Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Book Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

4 out of 5 stars.

Among a slew of dystopian novels, Ally Condie’s Crossed, second in the Matched Series, captures the reader from the very first word and keeps them interested until the smashing ending.

Condie crafts an interesting world in which everything is governed by The Society, a group dedicated to eradicating disease and controlling the general population. Although The Society admittedly keeps citizens healthy and somewhat content, they have skeletons in the closet. The Society burns and destroys books, poems, and any other literature, opting instead to have a hundred of everything: the Hundred Songs, the Hundred Stories, et cetera. The rest, they burn.

To keep the people complacent they provide housing, health care, jobs, and even Matches. The Society gives each citizen a Match (unless they opt out) based on similar characteristics. This basically means that The Society plays matchmaker (literally) to its citizens. Once a Match is assigned they don’t have many chances to meet each other. They are each given a microcard (filled with their Match’s data – favorite color, food, recreational activity) and a picture. Then they meet face to face – with supervision, of course- and choose from a variety of activities, including going to dinner, to the Recreation Center, or another activity.

Everything is regulated.

Matches are watched as they interact to determine their response to each other, ports (basically computers) in each house record sound and video, even the food is carefully selected for each person, optimized for their health.

The Society even picks which job each individual will get. Citizens have little to no choice in their job assignment and could possibly end up with a dangerous lower-class job if they do not show any aptitude for another area.

Condie paints a scary picture of how any country could end up if they take their lust for control too far.

Although I was put-off by the structure and control of the people in this world, I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to see how Cassia (the main character) and Xander (her match) dealt with what the society did to them.

Fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games will eat this story up.