brother Bram and Indie, who Cassia journeys with to try and find Ky. I loved Eli who may be young but is also incredibly brave and resilient and I liked finding out about the enigmatic Indie who there's a lot more to than meets the eye.
The third and concluding part of the trilogy is due to be published next year and although this book didn't quite meet my very high expectations, I have a feeling that the final part is still going to be amazing and will answer all those questions that I'm still puzzling about!