5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed

Author: Ally Condie

Pages [hardcover] 367

Matched #2
Book 1: Matched

memorable quote:
Everyone has something of beauty about them.

favorite characters: eli & cassia

summary:

The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

review:

 I’ve been dying to read this book ever since I finished ‘Matched’! That was one of those books that I heard everyone loved, so I decided to read, but still had my doubts about it when I picked it up. Luckily, they were blown away when I actually read it, and I think Crossed was even better. Something that I thought I would easily dismiss has turned out to be one of my favorite dystopian trilogies.

This time around, some mysteries from the past were cleared up, secrets were revealed, and friendships were tested. New characters were introduced, and while I absolutely loved some of them, I couldn’t quite figure out others-and not only because they were purposefully trying to be mysterious. I loved having every other chapter told from Ky’s perspective. At first I didn’t think I’d like the new voice-though there was no other way to tell what was happening to him in the Outer Provinces-and allowed his character to develop and let the reader understand some of the difficult decisions he is making.

I loved the integration of ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ into Cassia’s personal rebellion as well as the theme of the book. That poem has practically followed me around all of my life, and it’s one of my favorites. I’m glad it’s one of the few that’s managed to survive despite the Society’s best attempts to eliminate all other pieces of art.

The ending seemed abrupt and forced for me, as if there wasn’t a good point to leave off for the next book. I didn’t think it fit in with the pace of the rest of Crossed, and although I wasn’t happy with it, there was still enough to make me come back for the next one. I’m definitely sticking with these characters to see what happens next, because this book was more of a transitional ‘journey’ book, getting from point a to b. While I liked reading it, finding out more about the characters-particularly Ky and Xander-I think what I’m really looking for will happen in the next installment. I can’t wait!

GREAT CHARACTERS, GREAT FUN. 5/5 stars

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Matched by Ally Condie

 

Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Pages : [hardcover] 384

Memorable Quote: It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.

Favorite Characters: Xander & Ky

Summary:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Review:

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long,long time. It’s been on my TBR list for ages, but I only picked it up a few days ago. Thankfully I didn’t read it sooner, or I’d have had longer to wait for the sequel. Because as soon as I finished Matched I wanted the next book! I don’t think I can wait until November to get more of this series.

Cassia is an interesting character that believes fully in everything her Society does-at least, at first. Once time passes and things start to get more complicated, she begins to doubt everything she’s ever known, even though she knows speaking aloud about this would get her into more trouble than she can imagine. She had her dull moments for me in the book, points where I really didn’t like her and couldn’t care about what she did. I warmed up to her at other moments, and I can’t really tell why I had these off and on feelings about her.

I really liked the descriptions of the Society, because I could picture it perfectly. And while I’ve been reading more and more about dystopian novels lately, this still managed to be new and refreshing, with different conspiracies going on and plot twists spread throughout the book. I loved not knowing what was going to happen next, either with Cassia or one of the amazing supporting characters.

I really enjoyed Matched and give it 5/5 stars. It’s a book I’ll come back to read again and again, and I can’t wait for the sequel! It’s killing me that I can’t have it right now!

fiction · young adult

Zen and Xander Undone by Amy Kathleen Ryan


“Zen and Xander Undone”

Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan

Pages [hardcover]: 212

Available Now

Opening Lines:
My sister, Xander, causes a scandal practically everywhere she goes. Even funeral receptions, I now know.

Favorite Character: Zen

Summary:

Zen and Xander are sisters—truly, madly, deeply sisters, and this is their last summer together.

Zen is the “good” girl with a black belt in karate and a newfound penchant for kicking heads. Xander is a wild scientific genius with a self-destructive streak a light-year long. They have three things in common: they’re brown-eyed blondes, they’ve noticed the boy next door has turned into a hottie, and they miss their mom, who died almost a year ago.These sisters are surviving just fine—except Zen keeps getting into fights that are harder and harder to finish, while Xander spirals into a vortex of late-night parties, scary men, and drugs. What’s worse, Xander has scholarships to the most coveted universities in the country, but she’s about to ruin everything. Should Zen keep trying to protect Xander, or finally let her go?

Review:

I really liked this book. When I recieved it for review I wasn’t really sure how interesting it was going to be. The names of the characters were nice and unique-how many Zens or Xanders can you think of? The two sisters fought as any sisters would, and loved each other underneath the outward tension exactly like siblings do. They were portrayed perfectly.
Xander’s volatile nature drags the plot along, and if it weren’t for her, there would not be much of a story. It is she that wants to find out about her mom’s past and insists on getting involved with the wrong sort of people. Zen is sort of just along for the ride, but fighting to get off and take her sister off with her.
There was something about this book that was missing. I can’t say what exactly, but it was lacking a little…Oomph. The extra bit that would make it amazingly memorable. As is, it’s better than average.
‘Zen and Xander Undone’ gets 4/5 stars. I definitely recommend you read it.

Warnings: Drugs, adult content