Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I loved Condie's first book, Matched, and you can see my review here. I could not wait until this book came out. Then I started reading the reviews, particularly on amazon. Several folks said that the book was downright boring and had too much interior thought and not enough action. There was a complaint that one of the male characters was not in this book. Many readers were disappointed.

I have to disagree with each and every one! This book was marvelous because it forwarded the plot without being a copycat of the first book. Sure there was a lot of interior dialogue but the characters of Cassia and Ky really needed to be fleshed out. And Xander does have a small appearance in the book but he really is actually a major character because he often enters the thoughts of and is the motivation for at least three characters. But we get to see what the rest of the world looks like outside of Society. Instead of the neat lawns and planned lives, we see the messy underbelly and the determination of the Society to get rid of undesirables (they call them Aberrations and Anomalies). We also see the beautiful country of the Carving, based on the land in southern Utah. And the romance between Cassia and Ky is further developed.

This book is quite darker than the first book. A lot of deaths occur and there seems to be a general sadness and despondency with many of the characters. Condie is able to describe death and the effect it has on the living in a beautiful and moving way. Death has influenced the character of Ky the most and we begin to see why he is the way he is because of his past and current reactions to death. Toward the end of the book, the characters realize that the one thing the Society still has not figured out how to control is death, even though they keep collecting data on the subject.

This is where my faith came into the book. The Society seems intent on somehow preserving its citizens through their DNA, as though in keeping their biological remains they can resurrect or help each desirable person live forever. There is no understanding of any kind of afterlife, certainly not a Christian one. Crossed made me think about my own understanding of life after life. I probably don't have quite the same thoughts about it as most Christians but I do see it as a beautiful thing. Most Christians think about heaven while I think about the resurrection. These may not be dissimilar. There is a part of me that simply trusts God in death, knowing that God has been with me throughout my life and even before I was born. So, I am not sure what life after life looks like only that it is. That is what is missing from the Society and, I think, from Cassia and Ky and their friends as well.

I highly recommend this book to you so that you can wait with me until November when the last book comes out!

Happy reading!


1 comment:

  1. The afterlife has been a lifelong, as it were, struggle for me.

    Since I haven't read the book, I may be missing something, so I apologize if my thoughts don't make sense.

    But it seems like "preserving its citizens through their DNA" is actually closer to Christian resurrection than it is to the "soul leaves the body and goes to Heaven" view that many of us (including me) have these days.

    Isn't physical resurrection one of the keys to Christian philosophy, the idea that this physical life matters?

    I'm sorta thinking out loud here.