After I read Matched, I was intrigued to see how Ally Condie was going to resolve the dystopian scenarios she had created.
Crossed, however, was a tremendous let-down. So much so that I only read half of the book, and finally just quit. Frankly, it was beyond boring.
Even though I was interested in the characters, and how their problems would be resolved, I could never get into the series like I did with Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy.
To me, there were three things that kept me from finishing the series (or even wanting to):
1. The depth of the characters. There was never a character that I could “connect” with, and to be honest, they all seemed pretty shallow, with very little growth happening as the story progressed.
2. The voices of the characters. Done well, I love when a book swaps between different characters, giving us their own unique perspectives of a common story (think Kathryn Stockett’s The Help). I found the switching in Crossed to be annoying, partially because I found it difficult to distinguish between Ky and Cassia’s “voices”, and partially because Matched was written only from Cassia’s perspective. I would be curious to know what caused Condie to swap writing styles, but I didn’t care for it.
3. The lack of motivation. I enjoy a good dystopian novel as much as the next person, but for me, a large portion of my enjoyment comes from the fact that dystopian novels raise questions that have to be answered: if the government did this, what would I do? But for me, romance and uncontrollable feelings (think “this is bigger than you and me, baby”. Seriously?) just doesn’t cut it. I can see the perspective that Condie was coming from, where the government “matches” people, but I felt that the story lacked purpose and was quickly devolving into a “run-away-because-I-didn’t-get-my-way” story, rather than having actual substance that would inspire me to stand up for my rights against an oppressive government.
Personally, I would love for someone write a novel or series of novels that deals with the subject with more depth, conviction, and consistency, as I think there is great potential. I would have to give Crossed a D-, as what I read didn’t contain anything really objectionable, but rather just boring and lacking depth and purpose.
Have you read Crossed? If so, what are your thoughts?