Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook)
Buy the Book: Amazon
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.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I thought Matched was okay, but I figured this book would make or break the series for me. Well, it broke.
I like Ally Condie’s poetic writing style, but that is about the only good thing I can say. I like her use of poems and I think her descriptions are gorgeous (and poetic). However, beautiful prose cannot make up for weak characters and plot lines. At the end of the book, I thought that almost nothing happened, at least nothing significant. The story did not draw me in and I actually had a hard time staying focused. There was no climax to the plot, no heightened emotions, and no action that would have kept me reading. Never once did I wonder what would happen next, nor did I really care, for that matter. Overall, I found the story’s plot and tone rather weak and dull.
Unfortunately, I thought the characters were also lacking. Condie tells half the story from Ky’s perspective and the other half from Cassia’s. I got a little excited about it the beginning, thinking that I could learn more about Ky and his past, but all this did was show how similar ALL the characters are. Even though the chapters said either “Ky” or “Cassia” in the beginning, it was really hard for me to differentiate between whose POV it was since their voices sounded exactly the same. I kept having to go back to the start of the chapter to remind myself whose chapter it was, and that was really annoying. It was the same with the minor characters. Here is this 12-13 year old boy named Eli who talks and acts just like the mature and emotionally scarred/drained 22 year old named Hunter. Really? There was nothing that stood out about any of the characters and I did not connect to them in the slightest.
The one thing that annoyed me the most was Cassia and her stupidity. To be honest, I do not know if it was so much her stupidity as much as her inability to see the (GLARINGLY) obvious. She spends the whole book traveling with a girl named Indie, who is a rather suspicious character. Indie tries to get Ky to leave Cassia behind to join The Rising, she steals Cassia’s microcard of Xander, and Cassia is constantly wondering if Indie is hiding something. Then why, oh why, does Cassia spend so much time wondering if Indie is her friend??? If someone lies to you, steals from you, and you cannot trust them, THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND AND YOU SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER BEING FRIENDS WITH THEM. Cassia also gets determined to join the Rising, even though she has no real idea as to who they are, and that just leads to a stupid fight between her and Ky! I mean, seriously? And no matter how many times Ky and everyone else tell her the blue pills are poison, she refuses to believe it even after she took one and then felt like curling up in a ball and sleeping forever. GRRRRRRR.
This book also left me with even more questions. Almost nothing was explained! Who is behind The Society? How did The Rising come about and gain inside support when The Society monitors everything so well? Why are some people (such as members of The Rising) immune to the red tablets and others aren’t? Who is The Enemy and what is their motivation for war? Are they fighting The Society or The Rising? There are so many questions and not enough answers and in the end, I was just CONFUSED.
The third book in the series, which is still untitled, is due out November 2012. I may read the last book just to say that I finished the series, but is it even worth it? I will get no bragging rights, will I? We'll see, we'll see. (Why is Fallen popping into my head right now? Hmmmm. I wonder….)
No Escape :(