Friday, January 18, 2013

Review of Reached by Ally Condie

Dutton Juvenile
Reached (Matched Trilogy: Book 3)
By Ally Condie
1 Scribble

Cassia, Xander and Ky are all members of “The Rising,” the rebellion that threatens to topple “The Society,” who rule the people of this world and decide their futures from birth to death. Now, a deadly plague threatens to kill the people, and The Rising, assisted by this trio of protagonists, may have the only cure.
I wanted to love book three in the trilogy, I really, truly did. I remember being riveted to the first novel, Matched, which was an even and well-balanced blend of action and eloquent prose. I stuck through the second book in the series, Crossed, which was slightly less thrilling than book one, but which still offered a bit of movement to keep me reading, despite the fact that I was disappointed in the book overall. However, since book one was such a hit, I decided I simply must finish the series. Alas, Reached did nothing to redeem the feelings of disappointment I endured during the second installment. Reading this novel was like reading an epic poem that lacked the heroism. The entire action of the 384 pages could have been compacted into a quarter of the length. Most of the story consisted of a characters’ stream-of-consciousness following this pattern:

1.       Have a thought
2.       Create a metaphor illustrating the thought
3.       Create a hyperbole or, as an alternative, a simile illustrating the thought
4.       Reflect on how other characters might feel about this thought
5.       Explain how either The Rising or The Society may perceive the thought
6.       Recall a past event that relates to the thought and explain the connection

Using this template, each chapter (which rotates perspective between the characters) manages to expand and grow from an outline to a novel.  It as if Condie’s success in Matched gave her license to wax poetic and she ran with it.  This running stream-of-poetic-consciousness in the minds of Cassia, Xander and Ky is exhausting and brutal for the reader hoping for more of the magic in book one.  Thus, unless you are a hard-core Condie fan, skip book three and use your imagination to form the conclusion—you’ll likely be more entertained.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah.. I never really got into the Matched trilogy. I mean I read the first two, and even though I was "rooting" for Cassia and Ky, I was never invested in the characters. Hell, I've had this book laying around for months and still haven't gotten around to reading it..