Crossed by Allie Condie

Cassia Reyes is a sweet girl. She does as she is told and has never questioned the Society before. That’s about to change.

By Ally Condie
Dutton Juvenile
November 2011

In the Society the officials make the decisions for you. Who you will marry, what your career will be, and even when you will die. Cassia is matched with her childhood friend Xavier in the first book, Matched, but her plans change when she finds out that her real match is to Ky, someone she knows but has never thought of that way. After spending time with him, though, Cassia falls in love with Ky, to Xavier’s dismay.

Ky is not allowed to be with Cassia because his father committed a crime, which makes Ky an Aberration. To remove Ky from the picture, the Society takes him to be killed in a so-called humane way: in battle, along with other Aberrations and Anomalies (the people who committed crimes,) given guns that have no ammo in them and sent to defend the borderlands from the Enemy.

Ky and two of his new friends escape and they run for the mountains. Ky plans to go back for Cassia once he can figure a way back to the Society. But Cassia isn’t waiting around to be rescued; she has run away to find Ky by enlisting herself in a labor camp nearby were the rumored battlefields are. On the way, she hears rumors about an organization called the Rising that is said to be consisted of people who survive by without the Society and are trying to take down the Society. Will Ky and Cassia ever find each other again? And if they do, will they be able to survive or find the Rising?

In book one, Cassia begins to realize how much better life would be without the Society. Now, in book two, she begins to act and break free. This is displayed perfectly on the covers of the books. The society is the bubble. Cassia begins to break out of it in the second book, but in the first she is trapped. This book is packed with adventure and romance.

Like many popular love triangle books (read Twilight,) the Matched trilogy takes readers on a ride through self discovery and through decisions that will shape all involved. Unlike some books (Twilight, again,) the heroine is not a wimpy whiner who sits around for seasons at a time frozen, unable to act until her love comes back for her. Cassia becomes a well rounded character through the first two books as she starts to act on her own outside the commands of the Society.

The series borrows heavily from 1984, which is a good thing as every generation needs the message wrapped in generational language. Unlike 1984, love is the focus here and fans of science fiction may find it slow going at times. In fact, the biggest concern about the third book is how Ally Condie will finish the series in only one book. In Crossed, very little time passes from start to finish and most of the time is spent in one location. Some will be disappointed with the quick finish to the book, when the Rising finally comes into play only to have the story end on a cliffhanger.

Arieltopia, a twelve year old, probably at the low end of the intended age market said, “I absolutely loved this book and the descriptions were terrific. I can not wait to read the next one and find out what happens next. The complex story structure insures that the reader never becomes bored. There is always something happening and some sort of looming terror nearby. The entire time I was reading the book I was filled with apprehension and suspense. I recommend this book for Middle Schoolers and up.”

Scott Asher said, “I found a complex science fiction world reminiscent of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 with a love story good enough to keep young readers interested. Overall, a very good series so far and I am looking forward to the conclusion.”

Arieltopia is an 12 year old avid reader – usually going through a book a day – who gives readers a unique perspective on Young Adult, Teen Fiction, along with adult fiction: an actual teenager’s perspective.

Scott Asher is the founder and administrator of His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on Christianity, Zombies, and anything else he wants to.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

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