Ahhh! It’s so interesting to be reading and finishing series that have begun and ended within the timespan of my book blogging journey. YOU GUYS! I remember being beyond psyched for Matched by Ally Condie and enjoying it for the most part with a few reservations. THEN! I listened to the audiobook of Crossed and was sort of let down a little bit, but still wanted to finish the series. AND NOW IT IS OVER! And okay, there was a lot that I really liked about the conclusion, Reached and the audiobook, but also certain things that were kind of a total let down. AND OBVIOUSLY you know that you’re in for long winded explanations as to why I am of mixed feelings on Reached.
Okay, so you know how Crossed was the book where we found out about The Rising, the rebellion group that wants to overthrow the Society and their mysterious leader, the pilot? Well, in Reached, we see the Rising’s plot finally play out. Cassia, Xander and Ky are all in different provinces doing different things. Cassia is a sorter in Central, but she also engages in illegal trading with the Archivists. Xander works as a medic and is a government official. He’s also a member of the Rising. And Ky is a pilot for the Rising and is working with Indie. As members of the society are hit with a mysterious plague, the Rising makes their move and takes over. ALSO! Cassia must choose FINALLY between Xander and Ky. Oh, and lots of other things happen within the plot but since the book is like 512 pages, I thought I’d just boil it down to the main things.
Probably my favorite thing about the whole trilogy was Cassia’s growth. From Matched to Reached, where she starts off as a girl who is pumped up for her matching ceremony banquet, to a woman who runs an underground gallery where people are actually creating their own works rather than relying on the 100. I just thought it was so cool to see her really come into her own. Plus, she really struggles to help find the cure for the plague — including trying to recover a memory erased by the red pill. I loved that. I loved seeing her sort through her feelings, FINALLY for Xander and Ky instead of keeping both on the line. I loved that Cassia just did not give up when all of the odds were against her — thus making her worthy of her main character status.
Of course besides the whole dystopia and down fall of society thing, I think the true driving force behind Reached and the other books is the love triangle. And I totally know that love triangles aren’t cool anymore, but you guys when this series first started triangles were a thing that all the books did. AND I started Matched and Crossed rooting for Ky. THEN I ended up changing my mind and was all whooooo Xander, because he’s a doctor and doctors are pretty useful. Also, because Xander comes across as a solid and steadfast sort of person. I will say that Reached was probably the least swoonworthy for me out of the whole trilogy, and that’s because yes, the decision is made, but we don’t exactly get a lot of PG-13 scenes or anything. Also, there was more focus on the plague than there was making out.
Which brings me to my next point, I am totally all for reading about plagues. Luckily, Reached totally delivers on it’s promise of disease. We get to see the beginnings of the plague, how immunity is developed and then also how the disease mutates, much like in real life. I just bizarrely love that sort of thing and realize that it makes me odd, but I’ve made peace with that. However, I was not entirely satisfied with how they cured it. It just came across as kind of anti-climatic. I remember thinking after listening — all this build up for that?!
Like Crossed, I listened to the audiobook version of Ally Condie’s Reached. I actually liked this one better than Crossed because Xander has a point of view and his narrator has probably the best voice. Kate Simses and Jack Riccobono revive their parts as Cassia and Ky, respectively. Matt Burns narrates Xander’s parts. As I mentioned above, I found myself rooting for Xander during Reached, and that’s due in no small part to the voicing of Ky and Xander. I just found Matt Burns’ voice much more appealing and believable than Ky’s. Don’t get me wrong, Jack Riccobono did an okay job narrating, but when it came down to it, for shallow reasons I just liked Burns’ better, he came across as less angsty. Crossed is produced by Penguin audio and is 13 hours and 15 minutes long. It does kind of drag for a bit and I found myself listening to the radio and spotify a lot more than this. Also I started another audiobook in the middle because I could not focus on Crossed, but I eventually did end up finishing it, obviously. So, take that as you will.
Disclosure: Received for review
Other reviews of Reached by Ally Condie:
The Sweet Bookshelf – “While I did enjoy this story, it definitely isn’t my favorite.”
YA Book Queen – “An excellent ending to an incredible trilogy”
Books by Ally Condie: