Feb 20, 12
Read in January, 2012, read count: 1
Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2)
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Date Read: 2012, January 8th-11th
Rating: 5/5 stars
Recommended to: 13+
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.
For the Parents -
Nondescript kissing. Recommended 13+