Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Reached - Ally Condie

Reached by Ally Condie
Series: Matched Trilogy #3
Genre: YA, dystopian, romance
Published on November 13, 2012
Published by Penguin
Pages: 512
Read From: 11.18.12 - 11.24.12

Cassia's journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect facade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter. 
The wait is over. 
One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most - family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Yes. I’ve always liked the covers for these books. The “character impersonator’s” face has always been obscured or turned away from the Reader. I like that they follow a theme in both color and title, and that each outfit the girl wears is in the story. However, I don’t really get why the book is called Reached. It’s rather vague.

Characters: Cassia continues to be a good protagonist. Ky actually gets overshadowed by Xander, who became a new favorite. I always liked Xander, but I came to care about him more than Ky in this one. Maybe because he seemed to have more conviction and was actually choosing a side, whereas Ky only joined the Rising for Cassia’s sake. Or maybe because I have a partiality for doctor/nurse characters. For whatever reason, Xander really stood out in Reached to a point where I actually got a little tired of Ky and wished Cassia would choose Xander over him. That’s not saying that Ky is suddenly a bad character - he isn’t. But after his and Cassia’s blowup in Crossed, my admiration of him diminished a bit. The Pilot was amazingly unremarkable, and quite frankly one-dimensional. I forgot him as soon as he entered the story.

The Romance: The love triangle between Ky, Cassia, and Xander has amazingly never really annoyed me. Mostly because Cassia’s relationship with Ky didn’t start out as immediate attraction, but more of just curiosity, and eventually developed into something much deeper. Despite the circumstances, Ky and Xander are able to treat each other with great respect and cordiality, and they both agree that it’s Cassia’s choice, and whatever one she makes, they will be happy for her. I hate it when the two guys are at each other’s throats; it makes them seem selfish and childish, and I find it hard to like either of them. I was really happy when Xander began to develop feelings for another character, because he definitely deserved someone if Cassia didn’t choose him.

Plot: Not terribly exciting. With the Rising finally taking action, you would expect Reached to have a big rebellion, but that isn’t how it works out. The Rising takes over pretty much as soon as the story begins, the Society offers little to no resistance, and the rest of the story focuses on a virus that’s gotten out of hand. Not seriously, I thought. That’s all that’s going to happen? A virus is the new threat? It felt kind of lame, and if the Author hadn’t explained why it is that the Society doesn’t put up a fight, this book would have gotten a very low rating indeed.

Believability: I have said that the Society is one of the more convincing totalitarian regimes I’ve read in modern-day dystopian novels. I still maintain that, even if their work camps were less than convincing in Crossed. The Society controls every aspect of their citizens’ lives, and they constantly monitor them 24/7. That is realistic. What isn’t realistic is that the Society lacks any sense of malice. The Rising’s takeover, also, was extremely rapid, smooth, and met with little resistance from the Society. The Author does explain this towards the end of the story, and her explanation makes sense, so I’ll accept it as being rather believable.

Writing Style: The present-tense continues to work fairly well, and the Author still continues to try and sound too profound without really making her point. This struck my attention a lot more in Reached than in previous ones, for some reason; maybe because the Author spent so much time with Cassia going on and on and on about poems and paintings - more so than in others.

Content: None.

Conclusion: The end was what I expected. It was gentle, it was hopeful, everyone wins in terms of romantic attachments, and it left me feeling a little bit like the whole trilogy really had no specific point. I still enjoyed it. It’s a very good, relaxing read for one of those lazy, rainy days where you want something cozy and positive, and not drenched in blood (because this trilogy definitely has no blood. There’s death, but their essentially bloodless). My overall thoughts: Reached was a good ending for this particular trilogy. It was much longer than I think it needed to be, and at times I couldn’t help but wonder when the story would get to the point. But it wasn’t a disappointment.

Recommended Audience: Fans of Ally Condie’s trilogy will not be disappointed. Girl-read, any age.

Others in This Trilogy:

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