Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2) Pages: 367 Release Date: November 1st, 2011 Date Read: 2012, January 8th-11th Received: Own Rating: 5/5 stars Recommende...moreCrossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2) Pages: 367 Release Date: November 1st, 2011 Date Read: 2012, January 8th-11th Received: Own Rating: 5/5 stars Recommended to: 13+
SUMMARY - Cassia has been sent to work camps so she can learn submission to the Society after her love for Ky was discovered. But she is really here to find Ky, who was sorted and taken away. And she was the one who sorted him. Now it's up to her to find him; if she could only get into the Outer Provinces... She has the Compass from Ky and the blue tablets from Xander, and she will use both of them to find her way. Two boys, two worlds, and one journey that will break hearts, heal hearts, and change them.
MY THOUGHTS - I am a very expressive reader. Meaning, I jump, scream, squeal, blush, giggle, laugh, groan, and more - very openly. My poor family... ;) In any case, as far as the louder, more intense expressions of emotion go - I save those for the best of the best. So know I'm telling you the truth when I say that Crossed is one of the best of the best. I screamed at least seven times, blushed, giggled, jumped, and groaned - all in this book. And the screaming - it was loud. Just sayin'.
Even more shocking and amazing is that my sister, who is not one to show such strong emotions while reading, not only did the same as I did, but also screamed/giggled with me when I read it!
Not only did it excite me (and my sister) to extremes, but it also made me want to sit still (I know, ironic, huh?) and contemplate the beautiful, poetry-like prose, the deeper meanings, the lyrical tones.
While reading I came across the sentences -
So many beginnings. I tell myself that in a way it's good that I haven't found Ky yet, because I still don't know what to whisper to him when I see him, which words would be the very best ones to give. (Page 111)
These words are beautiful, and they portray something deeper than just Cassia thinking of what she'll say to Ky. It's about how precious speech is, how important it is to her that Ky taught her to write, to speak and give life to words. It's about not taking your words for granted. They are important, down to the very smallest word. Cassia has grown up in a world where words - your own words, spoken or written - are like diamonds.
This careful choice of words is not only portrayed in the characters, but also in Ally Condie's writing itself. Her word choices are so precise, carefully portraying the scenes and the deep emotions carried throughout. It's like poetry, but not. I don't even know how to describe the full beauty of it.
CHARACTER NOTES - Here is how well I know these characters, how distinctly they are portrayed: When the book arrived in the mail two months ago, before I knew really anything about it, I picked it up and started reading. My thoughts were, "This is great, but it doesn't feel like...Cassia. It doesn't sound like her voice at all. I like it, but I'm confused..." I put it on my shelf to read soon. My sister got to it first, and came to me, saying excitedly, "It's from Cassia AND Ky's perspectives!"
After a bit of sleuth-work, I discovered that the chapter I read was about Ky, from his perspective - and suddenly, it all fell together. When I was actually reading the book, I never had an issue, determining which voice was which. I mean, the chapters are labeled one or the other, but I didn't need that. They both had a voice distinct form the other. That amazed me, especially when both are written in first person, present tense.
Vick, Indie, Eli, Hunter, and Xander were all really well-developed side characters, and I appreciate that. I didn't love some of the characters themselves, but loved who they were for the story.
And... I love Ky. Oh, how I love Ky.
Cassia really grew in this book. She matured and did selfless things that made her radiant. Her love for Ky makes her strong, glowing. Makes her want to live to the fullest. She loves deeply, cares so much, and wants to do the right thing. She doesn't always, but that's how we learn sometimes. Cassia is just like you and me, and that's the beauty of it.
STORY NOTES - Everything about this book had me grasping for more. It's so refreshing to read this story and get lost in it. I loved the journeys the characters had to face, together and apart. There were scenes that made me scream and squeal with joy, and others that had my heart aching with sadness. The emotions were so real and big and alive.
I love Cassia and Ky's love story. I love the reality of it, how heartfelt it is. I feel like a lot of young adult love stories are full of couples whose only issue is that they're unable to be together, and other dramatic situations of the same kind. Other than that, the relationships have virtually no issues, or very small ones. I have nothing against that - a few of my forever favorites are that kind of love story. But Ky and Cassia are different. Out in the wild, they are allowed to be together - but they struggle because they have disagreements. Because they have to ask, how much will I do for you? How much do I really love you? That is one of the many things I respect about their relationship. It's perfect, with every argument, every kiss.
Everyone has to sacrifice in this story, and that builds and strengthens the story/characters in a huge way.
SUMMING IT UP - Indescribably beautiful. It's like, I can't even express my love. Please, read Matched and Crossed. Please. Please.
For the Parents - Nondescript kissing. Recommended 13+(less)
Oh my goodness...so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It's 200 pages full of pictures and large font, and is the story about an arrogant china rabbit. How...moreOh my goodness...so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It's 200 pages full of pictures and large font, and is the story about an arrogant china rabbit. How did it grasp my attention so? How did it make me feel like it did?
Gooooshhhh... The hard reality, the gritty truths, the tough choices and the fervent passion: Anne Perry's trademarks that never ever ever FREAKING EV...moreGooooshhhh... The hard reality, the gritty truths, the tough choices and the fervent passion: Anne Perry's trademarks that never ever ever FREAKING EVER get old.(less)
Beauty by Robin McKinley Pages: 325 Release Date: January 1st 1978 Date Read: 2012, February 13th-17th Received: Own Rating: 4.5/5 stars Recommended to: 12+...moreBeauty by Robin McKinley Pages: 325 Release Date: January 1st 1978 Date Read: 2012, February 13th-17th Received: Own Rating: 4.5/5 stars Recommended to: 12+
SUMMARY - Grace, Hope and Honor have lived the finest life in the city, well taken care of by servants and, most importantly, their father. Honor, the youngest, goes by the name of Beauty, although it does not fit her, as she is the ugliest of the three sisters.
When trouble strikes and the family is forced to move into a small house in the country, Beauty hears stories of the Beast who lives in a castle in the woods behind their house. She is unsure if she believes the stories...until her father returns from a trip, claiming that he has seen the Beast, disturbed his presence and now must pay. Either he must return to the Beast, or one of his daughters must take his place. Beauty, and only Beauty, just might have the courage - and the love - to change the lives of everyone she knows.
MY THOUGHTS - I love books like this. Slow, like thick, sweet honey pouring from a jar. Or like melted chocolate drizzling over strawberries. I don't even know. Just sweet, lovely, and very savory. Wow!
The beginning of Beauty was really good, but the end was good times great. Beauty doesn't even leave for the Castle until after 100 pages in, but I was hooked from the first page! Beauty, her family, their story - all intrigued me. I wanted them to be well. And I love how everything was so perfectly set up and how everything tied into the end.
McKinley's writing is seriously beautiful. It's all-encompassing...like, the words surround you when you read them. I'm dying to get to reading more more more!
CHARACTER NOTES - Beauty (Honor) is a wonderful character. She's sweet and stubborn and loves without restraint. She's consistent, but I also saw character growth as I read. She made an impression on me and I won't forget her, no matter how many heroines I get around to reading about in life.
Beast is somethin' else. He isn't like the Disney Beast, who goes from "loser" to "lover". I don't want to say anymore abut him and spoil it...but - wow. I loved him from the moment Beauty first met him. Seriously, my heart started pounding!
There are some fun minor characters - Ger, Hope, Grace, the father, even the horse Greatheart. They added to the story and I cared for each one of them individually. I was especially hoping for Grace's story to end happily - read the book to find out if it did!
STORY NOTES - This is a slow story, but not in a boring way. It draws you in and doesn't let go - but it also gives you room to breathe and just enjoy.
Beauty has some seriously beautiful imagery, especially regarding the gardens. The one scene that talked about the sunset causing the garden to glow a golden color....that's just one instance that had me melting with love for the beautiful descriptions.
The reasons I give this book 4.5 stars and not 5 are not big things, or even issues to begin with - just a few things I wished had been different. I am, still, entirely satisfied and loving this book. I guess my main thing is that I wish the change of feelings in Beauty hadn't been so sudden. I could tell it was coming based on the scenes, and because, DUH, everyone knows how this story ends, but it was a bit too sudden for me when she realized she loves him. Which brings me to my other thought - I wish the last few pages had been more passionate. It was so wonderful and gut-wrenching and lovely and then it was like, "Yay, we're happy. The end."
But despite that, when there was passion.... ACH! Beauty made my heart ache. The nightly proposals, the learning to trust, the sweet, beautiful moments shared... I'm seriously already looking forward to reading it again!!
SUMMING IT UP - Delectable. I'm still thinking of golden sunshine, red roses, and Prince Charming. That's what Beauty promises, and it delivers perfectly.
For the Parents - Nothing! A kiss or two. Verrrrry clean. Recommended to 12+!(less)