My rating: 3 of 5 stars
While reading Reached, I had one thought in my head the entire time. Xander, you truly are
If I didn’t feel bad for him already, I did in this book. He loves Cassia and Cassia loves him, but not as much as she loves Ky. In Crossed, Indie loved him, but here; she’s switched teams and joined in on the Ky love train. Then there was Em, who might have been a possibility if she was ever mentioned. And finally, there is Lei, who loves someone else for most of the novel and spends time talking about him or you know, being sick.
Home boy just can't catch a break. After awhile, I got over this feeling, but all that changed when during one of Cassia's chapters she says this:
“I come back to myself as the song ends, when the string makes a sound like hearts breaking. And then I can’t help but look for Xander.”
You know whose heart broke during this scene. Mine did. Sure he’s not jealous anymore, but it’s still incredibly sad.
But Xander being forever alone wasn’t the only thing that happened in Reached; there was an uprising, the pilot showed up, a plague killed people, poems were read, and, we get the added bonus of not having just one, or two, but three different narrators in this novel. All of these are great things, especially for the final book in the trilogy. And while I felt like Reached was the strongest book in this series, it still didn’t wow me.
I feel like such a fan girl for mentioning him again, but Xander was my favourite thing in this novel. Yes, I felt sad for him. But I loved how his chapters, for the most part, were never about how he lost Cassia or how much he loved her. It was about helping people or finding a cure to the Plague. He learned some shocking truths about the things that he believed in and yet he kept going. He never gave up, never ran away, he just did what he felt was the right thing. I admire that. Out of all the characters, he was also the one who showed the most growth.
I do like the poetry that is used throughout the series, but sometimes I just want to know what happens and not have a poem stop things. So it was nice that Xander didn’t know any poems and didn’t read any. He just kept being awesome.
Another thing I liked was the Rising, mainly because; they were just like the Society, but in better clothing. The way both sides used one another is quite complex and I wish we spent more time on it. They both did shady things and for their own interests, instead of the interests of the people, and that made both sides look scary. With the Society, you live a peaceful life as long as you don’t overstep the boundaries, but the Rising, you’ll get to do things you’ve always wanted to do, as long as you don’t overstep the boundaries. With the Society, they give the citizens some form or strain of the plague with the blue pills. With the Rising, they give everyone the Plague. What if both are not even at odds with each other and were working together from the very beginning?
Who would you go with then?
I really liked that Condie didn’t make the Rising seem perfect, they were just as horrible as the Society. Granted, we still didn’t get to see a lot of it, but it was good for the most part.
I also liked Lei and felt like she was a great new addition to the cast of characters.
Cassia and Ky and Ky and Cassia, I don’t know what happened to you two crazy kids, but I found myself disappointed with them. I don’t know if it was just me, but once Cassia and Ky declared their love for each other in Matched I wanted them to not be with anyone else after that. So when Cassia kissed Xander in Crossed, I wasn’t okay with that. In Reached, Ky kisses Indie and Cassia is fine with it.
I don’t understand. If someone I loved kissed someone while we were doing a long distance thing, I’d be hurt. Cassia just says, “Well, you can never stop Indie, so if she kisses Ky it’s okay.” [not exact words] Indie has done a lot of horrible things to Cassia, this might be the worst thing in fact, and there was nothing to indicate that this was wrong or in bad taste.
I get that they love each other, but I wish they at least discussed things or Cassia didn’t act like “Oh, it’s just that Indie. A hoi hoi hoi!” I felt like after three novels, we’d finally see a growth in their relationship, but we didn’t. I don’t even think we’ve gone further than just scratching the surface with these two.
When their chapters came up, they spent most of it talking about how much they loved the other. However, I still don’t think it was enough to show how strong or deep their love was. I’m fine with them being a couple and I got that they were a couple, but I just wanted more from both of them.
Reached had some great things in it, but it was long and dragged on and on. I also felt like almost every big moment that happened never had an effect on me, because I knew things would work out, especially if it happened to one of the main three. If one of them got the Plague, you knew that they’d survive. There was no suspense. Even when their chapter came round and instead of writing, there was just a blank page, I felt nothing. I even said to myself, “Meh, the next time (said character) shows up, they’ll be cured so why worry about it.” And then I flipped the page and sure enough, they were cured.
(view spoiler)[ The only thing that shocked me was when Lei didn’t die. I thought she would, which would add to Xander’s Bermuda Triangle of love and misery, but she didn’t. This was the only thing that actually made me feel something. (hide spoiler)]
There were a few deaths, some of pretty important people, but they were glossed over. For a group of people who grew up in a world where people live till they’re 80, I would think that death would affect them a bit more strongly. These are people they knew and loved and the death is mentioned and they move on to the next scene. To me, I didn’t feel like this made much sense. We’ve seen how much Cassia’s grandfather’s death affected her, so why didn’t she behave in the same manner here?
I think the biggest problem was that there were things that are mentioned and then never brought up again. These things were never resolved, which was a bit of a letdown.
Like I said before, Reached is the best one in the series, but this is still a series that is just okay. It’s not great. It’s not bad. It’s just okay. I liked Xander, he really came into his own in this book and the dynamic between the Society and the Rising was refreshing to read. But, we still are at the surface of Cassia and Ky’s love story. And the book is plagued (hahaha...) by too many pages and not enough of the story to move the plot at a faster pace.
Would I recommend this series to someone? Maybe, I think? But not before recommending other things to them first.
3 stars out of 5