Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Publication date: November 2011
ISBN: 9780525423652
Source: Purchased

*Some possible spoilers for Matched*
When Cassia is sent to the Border Provinces, she hopes to be able to find Ky.  She finally makes her way to the Outer Provinces, with a new companion,  But will she be able to find him before they are all caught, and will it be enough to be together when she does?

Things I Liked:
I simply fell in love with this book.  It is not what I'd call a typical dystopian full of action and excitement, though it does have some.  What I love most is the quiet nature of it, the slow development, and especially the layered symbols and meanings that I see in nearly every sentence.  Condie's writing seems simple, but it also has depth and measure that belies its simplicity.  It was such a beautiful experience to just feel like there was more than the story going on with deeper feelings and ideas.  Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but somehow I felt like I was floating along on an undercurrent with Cassia and Ky in this gorgeous alien landscape (it helps that I adore the geography of Southern Utah).  The character back stories and the delicious depths of the Society and Aberrations and all that stuff just made this a rich and moving experience for me.  I also really enjoy the thought that goes into the love triangle - the feelings Cassia still obviously has for Xander and his own frustrations at being left behind.  Just really well done!  Here are some of my favorite parts:
I thought it was having the picture that made it special, but it's not even that. It's looking at something without being watched, without being told how to see. That's what the picture has given us. p 12
Because in the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go. p 21
This happened to him, while I sat in my house on the very same street, eating my premade food and listening to the port and daydreaming about the perfect life that was about to be delivered to me, the way everything always was. p 262
Things I Didn't Like:
I can definitely see how there will be things people don't like about this one: the viewpoints are very similar, the plot is pretty slow sometimes, it seems like the whole book is kind of one big circle and back where they all started, but I was not bothered by any of these things.  I enjoyed it all!

Read Matched by Ally Condie first
Other dystopians are kind of similar like Delirium by Lauren Oliver and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

s-factor: ! 

one or two

mrg-factor: none 

v-factor: -> 
some, but not graphic

Overall rating: ***** 

What books blow you away that others think are just ok?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Initially I wasn't going to bother with this series but I have since changed my mind and now I am excited to read book #1.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to but I was too bothered by the big circle thing. I also wanted more Xander. :(

  3. UGH I couldn't do it, I could not even finish Crossed! I want action, romance, adventure and instead I got this slow mess that just circles around and around and around and around. I wanted a Cassia to break through her bubble and instead she does the opposite. She stays very much in her own little bubble the whole time. I had to give up because I wanted a heroine to take action, not sit on her butt waiting for others to make something, anything! happen in this boring plot.

    Thanks for the great review and while I dislike this series with a passion, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  4. reviewsbylola, I'm so glad you're going to give it a chance. Ignore all the marketing and stuff though, that can be a big turn off.

    Jenny, I also missed Xander. I think I'm more a Xander fan, though Ky did get a bit better for me in this book.

    Alexa, wow! Sorry this series doesn't work for you. I love how readers can look at the same book and come up with totally different reactions!

  5. Your review summed up exactly what I loved about this book much more succinctly than my own. The more I like a book, the harder time I have articulating what exactly I loved about it! :) It's going to be a looonnnggg wait for book three.

  6. I so glad you liked this! I wish I had liked it as much as you did. I agree with you about Cassia and Ky's relationship; it is so great!

  7. Sarah, I usually have a hard time saying more than "it's awesome" too! And I can't wait for next year :)

    Penelope, I know there are a lot of folks who just didn't like the series much. I'm actually glad for more discussion about it, even if it is from those who didn't like it!


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