August 21, 2012

Review: Crossed - Ally Condie

Well hello there!

Just recently, I posted my review for Matched (you can read it here) and if you still didn't read Matched, I'd advise you not to read this review. I will try not to spoil Crossed for anyone, but I can't be held responsible for Matched spoilers.

Now that the warning has been made...

It's not a popular opinion, but I really liked Crossed. I thought it had an amazing world building, it showed us a lot of what people were questioning after Matched and it let us see what Society is really like - on the not so perfect side.

We start seeing Cassia at a kind of forced work camp. She's arranged with her parents to be deemed a rebel and they ask her to be sent there to be disciplined. Actually, they are trying to help her to find Ky.

Ky, on the other hand, has been sent to the Outer Provinces where he is expected to pretend he lives there, pretend he's a settler/farmer while, on the other hand, enduring attacks from "the Enemy" and just die, eventually.

Crossed alternates points of view between Cassia and Ky. We get a small moment of Xander when he visits Cassia - after all, they are still Matched together, their Match was never undone by Society.

Cassia goes off to the Outer Provinces, after Ky, to look for him and, while at it, she also starts looking for the Rising, the last drop of resistance against The Society. She's not quite sure, yet, why she's trying to fight the Society. She's not sure it's all bad, but she wants to love Ky and if she wants that, she must be willing to leave The Society and work with her life the way people used to and more - not only deciding for herself, but fighting all those who want to decide for her.

People say this book is bad and that it's too slow. I sort of agree. But not really. It's not slow, I mean, Matched was slow as hell, this isn't worse, it does, however, show a lot more personal growth for the characters, a lot more of who they are and what they think. Also, we get to know a lot about Ky, which we didn't before, and we get to see so much of the Society's hidden side that I find this book much better than Matched. It's kind of predictable at times, but still surprises us, sometimes. It raises more questions than it answers and I really do hope they answer at least a lot of them on Reached, or I'll be very frustrated. I like books with a decent dose of internal/emotional growth as well as some action and yay new characters.

With Matched, we learnt more about the green tablet and how it keeps people calm (and Cassia's thing with her grandpa over not taking it), how it helps people be controlled, since they are under control, not anxious and not really thinking about their problems. With Crossed, we learn about the blue tablet, the one that is said to help you, if you are caught without food or water, you can just take one and be fine. With Reached we will hear more about the red tablet, I am sure. We know it makes people forget... And how many people have taken it already? What have they all forgotten? How much has been forgotten by society as a whole?

Other questions I'd like answered include (but are not limited to):
- Who is The Enemy and how did they become "The Enemy"? 
- What happened (history-wise) to create the separation between The Society and The Enemy?
- What's with that weird Society Employee who told Cassia that they'd put Ky's name on her card? Why did she lie like that?
- What's with The Rising and what's the connection with The Society?
- What's with Xander? Did he know... (spoiler)?
- What's happened to the artifacts? Where are the things that were "removed" from The Society?
- What's happened to the farmers (sure we know part, but why now?)?
- What's happening in The Society? Why it's getting different?


My guesses on things that will be told/happen on Reached:
- Cassia is the Pilot.
- She's meeting Xander at the end of Crossed.
- The Enemy doesn't exist. It is The Society's way of killing people they can't or won't control and a scare tactic.
- The Rising is not quite as clandestine and not quite as "against" The Society as it wants people to think.
- The red pill has been used in almost everyone. People who can't forget, if found out, become The Rising or Anomalies/Abominations (depending on how dangerous they can be)
- There's something in the past The Society wants forgotten. It's deliberatelly erasing people's pasts.