In a perfect world, like the one portrayed in the Matched Trilogy, I would have reviewed the first book in this series, "Matched" first. However, I will simply dive into my review of "Crossed", the second installment in the series. The main reason why I did not review Matched was that I had very flat opinions on it. I mean, I didn't hate it, but I didn't particularly like it either. I felt it dragged in the middle and that by the end of the book, we had spent to much time getting...well nowhere. This is where "Crossed" picks up, because Ally Condie begins to tell us exactly where she wanted us to go.
"The Society chooses everything. The books you read.The music you listen to. The person you love. Yet for Cassia the rules have changed..."
The second book picks up a few months after the first book. Cassia is desperately searching for Ky, all under the guise of gaining field experience before being given her final work assignment. Meanwhile, Ky is at the front lines of a war. Both are trying to do the impossible: find the other. Now, for the first few chapters, I was skeptical about continuing to read it. The only reason I chose to read "Crossed" even though I (still) don't like "Matched" was because I don't like to give up on series partway through. When Ky and Cassia's love seemed to be the main focus of the second book, I almost gave up on it, but as I continued reading, I realized that it was not.
One thing really liked was that Xander finally got his decent slice of the pie. I mean, after reading "Matched" was anyone seriously rooting for Xander? There was no sort of dynamic between him and Cassia. That relationship fell flat. However in this second installment, Cassia somewhat fills us in on the important place Xander holds in her life. Of course, she keeps saying she loves Ky more, but at least Xander is no longer this childhood friend that's just good at games, in love with Cassia and...that was pretty much it in the first book. While the love triangle still leaves a lot to be desired, I feel like Xander was definitely fleshed out more as a character.
At the same time, I liked that Ky and Cassia's relationship evolved from the "clingy, secretive" relationship to one where they express their love to one another through their actions rather than their words. Ky comments on various occasions how strong Cassia is and how much he respects her. They support each other, without having to recite poems to get the point across. They hit rocky spots in their relationship as well. This was something I loved because in this manner their relationship felt much stronger and much more real. Because seriously, no relationship is that perfect (sans the whole, "The Society is trying to pull us apart" thing).
While "Matched" focused a lot on reciting poetry and telling us how Ky and Cassia's love slowly....slowly...slowly develops, "Crossed" moves fluidly from one scene to another. Both of them are in danger, they're trying not only to find each other but keep themselves and those they love alive. And then, there's the rebellion. New characters are introduced that add some much needed life to the story and details are revealed about occurrences in the first book that make you see everything in a new light. By the end of the book, I'm thinking, "Can Ky be trusted? Omg, what will happen to these new characters? What will happen when Xander comes back into the picture? Maybe Xander is a mastermind genius
because what if he did really know about the pills? BIGGEST PLOT TWIST EVA. I personally think Xander is the Pilot.Is Cassia's family really ok? What happened to the farmers?" THIS sort of ending is what will take me to read the third and final installment, "Reached." :)