Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie


Atlantia by Ally Condie
Genre: Romance, Adventure
Published by: Dutton Children’s
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Atlantia  can be summed up in one word, one harsh word, ‘disappointing.’ I don’t know how I could’ve expected to enjoy the story when I had previously read Teardrop by Lauren Kate, which was also about Atlantis. I hoped for this story to be different. I hoped to like the characters. I hoped for it to be better than Teardrop! But no.

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Review: Reached by Ally Condie


Reached by Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Published by: Penguin
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Series: Matched (#1) | Crossed (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

‘Reached’ is the third and final book in the ‘Matched’ trilogy. The first two books felt like they were building up to this finale, and all the questions were going to be answered. Well, ‘Reached’ followed through on the answers thing, but it was safe to say this book was less than spectacular.

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Review: Crossed by Ally Condie


Crossed by Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Published by: Speak
Pages: 367
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Matched (#1) | Reached (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

The second book in the ‘Matched’ series starts with Ky digging a grave. Not exactly the happiest way to begin, but I rolled with it. I was also going to roll with the fact there were two perspectives. Both Ky and Cassia got their say: in the end, I preferred neither. (That’s probably a good thing.) (At least I could tell them apart, unlike Four and Tris in Allegiant.)

The rebellion has well and truly kicked off. The transition between ‘Matched’ and ‘Crossed’ was not as smooth as I would have liked, but we were caught up with what had happened pretty quickly. Not much to complain about their. However, as the book progressed, issues started to arise.

First, Cassia and Ky were trying to find a way back to each other. This seemed a lot easier than I thought it would be and they were reunited 200 pages in. I didn’t really understand the landscapes their groups were travelling through – thank goodness there was a map at the beginning!

Some things, although not a lot, were revealed about Xander. (Psst, he’s part of the rebellion!) I was pleased to see that he wasn’t trying to battle Ky for Cassia’s love, but we still have one book left. I bet you three chocolate coins the love triangle plot will rear it’s cliched head within ‘Reached’.

I understand why the book was called ‘Crossed’. There was a lot of crossing over landscapes to be done. There were caverns and canyons and rivers and desserts. Kind of ‘Fire and Flood’-y, without the intense survival skills. The one thing Cassia did have to survive was the elusive blue pill (hence the blue cover.) After the menacing motive of the red pill was revealed, I had my suspicions about blue. (Even though Percy Jackson has taught me that anything blue is amazing.) It turns out, the blue pill is poison, just like the food they feed to old people. Two pills will kill you. Excellent.

Basically, the end goal of this book was to join the Rebellion. Another ‘Delirium’ trilogy parallel emerged when we discovered Cassia was going to have to infiltrate the Society from the inside in ‘Reached’. I look forward to it. But, it took them 370 pages to find the Rebellion. I can’t even explain went on in the middle of the book, I felt kind of lost as I skimmed through the pages. Some of the events just seemed completely irrelevant. What was the purpose of that cave with all the tissue samples? Why did they have to go there?! I don’t know, it was all just general confusion.

Overall, I liked ‘Matched’ better, hence why I give ‘Crossed’ only 2 stars. Even with this rating, I’m intrigued to know how it all ends – it feels like the first two books in the series were really just building up to this finale. I’ve got some expectations! Is that a good thing?

Review: Matched by Ally Condie


Matched by Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Published by: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 369
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★
Crossed (#2) | Reached (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve had this book on my Kindle since I first got it a year ago. That means it’s been sitting on my Kindle shelf for a year, neglected and gathering pixelated dust. After I found out my school library has the rest of the series, I thought it was time to read ‘Matched’. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this series. A lot of people say that it goes downhill as the series progresses, but I think that’s common in any trilogy. I tried to keep an open mind.

OK, first, I did like the world. It was explained in the smoothest way possible, and there were a lot of different things going on that didn’t really seem connected. Why euthanise the elderly? What is the purpose of the coloured pills and do they have any long-term effects? What’s the use of ‘sorting’ jobs? I hope that some of these questions are answered as the series progresses, as there were a few holes I felt needed to be filled.

The romance, and yes it was a love triangle, was not annoying. Although there were two guys, Xander, who Cassia was matched with and Ky, who she actually fell in love with, there wasn’t much competition between the two. Xander seemed to respect that even though Cassia was meant to marry him someday, with him was not where her heart belonged. I think as soon as two boys are introduced, people assume the love triangle will be drawn out and repetitive. I was surprised this was not the case. (Of course, we’ve still got another two book in the series, so Xander could change his mind…)

All parts of culture are limited in this Society. There are only one hundred songs, paintings, poems. Although a motivating quote from a poem ‘Go not gently’ spurred on Cassia to choice her own path in life, I thought the book itself did the exact opposite. The plot progression was kind of underwhelming, with a slow pace and no clear direction until there was mention of a rebellion in the Outer Provinces. (Just another cliched storyline: ‘What’s beyond the wall?’)

Overall, ‘Matched’ was reminiscent of ‘Delirium’ and ‘Divergent’, with the Society controlling the lives of their citizens, even their love lives, with the spark of rebellion at the end. In fact, it reminded me of every other dystopian on the Young Adult shelves. However, there was something about this book’s gentleness and subtlety that made me want to pick up the next in the series, ‘Crossed’. I hope that the next books in the series do well to advance the plot of ‘Matched’ and develop the world. I would, therefore, give this book 3 stars, as there is lots of room for improvement, but still lots of elements that I enjoyed. Yay!