Crossed is the much anticipated second book in the young adult dystopian Matched trilogy. Crossed picks up where Matched left off. Ky has been relocated by the Society to an unspecified location in Outer Provinces to fight the enemy and Cassia is determined to find him. After spending some time in different work camps, Cassia manages to get on a transport that is heading for Outer Provinces. As she reaches one of the villages located in a desert area of Outer Provinces, she learns that Ky has escaped and that he is headed for an area called the Carving. Cassia sets off after him. As Cassia and Ky search for one another, they both find travel companions, Indie, Vick and Eli, who are the newly introduced secondary characters. Most of the book is set in a desert area of Outer Provinces, where Ky grew up.
Unlike Matched, Crossed is told in alternating points of view, Cassia’s and Ky’s. The story starts off in a promising way, but shortly afterwards the storyline stalls. During the search for one another, Cassia and Ky long for each other, but their reunion is rather anticlimactic. Crossed is mainly about Cassia and Ky, but Xander, Cassia’s official Match, makes a brief appearance as well. Throughout the book, the reader learns a little bit more about the Society, but far less than I expected. The reader learns about a war on the outer border of the Society, but it is unclear who the enemy is, and they learn about a rebellion, called the Rising. They also find out about the Farmers, the “free people”, who long ago chose to live outside the Society.
Crossed is not as engaging or as fast paced as Matched was. The writing is still beautiful and the desert setting is stunning and well done. However, I was disappointed by the lack of character development, especially Cassia’s. The new secondary characters were far more interesting and likable. I just hope that the final book in the series, which is to be released in November 2012, will have the excellence of Matched.
(Matched was reviewed in March of 2011)