by Allie Condie
3 + Scribbles
The tone of Crossed, the second book in the Matched trilogy, is heavily influenced by the raw setting of a barren, abandoned land, where both Ky and Cassia find themselves. The author resists the urge to build tension by forcing the protagonists to circle around one another, instead allowing them to meet towards the beginning of the action, and then ironically moving them towards differing goals. Told in the alternating voices of Ky and Cassia, it quickly becomes clear that Ky has secrets, and these secrets may prevent him from a future with Cassia. Xander, who appears little in the novel, but is spotlighted throughout via secret messages hidden on tiny slips of paper, also has secrets. The reader cannot help but notice that what was obvious in book one, that Ky and Cassia are meant to be together, becomes less of a certainty in this installment. In the second half of the novel the prose leans towards the poetic, and at times slows the action tremendously; less devoted readers might struggle to stick with the story. However, new characters will hold the attention of devoted fans and add depth to the trilogy. Finally, a surprise ending encourages the reader to question if Cassia understands that the Rising she has always dreamed of may not be the utopia she hopes for.