Rating: 2/5 stars.
With Crossed, Ally Condie committed the crime of writing a slow-paced, conflict-lacking middle book in a series. I recall enjoying Matched to an extent, but reading Crossed caused me to question my prior positive feelings for Matched.
Condie can write. There were some beautiful phrases and sentences in Crossed. However, for the most part Condie’s prose lacked any power or punch – her writing was void of emotion. I noticed it in the first book, but attributed it to Cassia’s sheltered lifestyle within the Society. Now, I realize that Condie could not include a strong voice for either of her characters – in fact, I had a difficult time differentiating between Ky and Cassia.
I found the characters themselves flat too. I could not connect to Cassia or Ky or Eli or Indie, and even the romance between Cassia and Ky seemed shallow, most likely as a result of Condie doing too much telling and not enough showing. Strangely out of all the characters I like Xander the best, even though he was cut out of almost the entire book and is only brought up when Cassia or Ky take the time to reflect on him.
And the characters reflected a lot in Crossed. Don’t get me wrong, rumination is not a bad thing – but when you dedicate page after page and chapter after chapter only to a character’s internal thought process, you run the risk of losing the reader’s interest. Which is exactly what happened with Crossed, because despite the decent character development, the lack of immediacy or actual actions of the Society and the Enemy allowed my boredom to burgeon.
After reading this one, I’m not sure if I’ll read the third book in the series. I recommend Crossed to fans of Matched who want to see how the plot progresses – but if you didn’t like Matched, don’t bother picking up Crossed. It’ll be a waste of your time.