Sunday, June 24, 2012

Crossed, Ally Condie

This is the sequel to "Matched". It was also really good. Ironically the same exact number of pages. Split narrative between Ky and Cassia (which I saw on a short interview with the author is pronounced Cash-uh) every other chapter. It read faster than the first. A little more action, though not a ton. More into the depth of the Society. And a better look into the Rising (or rebellion).


"Crossed" leaves you hanging the way "Catching Fire" does in the "Hunger Games" series, where you find out that District 13 does indeed exist and it's thriving well. Having experienced "The Hunger Games", and with Ky not trusting of the Rising (he doesn't trust ANYONE to be honest), I too am skeptical. Is the Rising just another version of the Society? A horse of a different color the way District 13 turned out to be.

But unlike the "Hunger Games", there is a third group of people in the "Matched" trilogy. The farmers. Not part of the Society and never have been, but not part of the Rising either. They just want to live their lives to the best they can and be left alone. It will be interesting to see what role, if any, they play in the last installment.

Although not nearly as emotionally charged as "The Hunger Games", it still poses great questions about governments who are controlling. Many people accepted such a Society so that they could eradicate disease and cancer and other conditions. They accepted that the Society would make decisions with their best interest at heart. However, in doing so, they gave up their freedom of choice. And who's to say that EVERY decision they make truly IS in everyone's best interest. Sure they could guarantee a wonderful quality of life until the age of 80, but that is when the Society decides that your life must end. So that you can also be guaranteed to die with family close because no one should have to die alone. It's better than dying at an unknown time.....or so they want you to think.

If you're looking for something full of action and suspense like "The Hunger Games", you might be disappointed. If you're looking for another view of a controlling Society that rips freedoms away from the people slowly and surely with a philanthropic sheep's clothing as a warning not to let that happen to YOUR country, then you will not be disappointed.

For those who are opposed to the violence of "The Hunger Games", this is for you (although I have my own personal opinions about the necessity of the violence portrayed as a vital learning tool-it's  not as if the Nazi's were exactly philanthropic just because they did the killing themselves instead of pitting the children against each other...). I feel it should be required reading for middle or high school, probably high school, so that discussions about politics and the role of government can be discussed as well as moral issues-such as the arranged marriage debate.

And the burning question posed on the back of the books: Can there be freedom without choice?

Count down to the third and final book "Reached" Is due out on Nov. 13

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