by Ally Condie
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
LONG STORY SHORT:
I loved Crossed at least as much as I loved Matched - maybe even more. The story continued and went exactly the way I wanted it to go, but the plot was never too obvious. Condie's writing style is awesome, very poetic but also fluent, so that you don't get stuck after a few pages because it seems like the author won't ever get to the point. It was great to meet Cassia, Xander and Ky again, but I was also immediately attached to the new characters that were introduced and that - as the world itself - had interesting back stories, too.
I know that there are a lot of mixed views on this book and the Matched series in general, and although in my review of Matched I said that I understand it - I honestly actually don't. Some people seem to hate this book like crazy. I mean, I get that most dystopian novels are faster paced and have more action than these ones, but what I often missed in those - even in Divergent - was getting to know the background of things, the overall development of the world. I actually like that Cassia, Ky and Xander don't always find themselves running from everything and everyone because that leaves time for explaining the details of the story.
Crossed might not be for everyone but there are a lot of elements in this book that make up for Condie's stronger focus on development. As I said the writing is so fluent that you can race / float through the book like nothing...and when it gets emotional like when Cassia tries to figure out her feelings for the people she's with or when she thinks about what's the right and wrong thing to do, I could identify with her really well.
Character growth is an important aspect in this second novel as well. All of the protagonists made a huge step towards adulthood - especially Cassia has really left her state of naive conformity and turned into a girl that more or less knows what she wants.
All in all, if you didn't like Matched you probably won't like Crossed either, but for everyone who liked the world-building in Matched and the writing style and who fell in love with the characters, Crossed is a great sequel.