Review: Reached (Matched Trilogy book #3) by Ally Condie

The long awaited, and truly great finale to the matched Trilogy, Reached met my expectations and exceeded them.

In Crossed, we’re left with Indie and Cassia finding their way to The Rising, and we’re not quite sure what the status of Ky is.  we don’t know for sure where he is and if he’s going to make it.  We don’t know what finding the Rising means for everyone and what it means for all the folks back in Society.

So, the Rising decides what role everyone will play, and it’s decided that Cassia’s best chance is to go back into the Society and work from the inside.  That’s semi-good news since it means that she’ll get to be in contact with her family and with Xander – yet it’s leaving a lot up to chance with Indie and Ky who are assigned elsewhere.  Cassia and Ky still have this bond though that they are holding onto in the hopes that they’ll manage to find each other again.

Cassia is still one of the top if not THE TOP sorters out there and her skills are used over and over again to help both Society and The Rising.  She’s being given jobs to work on that she’s not quite sure the outcome, yet it’s something that she’s been instructed to expect.

So….as they are all part of the rising now, (come to learn that so is Xander), there’s a job to be done.  The Society had created a Plague to be used against the Enemy, however it’s infiltrated it’s way into The Society.  the Rising has a cure for it and wants to assume the role of ‘savior’ so that the people who are not yet a part of the Rising change ‘sides’ and go against The Society.  Once The Plague has reached ‘epidemic’ stages, The Pilot is revealed to be a real person, and the Rising swoops in to take control and try to save the population.  at first this is working, and Xander is at the helm of the medical side in one of the provinces while Indie and Ky are matched together to be co-pilots on airships bringing the cure to the people.

Cassia is somewhat left in the dark about all this because she isn’t sure if she’s going to get The Plague or if she’s immune, and what her role moving forward is.  she can’t get in touch with Xander, has trouble reaching Ky or Indie, her family and everyone she knows.  She uses the valuables that she got from the settlement in the Carving to trade with the Archivists until her goods are stolen and she’s left with almost nothing of value.  This means that she’s flying blind basically and has to figure out how to get to her ‘friends’ and loved ones.

Through a lot of varied circumstances, important folks find one another in and relocate themselves to interesting places.  Some that are heard of and some that were never even mentioned before.  The Plague takes an interesting turn, and it’s origin an even stranger one.  New characters are introduced, old ones brought back…and all in all, this longer last book of the series takes quite a few unexpected turns that left me both breathless and really surprised.

I was very pleased with how this wrapped up the series – there’s a lot that was answered very nicely, and a few ‘what’s going to happen’ type questions left in my head.  Kind of makes me wonder if Ally Condie is leaving things open to the potential of a follow up down the road since i think that there could be…but that’s also the part of me that isn’t ready to let go of my favorite folks.

Review: Crossed (Matched Trilogy #2) by Ally Condie

As a lead into reading book 3 Reached i decided that i needed the refresher from Crossed to know where the story left off and to get excited about the finale to the series.  It’s funny sometimes though how if you re-read a story, you pick up on so much more than you did the first time around.

The first time I read Crossed – i remember that i enjoyed it but maybe didn’t quite love it.  (to be completely honest, i was a bit let down because i felt like it was predictable and kind of dragged a bit).  this second time however, i found that i really enjoyed it and there was a lot that i guess i missed.

So Crossed starts off when Cassia’s family is being relocated from Oria to another province for any number of reasons.  It could be the honest report that the mother did on what she saw in some of the other provinces, it could be that the father (who is also an Official) was getting moved because of losing his father’s tissue sample, or it could be due to Cassia and her relationship with Ky.

Ky has also recently been taken from Oria and sent to one of the ‘outer boroughs’ where the assumption is that he’s basically going to die.  The Society sends Abberations out there to act as ‘decoys’ and to make the Enemy think that there are still villagers and villages out on the outer edges of their world so that they don’t come into the provinces.  The question really is – is that working?  who knows…..

So in Crossed – Cassia is still deeply in love with Ky but is torn because of Xander, and everyone knows of her feelings.  Her parents decide that the best thing for Cassia is to send her to work camps in the hopes that it’ll get her closer to Ky since that’s what she really wants…and parents always want their kids to be happy.  Cassia doesn’t find Ky at any of the camps, but has an idea of where to find him and maneuvers her way out to the outer areas to get to him.  Of course, there’s a price to pay since she doesn’t quite know what she’s looking for.  She knows that he’s probably going to The Rising, and that he’s possibly aiming for The Carving or something out in that way, but Cassia really is going out on a whim here to figure it out.

Of course, by the time she gets to the village, it’s too late – he’s gone.  She’s linked up with a girl that was in the work camp (Indie) and together they make their way to the mountains, towards the Carving in the hopes that they’ll find him before they die.  Or if they don’t find him, that they find something that’s better than what they have been living in the Society.

Their travels takes them to land that’s demanding, and they are forced to hide, camp out, scavenge when they can, all that the same time being just a day or so being Ky (and Vick and Eli).  The thing that keeps Ky going is the hope that some how he/’ll be able to go back for Cassia, and for Cassia, it’s that she keeps thinking that she’s seeing her name or markings from Ky and she feels like she’s really close.

They both come across a settlement tucked inside a canyon where Ky remembers as a place that his father talked about living and that had memories for him.  This was a breath of fresh air to an extent since there was food stored, and other valuables that could be used in trades if the need arose.  It’s not long after this one good fortune, (coming across a settlement and Hunter who happened to be part of the Settlement and could therefore provide assistance) that Ky and Cassia’s teams cross paths.  It’s great to see these 2 re-united, and the dynamic that grows among them, and with Indie, Eli and Hunter.

Together, they all continue their search for aid, for The Rising, for The Pilot yet they aren’t quite sure what they are looking for or if what they are looking for even exists.  It could all be just ‘lore’ or it could all be something that was created just to keep people hoping, but given Ky’s father’s background, they think that there’s something out there that’s better than what they know and therefore keep pushing forward.

it’s interesting to see the bonds that are built, fostered, and killed.  there’s a lot more relationship development that i picked up this time around, and a lot of the story that i guess i thought of one way when i read it the first time that was really something else.  I was thinking the worst in many instances which took my attention away from the plot, when really the true story was going in another direction.  So…my recommendation to you guys, if you read it 1x and aren’t wowed….give it some time and re-visit.  there’s more to the story – really.

Review: Matched (Matched Trilogy Book 1) by Ally Condie

With the release of book 3 ‘Reached‘ fast approaching on November 15th i believe, I decided that I owed it to myself to re-visit the series so that i was completely up to speed on what happened so that i don’t find myself re-reading things and scratching my head.  trust me – that’s happened before when there’s been a lag between sequels coming out.

The plot: we’re introduced to the leading lady – Cassia who is pretty much on par with many of the women that we find at the head of these dystopian tales.  She’s perhaps not quite grown into her full potential, maybe even on the edge of being a bit off-putting, but it’s not really her fault.  See, the society that Cassia lives in isn’t a great one.  People are segmented in a way that makes some positions coveted and others completely abhorred.  Lucky for Cassia, she’s not among the ones that are hated or looked down upon – she has an opportunity out there – assuming that she follows all the ‘rules’.  These rules are what keep society and everyone in order and what allows for a somewhat peaceful (if you can call it that) existence, but what we know to be the case with all ‘teens’ – it’s never enough.

When she ‘comes of age’ and is put to the ‘matching ceremony’ – a process that seems relatively fool proof, that’s when things start to go awry.  What was deemed to be a ruling system that rarely if ever makes mistakes shows a crack in their armor and Cassia finds herself right in the middle of that.

how do you figure that?  well…enter the love triangle! These 2 guys, Ky and Xander are woven through her life in a way that’s not quite what she expected.  See, the matching ceremony is supposed to  match you with your perfect mate, and that’s typically someone from another town/settlement or whatever that’s quite far away.  For Cassia, she was actually really lucky – when her match was revealed, it was none other than Xander – the boy that she has had a long standing relationship (be it whatever it was) and that couldn’t have been better.  but then….a glitch happens and Ky’s face is then revealed – who is also someone that she knows.  So what’s the likelihood of that happening right?  not only was there a glitch, but she knew both boys.  1 is of an acceptable class and the other not so much.

in any event, Cassia is then forced to choose to develop the correct relationship ad deemed by the Society and that’s one of the hardest things that she’ll ever have to do – to figure out exactly what’s right, if the Society is right, or if there’s something bigger and better out there.

What i really liked about this lead in for the series is that the end just leaves you hanging.  That’s how i judge if it’s a good story or not.  do i have more questions to be answered or do i know what to expect? is it clear which relationships are strongest?  do we know what the leading character is going to do and how those actions will ultimately affect their life?  (relationships aside?)  Matched did all that for me – i was left wanting more which was great since Crossed was just a few months away from release and that’s a story left for review for another day.