Crossed by Ally Condie | Book Review


Release date: November 1, 2011
Series: Matched Trilogy (Book #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance

Last week I shared my thoughts about Ally Condie's Matched and even though I wasn't quite impressed with the book, I still intended to continue reading the series. As you can tell, I just finished the second book and unfortunately I didn't find it any more exciting than the previous one. I still plan to finish the series, but mostly because I want to see how the author wraps it up.

Crossed picks up right where Matched ended: our star-crossed lovers have been separated by the society, but are determined to somehow reunite. Cassia is focused on finding out where exactly was Ky taken and is willing to risk everything short of her family to find him. Ky is brooding, as he realizes he's not expected to last very long in his current situation. The book is a double narrative: the chapters alternate between Cassia's and Ky's points of view.

The double narrative was something that didn't work for me right away. I have just read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl two weeks ago and after that fantastic example of a double narrative my standards were pretty high. The main problem I had with it in Crossed was that I didn't see much difference between the two voices. I actually had to make a point of reading the chapter names after getting confused a few times about who was narrating the story. I did not expect two characters with such radically different backgrounds to sound alike. I also could not believe how calm these characters were: their worlds are falling apart, they are in life threatening circumstances, they don't really know where they're going and yet they maintain pretty clear heads. Some teenagers!

I actually thought the story picked up a bit compared to Matched and that's something I liked, even though it still didn't live up to its full potential. There was definitely more action this time around, but then with the given circumstances it could hardy have been any other way. What bugged me was the amount of "lucky" coincidences: there were so many ways this could have gone completely haywire, and yet, even though it wasn't perfect, everything kind of kept falling into place. This also made most of the book predictable, so I was never really worried about where was all of this going.

There were a couple of interesting new characters, but we never really get to find out much about them. This is a major problem I find with most first person narratives: it's impossible to get the whole picture. Still, out of bits of information, these new characters managed to spark my interest. I have also missed Xander in this book and he's somebody I was curious about from the beginning. While we are given some insights into his life in Crossed, he's definitely being "saved' for the final book.

I can't really recommend Crossed to anyone, unless you enjoyed Matched and want to know how all of this ends. Other than that, you're not missing out on much here. The only things I appreciated about this book were the fact that I find dystopia interesting (even though this is not the best example of it) and the way the language is used here on quite a few occasions. I really wanted to like Crossed and it's too bad it didn't work as well as it could have.