I Think You've Got MBS*

Crossed by Ally Condie

Release Date: November 2011
Publisher: Penguin | Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 367 pages
Source & Format: Library; Kindle e-book
Series: Matched #2

Word of Warning: If you haven't read the first book, you might want to skip this review!

Sum It Up
At the end of Matched, Cassia makes the decision to pursue Ky. When Crossed picks up, she's spent some time in a work camp and has yet to hear any word of Ky. She makes her way to the Outer Provinces and finds that Ky has escaped the Society. He's now wandering the treacherous canyons and trying to survive. Although she's chasing after Ky, surprises from Xander leave her with more questions that have no answers. Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's point of view, this book finds them on the edge of Society and facing the promise of a rebellion.

By Its Cover: Breaking Free
On the cover of the first book, Cassia was safely inside the green glass bubble. For the second, she's clearly breaking loose. I'm not in love with these covers, but I look that they give you an idea of Cassia's relationship with the Society.

Amen, Sister Friend: You're Boring Me
I just really didn't feel connected to Cassia in this book. While I thought I would enjoy the alternating viewpoints, it actually wasn't my favorite. I thought it was kind of hard to distinguish between the two sometimes, which contributed to my feeling of not really connecting with Cassia. I didn't dislike her - I just found her a little bit boring in this one.

Literary Love: Going in Circles
I expected that the love triangle would kind of disappear in this book since it seemed pretty clear that Cassia had chosen Ky at the end of the first book. Unfortunately, things aren't really over with Xander. I say unfortunately, not because I didn't like Xander, but because I just needed the girl to make up her mind already! Cassia and Ky barely missed each other and then were so close the entire time they were in the canyons, and I just felt like the love/relationship aspect of the book was dragging a little.

Word Nerd: A Little Lacking
I think this new world in Crossed, the canyons, felt a little less developed than in the first book. I sort of understood what was going on with the farmers and the rebellion, but it still seems a little vague to me. It was like I didn't completely absorb the importance and impact of that aspect of the story. The writing was still enjoyable, but the book just felt like it dragged on. I didn't feel compelled to get to the ending. However, I still want to read the third! I certainly think there's a chance it will get more interesting once they're back in the Society.

Also, poetry played a pretty significant role in the book. I'm not sure why, but that started to get on my nerves. I understand that the Society has taken books and words away from them, but I don't think I'd be just sitting there thinking about poetry if I'm on the run and being pursued by people who want me dead. I think that added to the feeling that this book was moving too slowly, which was really unfortunate!

So Quotable
"And it is strange that absence can feel like presence. A missing so complete that if it were to go away, I would turn around, stunned, to see that the room is empty after all, when before it at least had something, if not him."

"But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as whys - why he walks like this, why he closes his eyes like that - you can love those parts, too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete."

Bottom Line: Suffers From MBS
If you can't already tell, I wasn't in love with this book. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't amazing either. It just fell more in the middle, and left me feeling kind of so/so. There were a few too many "coincidences" for my liking, and I was left with more questions than answers at the end. I'll still be reading the third, and I have hope that the story will pick back up in the final installment.

*Middle Book Syndrome


  1. I could not agree with you more on this. You've hit the nail right on the head. I found the POVs confusing (couldn't tell between them), found Cassia and Ky's relationship boring, found the poetry irksome (loved the Dylan Thomas in book 1, but wasn't crazy about the poetic elements in this one), and really didn't like the setting. There was just a lot that was lacking, and I found that horribly disappointing, because I loved MATCHED. I'm hoping, like you, that REACHED is better considering it'll be back in the Society again.

    Great review! :)

    1. I'm so glad you agree with me! I hate giving a lukewarm review since I really enjoyed MATCHED, but I was definitely disappointed. The first book felt so much more interesting and purposeful, and this one really did seem like a filler novel. I am so hoping that REACHED ends the trilogy on a high note!

  2. LOL MBS. LOL. I am sorry, my brain just went to another syndrome that sounds like MBS, but with an I ahahahah. Sorry, gosh, I sound 12 in this comment.


    I did like Crossed, but I also listened to the audiobook which sometimes affects my perception because in listening to the characters/narrators it feels like forming a weird sort of bond with them , because it's like hearing a friend tell you their story.

    But, now that I think about it, I really don't remember much about Crossed except a lot of walking and some pills and they find some guy in the canyons at some point. And yeah.

    Anyways, love this review and your breakdown as always.

    1. Hahaha it's okay I was totally thinking of the syndrome that starts with an "I" when I typed it :) I was hoping someone would find the title humorous - so glad it was you!

      I could see how the audiobook would make this a better experience, especially if it had a male and female narrator. Hearing the difference between the voices probably helped distinguish between Ky and Cassia whereas it was a little confusing in the book. Their narrative voice wasn't unique enough to make it easy to tell what section you were reading - I kept flipping to the beginning of the chapter to remind me whose chapter I was reading. And I totally know what you mean about it creating a bond. Listening to an audiobook makes me feel like I'm listening to a friend tell a story.

      It's been like two weeks since I read it, and what you remember is pretty much what I remember about it. Haha!

      Thanks for the kind words :)

  3. Love your reviews :-). I could not agree with you more! The elements I enjoyed in Matched were not included in Crossed. I'll be reading Reached, but my expectations are going to be much lower having read this book {maybe that will work in my favor?}. I hate it when books in a trilogy/series have MBS!

    1. I am so glad you agree! It can be hard to write a lukewarm review, especially when the first book was such an enjoyable read. Like you, I'll definitely be reading REACHED but it will be with much lower expectations. I really do hope the trilogy will end on a better note!

      And thanks for the sweet words about my reviews! :)

  4. This book SO suffered from MBS. To the point that it made me question my love for Matched. I mean I liked it...but...

    YES the alternating points of view were incredibly difficult to distinguish between. What's the point of having two perspectives if you're going to give them the same voice? I know she's adding in Xander's point of view in the last book, and I am praying that it comes out better.

    1. You have no idea how glad I am to hear that you didn't really enjoy it either. And you're totally right - it did make me second-guess my love for MATCHED!

      AND WHAT - She's adding Xander's point of view?! Oh no. Don't tell me that! I really hope it works better in REACHED than it did in this one. But now I'm scared...


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