Crossed by Ally Condie,Reviewed by Cody Adkins

Crossed by Ally Condie
From Goodreads.com:

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.

What would it feel like to escape the society? What would it feel like to be part of a rebellion? These are the ideas presented in Ally Condie’s book Crossed, the second novel in a series that deals with tough choices and a pursuit of love and happiness. Set in an advanced, dystopian society, the novel tells the story of young adults who are challenged with many long journeys and overcomable obstacles just to survive the Outer Provinces of the society. They will go to no means in order to be apart of The Rising, and in the process they meet some new faces who can help them dearly. All of these young adults really find out the true meaning of survival. While I enjoyed the entire novel, I most enjoyed the themes, setting and unique vocabulary that it included.

I enjoyed the challenging themes presented in the book, and I think some of these themes can relate to people in this world. Cassia Reyes, the protagonist in this novel, is a strong and courageous young woman who fights for whats right. She goes through any obstacle that you throw at her and she certainly stands up for what she believes in. On the other hand, Ky, Cassia’s true love from the beginning, is a young man who is generally quite and has gone through many journeys throughout his life. He has never really noticed his love for Cassia, but that changes when the both of them make some tough decisions for each other. For example, Cassia and Ky both go to The Rising for each other, and in my opinion, that really shows their true love for one another. In my opinion, the main theme of Crossed is that don’t let any obstacle, journey or person stop us from what we truly believe in and love.

The setting was a second element that I really enjoyed in this novel. Like most dystopian novels, the setting is a city of the future, but Crossed had several settings within it. For example, instead of the society being the main setting, the Outer Provinces was the main setting of this novel. This is where the protagonist and the other characters mainly spend the most of their time at. Another example of a setting in this novel is The Carving. It is a dangerous and mysterious place that Cassia has escaped into, but it might hold the answers that she is looking for. In my opinion, the exciting settings of Crossed really explain the book in a thorough and enjoyable way.

The third element of the novel that I most enjoyed was the unique language and vocabulary of the novel. While the primary audience is young adult, the language is not dumbed down in any way. There is very strong vocabulary that describes the novel very well. For example, “In the end you can’t always choose what to keep.You can only choose how you let it go.” This is just one of Ally Condie’s many inspirational quotes that she has written in Crossed. Another example, “Love changes what is probable and makes unlikely things possible.” This is a quote based on true love, life decisions and chances. One thing that I really liked about the language and vocabulary was how the novel was written in Cassia’s and Ky’s point of view. In my opinion, it made the novel better and it gave the novel a clearer understanding.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and intend to continue reading the series. I really want to know what is in store for Cassia and the other characters future in the Outer Provinces. I recommend this book to teens who like novels about romance, survival and dystopian society. I wouldn’t recommend this novel to readers who don’t like anything that has to do with love or a futuristic setting. In my opinion, it is a really good book for teens and it sets a good example for people in our world today. Cassia Reyes is definitely a strong and courageous female who fights for what she wants. With its relatable theme, unique setting and strong vocabulary, Ally Condie has created a winner in her book Crossed.

Written by Cody Adkins

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8 responses

  1. Samantha Blevins | Reply

    Cody,
    Great job on this! I sincerely think you did really great work here, especially in your opening paragraph. Excellent job using quotes and specific examples from the story! You had great opening sentences and an introduction that got the reader hooked and interested in what else you had to say. I have a few suggestions for you for your future writing. You seem to be repetitive by using “in my opinion” multiple times. Think of other ways that you can say this so that the wording in your paper isn’t redundant. Also, I thought your paragraph on theme was done well, and I like how you specifically named what you though the theme was throughout the novel. That paragraph might work better if you stated your ideas about the theme right in the beginning of the paragraph and then explained further using examples from the story. One major thing to work on is transitions between paragraphs. Instead of starting out each paragraph with “first…second…third,” think about ways in which you can make connections between paragraphs so that your writing flows. Lastly, I thought that your conclusion was done really well also. You made a clear recommendation and referred back to your thesis.

    Great work 🙂
    Samantha

    1. Dear Samantha, thank you for the very helpful tips and suggestions. I was glad that you pointed out on how I was using “in my opinion” so much throughout my paragraphs. I took that suggestion into use on my next book review and I thought it made it a whole lot better. Mrs. Baisden has talked to us on how to open a paragraph with a good topic sentence. I was so excited to hear that I did a excellent job on it. I saw where you wrote that I needed to put the theme and the ideas right in the beginning of the paragraph. I was wondering how I could do that and make my paragraph sound better. Again, I thank you for the suggestions and I hope to keep using these tips to make my reviews better.

      Sincerely,
      Cody Adkins

      1. Samantha Blevins

        Cody,
        For your paragraph on theme, you state that you liked the theme, then you provide examples that portray the theme. You don’t actually state what you think the theme is until the last sentence of the paragraph. What I am suggesting is that you state in the beginning sentence that you liked the theme, tell your reader what the theme is, and THEN provide the examples. This way, the reader will know up front what you are providing evidence for. I hope this makes better sense for you!

        Samantha 🙂

      2. Dear Samantha, thank you for the very helpful tips and suggestions. I was glad that you showed me that I should state the theme in the beginning sentence, so the readers would have a better understanding of the book. I took your suggestion on stating the theme at the beginning and then providing examples. Again, I thank you for the helpful tips and you overall helped me get a better grade on my book review.

        Sincerely,
        Cody Adkins

  2. Cody,

    I am seeing great improvement in your writing from week to week! As with your Matched book review, you really make me want to read this book. Your introduction flowed very well, but the phrase “They will go to no means…” would make more sense if you said “They will stop at no means” or “They will go to any means necessary.” In your body paragraphs, you did an awesome job of including specific examples about the various settings and captivating language. I agree with Samantha that putting the last sentence of your theme paragraph toward the beginning would help your readers understand what theme Cassia and Ky’s actions fall under. You did a good job describing The Carving, but you probably could add more visual descriptions about the Outer Provinces. In general, I believe you’ve really improved by adding more details and quotes, and you made fewer grammatical mistakes in this review. Good job! Writing is an ever-growing process, so just keep up the good work and your writing will keep getting better and better.

    Sarah

  3. Dear Sarah, I really appreciate everything you’ve said about my book review. I saw where you said that I needed to include more specific details and descriptions on my setting paragraph. I took your advice and I used many examples in my next book review. Also, I was glad to see that I used many descriptions in the other body paragraphs. Mrs. Basiden has stressed to us on how using specific details is important in the body paragraphs. I was wondering on how I could use better examples to explain my setting in the books that I read. Again, I thank you for the helpful tips and suggestions.

    Sincerely,
    Cody Adkins

    1. Cody,

      I have truly seen improvement throughout your book reviews, and I’m glad you found a series that strongly interested you. In terms of using examples to explain the settings in the books you read, I think a direct quote describing the setting in detail would be most effective. I have not read these books, but I imagine that the narrator would describe the scenery the first time the characters encounter it; this would probably be a good place to find a sentence or even just a few words that describe the surroundings that the characters are located. Visually, dystopian novels require a lot of imagination, so you could really reel in your readers even more by describing such an unusual setting. I look forward to reading the final book review for this series!

      Good job,
      Sarah Ferrell

      1. Dear Sarah, thank you for the very helpful tips and suggestions. I was glad that you pointed out that using examples to explain the setting would help readers get a better understanding and help get a visual understanding of the book. I took your suggestions into action on my next book review and it overall gave me a clearer understanding on the setting. Again, I thank you for the helpful tips and suggestions and I really appreciate you helping me get a better grade on my book review.

        Sincerely,
        Cody Adkins

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