Reached - Ally Condie
At first, I was disappointed.
Honestly, I thought it was going to be a rubbish set of books where nothing happens. But, I think a lot of people overlook the fact that the writing reflects the world Cassia and Ky and Xander live in, as I mentioned in my Crossed booktalk.
Then after Crossed I thought it would be more exciting, which it was.
I just feel so... blah.
I don't know, something inside me has broken. Maybe I have post-series blues.
Last night I dreamed about Indie. In my dream she was already dead. I cried like I knew her, but I didn't even like her! Especially not when she was the Pilots second. I never trusted her and because she was killed, I feel like her life was pointless. By doing that, Condie confirmed for me that she was just a narrative device.
I was never really into the love triangle either. It was pretty obvious that Cassia and Ky would end up together from the beginning. Just once, and this is something I made a note about when I was reading Crossed, just once why can't the love triangle end with the other guy?
I know that sounds weird, but it's one of those tropes that needs to be broken or all of the writing can be predicted from the get-go. Obviously the plot differs, but romance is always the same.
I feel quite negatively towards the pacing of this book, despite the fact that I kept reading until 6am this morning to find out what happens. I just think things got very rushed towards the end. Everyone is saying "hurry!" a lot, a plague has mutated and spread like wildfire.. It's like two separate books. In the first half, it's the Rising coming to power, and then in the second half it's all about the village and the cure. The two parts are very... separate! Linked only by the Pilot getting really paranoid about the three of them - people he has never met before! It's such a disjointed story. It makes me question whether the story was planned out, or whether it was just written..
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it because it was really beautifully written. I would read more by Ally Condie, just to see if she has evolved as a writer.
I realised what was bugging me about Crossed as well. Because everything happens so easily for them, and there is no real conflict, you get left with a sense of wellbeing, I guess. I was really happy about having read it, but I realise now it was because at no point did I feel dread, anxiety or anything other than overwhelming curiosity.
I even re-read the Crossed booktalk just to see if I did mention any conflict. I did. It was between Ky and himself about not wanting to go to the Rising incase Cassia chose Xander. Urgh.
It was just filler.
A book of pure filler, and I didn't even realise it!
Reached was so different. It had so many roles to play. It had to set up the conflict and resolve it, introduce a world of new characters and settings, completely bypass things that seemed important..
What happened to Ky's cousin after he left the stone village?! That is something I really want to know.
Why was the Pilot all of a sudden so interested in the three of them just before they are taken to the village to make a cure. That was just hash. It's called forshadowing, look it up.
So many things were wrong with this book, because so many things were wrong with Crossed. That should have been a companion, not sequel, then Reached could have been two books and spread out the intensity. The exciting part for me, and the reason I only got 4 hours sleep last night, was the race to the cure.
Cassia's obviously forgotten something, because she starts to remember it. But it wasn't what I expected her to remember. I thought her Grandfather would tell her something about the flower, or her mum would. But no. It was just that she sorted the Aberrations into the Match Pool.
That's quite a shit twist.
Xander would have been better, because it would show how fairly he wanted to play with Ky and that he gave him a chance at winning Cassia. I suppose then would that make him an evil genius? I keep comparing him to Gale from the Hunger Games, but I think this is the only book I've read where the love triangle could actually go either way. Neither of them is bad for Cassia because they are so similar!
Also I can't work out how Cassia's mum knew that the flower they were looking for would be the cure for a mutated disease that hadn't happened at the time the letter was sent? Unless she can see the future..
Or it was complete coincidence..
See what I mean? There needed to be more time, or another book. Who says books need to come in trilogies? What's wrong with duos or quads?
Things I didn't like
Laney coming back. I never really saw the point of Vick, he was to Ky what Indie was to Cassie. Motivation. They shouldn't have really been put in, and I don't know why Condie thought we would want to see something resolved with Laney's lovelife but not see Indie with Xander!! They were my OTP!
I thought the Pilot would be better? He's just mad, and seems to ignore Cassia even though she's like Rising royalty? I would bring her in straight away, not watch from afar as she 'sabotages' everything the Rising are doing. I was hoping it would be the other Markham, the original one. Or the parents. Or Cassia's parents. Or Ky.
The psychic link between the mutated sufferers. WTF.
I think people should read these books, because they're a fun read and would be good to analyse in class (or the first one would be.)
But I wouldn't give them all glowing reviews.
Everything feels tied up but disconnected. The story was a bit too good to be true, in a way. I can't explain it..