I’m a huge fan of Matched by Ally Condie which I reviewed here and Crossed, the upcoming sequel is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. You can imagine my elation when I found out that Ally was going to be signing ARCs of Crossed at BEA (Books Expo America) which took place earlier this year and fortunately, I was going to be in attendance for the first time ever! There was NO WAY I was going to miss out on snagging one of those ARCs and I also dragged my precious hardback of Matched across the ocean to get that signed too. I’d heard some whispers in the queue that Ally was only signing ARCs that day but I thought “stuff it! I’ve come all this way, I’m a huge fan and I can only ask”. So I got to the front of the line, pulled out Matched and Ally was more than happy to sign it for me *squee* (thanks Ally!).
Matched did not leave us with a cliffhanger as such but it was an ending that definitely left you wanting more. Ky was taken to the Outer Provinces and Cassia has gone after him and this basically forms the plot of Crossed. Here’s the synopsis:
“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.”
I couldn’t wait to read Crossed and thankfully, it did not disappoint. I enjoyed it just as much as the first book but be warned, it is quite different in that no longer are we in a sprawling urban jungle as the Outer Provinces are made up of desert and rock. I was rooting for Cassia all the way and as the book went on, I became more and more DESPERATE for her to find Ky. What I didn’t expect was my change of heart for Xander and I definitely felt a pull towards him. In book one, it was all about Ky but Xander is the dark horse here and whilst he is only in the book for a short time, his absence is more like a presence. We find out a lot more about Xander in Crossed together with some startling revelations that I certainly did not see coming and these set the tone for the next book.
Whereas Matched was told from Cassia’s point of view, Crossed gives us a split narrative and we get to see the world through Ky’s eyes which I thought gave us more of an insight into his character. It was nice to see the current situation from both sides but I would have LOVED to have seen it through Xander’s ;)
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Crossed is slow and nothing happens but I couldn’t disagree more. I thought it was extremely suspenseful and carried the story along quite nicely. The writing continues to be lyrical and there were some stand out scenes for me. This is supposed to be Cassia’s journey and it was good to see a different part of the landscape and how The Society is involved in everything that happens, even in the Outer Provinces. I did not expect the ending that we were given and this only makes me hungry for more. I suspect that the next book will probably be the best one yet and I can’t wait to read it!
Crossed was published on 1st November, 2011 in the US and 24th November, 2011 in the UK. To find out more about Ally Condie and her books, please click here to visit her website. She is also active on Facebook and Twitter.