Crossed by Ally Condie

Challenge 5 ~ “A book with a title beginning with the first letter of your name.”

crossed

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Where do I start when it comes to Crossed? I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed Matched, but Crossed was something else – and it’s not often I enjoy the second book of a trilogy so much more than the first! Many people have said how similar Condie’s Matched trilogy and Oliver’s Delirium trilogy are, but from reading Crossed it’s great to see how the two authors took it their own individual ways, creating two different, strong series on a similar theme. If I were asked to choose between them both, it would be an impossible task (at least at this stage) – let’s hope Reached (the third in the trilogy) doesn’t disappoint!

My biggest grin with Crossed is how well it shatters the predictability of a YA dystopian trilogy. When I started reading it, I had a horrible sinking feeling that I knew where it was going – not necessarily the small incidents and subplots that were going to happen along the way, but the general idea of the second in the trilogy that you see over and over again. Feeling it with this book, I was worried I’d reached the point where I could no longer enjoy trilogies like this due to their same-i-ness (which is sad since I’ve just started The Raven Cycle series and everyone seems to not be able to get enough of that). Luckily, however, Condie turned that assumption on its head, and delivered a phenomenal read that drew more into dystopias than I’ve seen in other series, presented three perspectives on the Society and the Rising simultaneously and maintained an engaging and active plot.

From a literary perspective, Condie’s greatest strength was the characterisation, which was not only relatable and believable, but introduced difficult characters. When it comes to rebelling against a dystopian society, it is the norm to have characters who fully support the rebellion and truly believe life will be better afterwards. In Crossed, however, Condie begins to challenge this, questioning what the rebellion will offer, what they may overlook and the wider, realistic consequences this could result in for life as a whole. A theme that I hope continues deeply in Reached.

Eli is the one character that I’m not sure about. Between Indie and Eli (the two main new characters in Crossed), Condie draws our suspicion towards Indie and utmost trust and love towards Eli, through both Ky and Cassia’s perspectives. However, as the book draws to a close, it’s Eli’s story and motivations that we’re still without – either a mere coincidence, or something to bite us in the heel in the third instalment. Whichever it be, I’m truly excited to get started on the end, and simultaneously sad that the trilogy is drawing to a close. A series (so far) that I whole-heartedly recommend, particularly if the third defies as many stereotypes and typecasts as the second!

Recommended for fans of:

  • Delerium by Lauren Oliver
  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
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