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182 of 199 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stronger novel than Matched
At the risk of unpopularity, I will admit that I was not a huge fan of Matched. It was okay, but my expectations were Hunger Games high, and the book didn't meet them. There was very little tension about the eventual choice that Cassia would make, and yet I really didn't understand her decision.

That said, I thought Crossed was a far stronger novel. In it,...
Published on November 1, 2011 by Susan Tunis

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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had high expectations, but a real let down
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

In my review of Matched, I made a mention of the fact that I was "eager" to read Crossed "despite" the reviews I had read. And I was, I really was. The problem? I should have listened when every single one of them said-in one way or another-that nothing happened.

Alright, I'm getting quite snappy and far ahead of myself. I...
Published on March 29, 2012 by Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook


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182 of 199 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A stronger novel than Matched, November 1, 2011
By 
This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
At the risk of unpopularity, I will admit that I was not a huge fan of Matched. It was okay, but my expectations were Hunger Games high, and the book didn't meet them. There was very little tension about the eventual choice that Cassia would make, and yet I really didn't understand her decision.

That said, I thought Crossed was a far stronger novel. In it, Cassia has determined to risk everything in order to find Ky. The story is told in chapters alternating between their two viewpoints, and Crossed is far more action-packed and fast-paced than Matched was. Cassia and Ky are both challenged in ways they have not been previously, and we learn more of who they are as they rise (or fail to rise) to these challenges. Several of the characters from the first novel are off-stage in this one, but new characters are introduced. Unlikely alliances are made. Stakes are raised. Cassia and Ky are growing up fast, and their relationship is both maturing and tested in this book. And while this volume focuses primarily on Cassia and Ky, don't write off Xander. He is still very much a part of the story. I expect we'll see a lot more of him soon.

I was somewhat ambivalent about continuing on to this second book, but I am now looking forward to the conclusion of this trilogy. Condie has done a good job setting up the endgame. With luck, the third will be the best yet.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had high expectations, but a real let down, March 29, 2012
This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

In my review of Matched, I made a mention of the fact that I was "eager" to read Crossed "despite" the reviews I had read. And I was, I really was. The problem? I should have listened when every single one of them said-in one way or another-that nothing happened.

Alright, I'm getting quite snappy and far ahead of myself. I was excited to pick up Crossed, because I thought Matched carried so much promise. Before 100 pages had gone by, however, I was quite disappointed. My first shocker was that the book kept switching back and forth between Ky and Cassia as narrators. Yes, yes, I see that the blurb mentions that, but I didn't read it before I dove right in. I probably should have, but what can I say? The back and forth got quite choppy in places, and as Ky and Cassia met up again it got fairly bulky. Some of those chapters seemed like they were just thrown in so that a chapter break could be had in between (mostly) Cassia's viewpoint.

My second problem was the apparent ADD the book had developed. Now, I don't mind flashbacks when they're done properly but this...wasn't it. Both Cassia and Ky were jumping in and out of the past and present with almost no warning, leaving my jolted out of the writing and thoroughly confused. This was heavily prevalent in the front of the book, disappeared in the middle and showed up once or twice again in the end. It was a very, very messy use of flashbacks that left me rather annoyed.

The thing about Crossed is that it really wasn't a book. Sure, there was a vague plotline taking place, but if I was being kind I'd call it filler in between Matched and the final and yet untitled third book. It was barely even that. Reading Crossed felt like reading Condie's character sketches and paragraphs of her own personal delve into her world's background. There was more discussing of Ky's past, Cassia's inner feelings and a whole lot of dark poeticism on love, life and philosophy.

*SPOILERS BELOW*

By the time any real plot developments occurring, I was already quite done with the book. I skipped through most of the middle and missed nothing. The only reason I started reading again was because Cassia and Ky found each other and I'm a sucker for romance. When it did occur, however, it felt...trite and forced. For instance, Ky's whole issue with going with Cassia to the Rising. He goes on and on for chapters about how he can't go with her, but then when they finally decide to go there is no question that he's going with her. As if there ever was. Xander's "big secret" as being a member of the Rising felt contrived so that the love triangle would remain viable. And of course, that end. THAT END. No, no, no, no. At least make it somehow believable. All this fighting and nearly dying and death and self discovery to get back together and Cassia ends up being sent back into Society by the Rising where she SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED because she ought to have been RECLASSIFIED as was mentioned several times throughout the story. None of it made sense and none of it felt right.

*END SPOILERS*

Overall, Crossed was a huge disappointment. I really, really wanted to like this book, but it just defeated my attempts at every turn. If you really do want to hold on to this series, I don't recommend reading this one unless you are deeply in love with Cassia and Ky's romance and think learning all about Society's history, Cassia's inner thoughts and Ky's past is awesome and can overlook that it isn't presented well. Personally, I wish I'd just read a summary and kept waiting for the finale. Though I am still vaguely curious about how the last book will go, I now feel that Condie's storyline is far too predictable to keep me on my toes, so whether or not I actually read the final book will depend on my whim and the money in my bookstore stash. It certainly won't be a must-get for me.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Two deadly sins: Confusing AND boring, January 28, 2012
By 
J. Tsao (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
Where do I start?

This book's most egregious sin is that it is absolutely BORING. Nothing happens in the entire book. Nothing of consequence is revealed. The entire book could have been summarized into one chapter or less.

The other huge problem I had with this book is the switching between two narrators. Normally, this technique does not bother me, but Ms. Condie writes both Ky and Cassia in exactly the same voice. I mean - EXACTLY. Because of this, I constantly lost track of who the narrator was and had to flip back and forth.

The story left me both bored and confused. One is bad - both together are horrible.

Also, if you plan to read this book (and you probably shouldn't), you should go back and reread Matched immediately before. I read Matched when it was first released and Crossed is not written in a way that it reminds the reader what happened in Matched. In fact, there were some things that were mentioned 3/4 of the way in (e.g. Cassia being an excellent sorter) that I had forgotten about and would have been useful to have been reminded of earlier in the book.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, November 12, 2011
This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
I loved Matched for it's engaging characters, it's tender romance and the fact that it didn't rely so much on the violence that is so prevalent in other dystopian novels. Unfortunately, the very things that made me love Matched were delivered two fold in Crossed and so overwhelmed the story that it was simply not enjoyable. The plot is what suffered in this middle book of the trilogy, with entirely too much time spent on philosophical, overly dramatic musings on past events, with little attention paid to actually moving the story along.

The author makes some efforts to continue to inject some romantic tension into the story, but it seems token at best. In Matched, this generated most of the suspense of the novel, and without it here, the plot seems to meander along aimlessly. This was not a compelling read, and I find myself not caring very much about what happens to Cassia and Ky. The book is told in alternating perspectives between the two, and their voices were so without character or depth that I often had a hard time remembering who was speaking. There's not much world building going on in this installment, and few surprises. A bit more action was needed and a bit less "navel gazing". I hope the author is able to produce a story line that is a bit more dynamic to wrap up this trilogy. It certainly has potential.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Phoning It In, April 4, 2012
This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
I've never been so disappointed in a sequel. I thought the first one was nice and fluffy YA entertainment. I'd enjoyed the concept and the world Condy was building. Then we get to Crossed: Cassia and Ky wander around SO IN LOVE and reciting poetry. Nothing happens. You find out more about a few characters' pasts without seeing any development. It's like Condy had enough material for 2 books but the publishers wanted to squeeze out three, and Crossed resulted. It's too bad, bc Im no longer interested in the third. I'm truly shocked there are any positive reviews on here at all. Some books are so bad that they're good, or at least entertaining. This is just bad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two and a half stars: A disappointing follow up, November 13, 2011
Cassia finds herself in the farmlands near the Outer Provinces. Day in day out she scratches in the soil planting seeds, tiny specks of hope thrown into the cold ground. Far from all traces of her former life in the center of The Society, including her family, Xander and Ky. She survives on the meager messages that sporadically come from the Port, scraps of love from her parents, who loved and trusted her enough to set her free down her path of discovery. A trip that will hopefully lead to a reunion with Ky and her destiny outside of the omniscient clamp of The Society. She clings to the memories of the stolen minutes she shared with Ky. Her determination to find him sustains her through the toil in the dirt. Will Cassia escape and strike out to find Ky in the wilderness?

What I Liked:
*The beginning of the book continues where Matched left us dangling. Cassia is scraping by on the Farmlands trying desperately to reach Ky. Again I felt the overhanging dread and anxiety of the suppressing, demands of Societal Life. In the Outer Provinces Ky is in a fight for his life. Society is dumping the castoffs, Anomalies and Aberrations, into the deserted villages and using them as decoys, knowing that this is a sufficient way to have them conveniently eradicated without having to dirty their own hands. I appreciated the chilling, terrifying parallels once again presented. In Matched, I witnessed the sickening, dread of life in a strictly controlled environment, reminding me of events that transpired during World War II. The massacring of the unwanted populace in Crossed is reminiscent of the genocidal slaughter that history witnessed in our world. A stark, frightening reminder of the darkness that mankind can possess.
*I liked unearthing the past of Ky. Crossed offers Ky's view point and through his voice I gained an understanding of his history, feelings toward Cassia and all the events in his life that carved and chiseled him into the man he is today.

And The Not So Much:
*Normally my reviews contain an abundance of positive points. I struggled with this book because unlike its predecessor, there is not much for me to rave about. Crossed starts out thrilling but about half way through it flounders, languishes and drags to a stagnant finish. The latter portion of the book involves the characters dallying in the deserted farmer's confines. Almost nothing happens and the gripping sense of anxiety fades and you are left with a dull, lethargic story. A devastating let down in comparison to Matched.
*This book felt like a filler book. There are no big developments, shocks or major events. Nor, is there significant movement in the plot regarding the characters' struggles to break free from The Society. Instead, Ms. Condie spends the majority of the pages trying to impress with fragments of poetry and metaphorical descriptions, that fail to elicit much of a response. While I appreciate that she is a talented author, this time I think she overreached and tried too hard to produce a work with stunning detail hoping for a prolific impact. It ends up fizzling and falling flat.
*Again as in Matched I hungered to snatch up details regarding The Society's rise to power and eventual corruption and twisting of ideals. There is nothing in this book to satisfy my palate. All I found was a tiny taste, that stated Society was initially a choice and it formed to stave off another "Warming Event" and to eliminate illness. That is it! If she truly aspired to write a sandwich book she could have at least thrown me, the starving reader, a few satiating scraps of information to feed my craving for knowledge on The Society. My stomach is still growling and churning, longing for nourishment.
*This book has two points of view, Cassia and Ky, while I liked seeing through Ky's eyes, the concept just does not work for me. I do not mind the flickering of view points in books, I know many readers disdain them but for me if they are well executed it usually is not an issue. In Crossed the voices flit back and forth so many times it gave my brain whiplash. I would be reading along engrossed in a view point and then wham two pages later it switched. Sometimes (even despite each chapter being labeled with either Ky or Cassia) I failed to perceive the shift. I think one of the main reasons for this, was no radical differentiation between the two voices.
*Cassia, what happened? I admired her tenacity and determination to follow her heart even at a high cost. She makes her decision to be with Ky and then after near death and personal sacrifice she is ruminating over her choice? Really? Big fail especially since Xander is for the most part absent in this book.
*The author introduces three new characters, Vic, Eli and India but she neglects to fully develop them. Vic was the character I had the best grasp on but he is not involved in the entire story. India particularly needed more augmentation. Again, due to the lack of action or story progression she should at least take the time to fill in the secondary characters that are spending time with Ky and Cassia especially since there are only four characters for most of the book.

At the end of Crossed I felt profound disappointment. This book fails miserably compared to the shining promise of Matched. I truly missed the prevailing, foreboding sense of apprehension that I grew accustomed to in the first book. Unfortunately, this book takes you to the deserted plains of the farm lands and leaves you there languishing over subpar poetry. If you are a die hard fan of this series then you may like Crossed but I am afraid the overall majority will leave this book in the dust. I would advise proceeding with caution and I can wholeheartedly recommend that you first borrow this book instead of buying. At this point I am conflicted as to whether I will continue with this trilogy. Ms. Condie has a steep mountain to overcome after this miss. She does provide a faint spark of redemption with the transpiring of the final events in this book. I hope she has a mass of tricks in her writer's bag to dazzle and woo readers back for the big finale.

Favorite Quotations:
"And it is strange that absence can feel like presence. A missing so complete that if it were to go away, I would turn around, stunned, to see that the room is empty after all, when before it at least had something, if not him."

"Because in the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go."

"Watching Ky wake is better than a sunrise. One moment, he's still and down deep, and the next moment I can see him returning out of the dark, coming to the surface. His face shifts, his lips move, his eyes open. And then his smile, the sun."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunate, December 5, 2011
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I really enjoyed MATCHED so I was looking forward to this, but I ended up not being able to finish it. Like many other reviewers already stated, the climbing through the desert and introspective thoughts made it hard to stay awake while reading. I never got invested, I was never eager to turn the page or anxiously speed-read towards the next chapter...this just didn't work for me. Bummer.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well, that was a whole lot of nothin', November 16, 2011
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This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
I think the title of my review says it all. I was eagerly anticipating this book and started reading it as soon as it appeared on my Kindle. What a disappointment. When I say nothing happens, I LITERALLY mean nothing happens. There is no plot advancement and the ending does not leave me wanting more. In any way! They just walked around in the outer provinces for a few weeks talking about "the rising."

I was totally bored. But of course I will probably read the next installment just because I've come this far and might as well finish the darn thing...
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment., November 4, 2011
By 
Megan Hicks (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
After Matched, which I had quibbles with but enjoyed, Crossed came as something of a disappointment. Oh, sure, I tore through it in about 4 hours -- and with a bad head cold at that. However, if I hadn't already been invested in Cassia's story from reading Matched, I'm not sure that Crossed would have kept my interest up.

The problem with Crossed? It suffers from a problem common enough in the second book of a trilogy, but more so than any other #2 in a series I've ever read. Crossed is very transparently a bridge from Matched to the finale of the series. I will give Condie that some important events happen, and some important information is disclosed. But that could have been accomplished in half the word count, if not less. The rest is padding. There are meaningless digressions that aren't detailed enough to feel like worldbuilding and aren't significant enough to feel plot-important. I have to wonder whether Condie realized there was a certain irony and symbolism in having her characters spend all their time traveling in a book that exists just to move us from one place to another.

The digressions are enjoyable, in nicely rendered prose, and the book kept my interest. But it was in no way satisfying to read. One feels as though Cassia had her big moment of growth in Matched, and Crossed doesn't change her very much. Some of the conflict feels manufactured, but at the same time, there is interpersonal conflict left mostly unexplored.

I have a feeling that when I get my hands on the final book of the trilogy, I will feel that Matched should have been two longer books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but filler, June 11, 2012
This review is from: Crossed (Hardcover)
This book is the epitome of what's wrong with the current trend of writing trilogies when a story doesn't warrant that sort of treatment.

MATCHED, the first in this series was a good book. A good story that, let's face it, was heading toward a conclusion. Had Ally Condie added about 50-100 more pages I'm guessing there could have been a solid story with an enjoyable, perhaps even gratifying conclusion.

Instead we get CROSSED, which can be summed up in these two words: They wander.

This is a book in which nothing happens. Oh that's not entirely true, the main characters Cassia & Ky leave all the characters we met in the first book (with the exception of Xander who pops in for a quick visit) & we meet some new characters, most of whom matter so much to the progression of the story that they leave before this book is finished. So we're back to Cassia & Ky wandering with their angst about whether or not they should be together. Sounds like fun right? Right.

It's not that it was poorly written- it wasn't. It was just filler.
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Crossed (Matched)
Crossed (Matched) by Ally Condie (Paperback - March 12, 2013)
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