Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Books (Penguin)
Publication Date: 2011
Why I Read It
I read Condie’s first book of the series, Matched, and fell in love with the story! So, of course I was going to read the next book. And, I convinced a student to read Matched. She just finished it and is borrowing my copy (er, um, MiniQ’s copy 😉 ) of Crossed!
What I Liked
Because it is the second in a series, I like it first for its continued story line. Cassia, Xander, and Ky all continue on their separate, yet interconnected, journeys.
At the end of Matched, Cassia’s family is being relocated to another location. Cassia understands why it’s happening, but is determined to strike out on her own to find Ky. With Xander’s help, she has the supplies she thinks she needs. Little does she know, what she thinks might help her, could actually be the end of her and her quest to reunite with Ky. As she sets on her journey, Cassia is joined by Indie, a girl who has her share of secrets and becomes a friend in search of the Rising.
One more reason I like this book is because it is told from both Ky and Cassia’s point of view. This helps us develop a better sense of who Ky is and why he chooses his actions and words so carefully, especially when it comes to Cassia. Each chapter is told from their alternating view points. At first, because I did not READ the title chapter and see Ky’s name at the top, I was a bit lost, because it didn’t sound like Cassia. This alone, goes to show Condie’s writing style is worthy of exploration. She is able to craft her characters and their voices around their unique qualities, which pulls you directly into their story.
One of my favorite quotes from this one comes from Ky:
“It’s been so long since I’ve let myself feel anger that I don’t just feel it. It covers my mouth and I swallow it down, the taste sharp and metal as though I’m gnawing through foilware.” (pg 4)
I love this quote because it is exactly how I want my students to think about abstract feelings and thoughts and give them meaning. This will be great to use when I teach poetry and want students to go beyond merely stating something like “I am angry.”
And a life lesson hidden in the pages of this book also from Ky:
“Because in the end you can’t always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.” (pg 21)
I read this novel for enjoyment, but as a teacher, my mind is always looking for lessons/themes/ideas to use in my classroom or even with my own daughters. Here are some valuable lessons/ideas I look forward to using in my classroom:
- Society’s Hundred Rule becomes more apparent throughout this book (I will NOT explain more, because I hate spoilers, suffice it to say I could see using this as a writing/discussion prompt in many different ways)
- Allusions and how popular culture incorporates them and why it IS important to be familiar with classical works.
- Maps–their necessity and what to do when you set out on a journey w/o one and how to find what you know is out there.
- Female protagonists–LOVE working with strong female leads and so far Condie has not let me down!
- I will likely be teaching the Science Fiction class next year and look forward to incorporating all or parts of this novel in class. 🙂
What I Didn’t Like
Still not a fan of the love triangle, BUT I see a possible outcome with everyone being happy. We shall see!
I do feel this story was a bit more slow in spots. I don’t know if that was due to the alternating view points or just the story line itself.
- Anyone who loved The Giver
- Dystopian novel lovers
- Love Triangle lovers (not me 😦 )
- YA Readers–that includes teachers!