Reached by Ally Condie,Reviewed by Cody Adkins

Reached by Ally Condie

From Goodreads.com:

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

What would it feel like to be part of The Rising? How would it feel to find the cure for hundreds of sick people? These are the ideas challenged in Ally Condie’s book Reached, the last novel in a series that deals with true love, and what happens when a society will go to any lengths to find the cure for many of its sick residents. Set in an advanced, dystopian society, the novel tells the story of young adults who are challenged with finding a cure and finding out who their true love really is. Also, they are presented with a new leader, a leader that seems to be an anonymous person. While I enjoyed the entire book, I most enjoyed the themes, setting and unique vocabulary that it included.

I really enjoyed the challenging themes presented in the book, and I think some of these themes can relate to people in this world. For example, the three main characters in this novel are presented with the challenge of finding a cure for many of the society’s still people. They are introduced to many tough obstacles and several deaths along the way. As impossible and unbearable as that sounds, they find the cure and help save many of its people. Another example, is when yet again the novel focuses on the love triangle between Cassia, Ky and Xander. Cassia has to choose between Ky or Xander, but it might be easier than most of the readers think. In my opinion, the main theme of Reached is don’t let anything stop us from true happiness and always fight for what’s right.

The setting was a second element that I enjoyed in this novel. Like most dystopian novels, the setting is a city of the future. In this book, the setting was not just the society, but Reached had several settings within it. For example, The Rising was the main setting in this novel. The society is unraveled in the wake of a terrible plague that reminds everyone just what is really at the heart of the struggle. The story is framed with Xander and Ky both fighting on the side of The Rising to free the society, where both get to see the power of a force more destructive than any one could have ever imagined. In my perspective, The Rising was just a dark, sick and sometimes a scary place to be in. Although the settings were like this, I really enjoyed the settings and the various descriptions that it included.

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 in not dumbed down in any way. There is strong vocabulary and active description throughout the book. For example, “ You cannot change your journey if you are unwilling to move at all.” This is a direct quote from Cassia that explains change and courage. Another example, “There is ebb and flow. Leaving and coming. Flight and fall. Sing and silent. Reaching and reached.” This is another direct quote from Cassia and it is the last sentence of Reached. Also, Ally Condie has mentioned and/or quoted from several works of art such as Girl Fishing at San Vigilio, by John Singer Sargent and “ I Did Not Reach Thee” by Emily Dickinson. In my opinion, I liked how the novel was in Xander, Ky and Cassia’s point of view. Cassia and other characters of the book certainly have a unique use of vocabulary that stated both the themes and the setting of the book.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and I am sad to see that this is the last novel of the Matched trilogy. I recommend this book for teens who like action filled books about love, survival and futuristic settings. I don’t recommend this novel to readers who don’t like novels about romance, deaths and futuristic settings. Also, I would recommend this as a TENSE BOOK and I would give it four out of five stars. The characters are definitely strong people who can demonstrate that to us as readers. Through the use of strong and relatable themes, unusual setting and unique vocabulary, Ally Condie has created a winner in her book Reached.

Written by Cody Adkins

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5 responses

  1. Cody,

    I know exactly how sad it is to finish a series that you loved so much; you’ve really made me want to read these books when I have the time. Once again, I see much improvement in this review compared to the previous ones. I loved the quotes you chose to explain why you enjoyed the language and vocabulary in the book. In your paragraph about theme, you talk about several different events that play into the themes you discuss; I think you might want to consider explaining them a little bit more because it definitely sparked my curiosity, but I would have liked to know more information. For example, what are “the society’s still people”? Just a brief explanation about what “still people” are would help a reader’s understanding about this particular event that caused the characters to fight for what they believed was morally right. All in all, I have really enjoyed reading your reviews on this series; I look forward to reading more of your reviews on books from a different genre!

    Sincerely,
    Sarah

    1. Dear Sarah, thank you for all of the helpful tips and suggestions. I was glad to see that you loved the quotes I chose to explain why I enjoyed the language and vocabulary in the book. I was wondering on how I could use better examples on my book review to explain elements such as the theme, setting, and language. Again, thank you for the helpful tips and I will make sure to use every suggestion that you said on my next book review.

      Sincerely,
      Cody Adkins

      1. Cody,

        I think you did a really good job describing the setting, but maybe you could find a descriptive quote from the book to add even more to it. After reading your review a second time, did you mean to say “sick” or “ill” people instead of “still people”? That would explain my confusion, and it wouldn’t require any further elaboration from you. Something you could add to the paragraph about theme would be another idea or two about the love triangle with the three main characters; a specific event or problem that results because of the situation would definitely interest your reader.

        It has been a real pleasure to read and respond to your work this semester. Keep reading, writing, and improving!

        Sincerely,
        Sarah Ferrell

  2. Cody,
    Bravo! This was a beautifully written review. You really hooked me in and got me interested in reading it myself. I love dystopia novels! Have you read “The Hunger Games” by Suzzane Collins or maybe “Gone” by Michael Grant? Those might interest you.
    I thought that your concluding paragraph was the strongest! I love that you tell specifically who would enjoy this book and certain aspects of the book that made you enjoy it. I liked you introduction…but I think that it would be stronger if you explained what “The Rising” was that you were questioning your audience about joining. Also, we’ve already discussed this, but remember to add quotes from the book! I realize that you added “direct quotes” for language, but you have three of those. One would suffice. You seem to be taking the obvious way out and including quotes in the “language” portions of your reviews, but remember anything descriptive about themes or setting or plot work great too!
    I can see improvement, you’re becoming a strong writer!
    -Kristen

    1. Dear Kristen, thank you for all of the helpful tips and suggestions. I really appreciate the things you have said about my book review. I was glad to see that you liked my indroductory paragraph and my concluding paragraph. Also, I will make sure on my next written book review to use more quotes to explain the paragraphs. Again, I thank you for the helpful tips and suggestions and I will make sure to use all suggestions in my next book review.

      Sincerely,
      Cody Adkins

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