Crossed

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched Series, book 2/3
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Publisher: the Penguin Group
Release Date: November 1st, 2011

This post reviews the second book of the Matched trilogy. You may like to read the first book in the series, Matched, before reading this review. 

Cassia has been relocated to the Tana Province on a 3-month work assignment in the fields. When she sees her chance to escape from her own assignment, she takes it. She flees with one of the girls from her work group, Indie, in hopes of reaching the Outer Provinces to find Ky. Meanwhile, in the Outer Provinces, people are not lasting long. The Society is using its lowest members, which are the Aberrations and Anomalies, to fight in the war against the Enemy. Ky is among the Aberrations, not a citizen of Society like Cassia. He too sees a chance to escape, and leaves in the middle of the night with two companions.

Both groups of runaways escape into the Carving, a great maze-like canyon in the middle of the desert. Ky is desperate to find a way to get back to Cassia, but little does he know that she too has managed to make it into the Carving. Only a few days pass before their paths cross, and Ky and Cassia are reunited. They continue into the Carving together, their two groups merging into one. Now, their focus becomes finding the Rising, the resistance against the Society, and joining with them. Cassia and Indie are eager, but Ky does not trust the resistance group.

One of the things I really liked about this book was the change in points of view. Cassia and Ky take turns telling their sides of the story. Not only does this make things more interesting, but we also get to see into the heart of Ky in a way that we couldn’t in book one. Crossed kept me interested, but the first half of the book was rather slow until Cassia and Ky finally met up. There is a lot that is beginning to be set up so that we can get to the climax in the final book, Reached. And just like other love triangles, Cassia realizes in this middle book just how much she loves both Ky and Xander, for vastly different reasons. We are led to believe it will be Ky (especially since Xander was only in this book for a brief amount of time), but I think Condie will not make this decision an easy one for Cassia.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

Matched

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched Series, book 1/3
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Publisher: the Penguin Group

Release Date: November 30th, 2010

Matched, book 1 in its trilogy, is a futuristic, dystopian young adult story. The Society that we are introduced to is a highly controlled, neutralized civilization. And as long as that Society maintains control over the people, the system they have created will succeed. Everything is perfectly planned out and calculated, and everything that happens has been already predicted by precise analysis. Part of this analysis is the Matching system, where the Society chooses your spouse.

When Cassia’s Match is revealed, she couldn’t be more pleased – at first. Her match turns out to be Xander, her best friend from childhood. But when another match is revealed, not Xander, she is confused – her second match is Ky, another boy from her childhood that she knows little about. The Society simply does not make mistakes like this, and she does not know what to think. Is her Match Xander, reliable and secure, or is it possibly Ky, independent and passionate? She decides to tell no one about this mistake, so as not to ruin anything with Xander, but that does not keep her from wondering about Ky.

Cassia interacts more and more with Ky, but rather unintentionally. While Xander prefers swimming as his choice of recreational activities, Cassia and Ky prefer hiking. As they spend this time together, trust develops and they share parts of themselves that no one else knows. They step into dangerous territory, not just with the Society, but with their own hearts.

This world that has developed in the future is just terrifying. Everything is decided for you – your meals, your free time, your jobs, your spouse, the number of children you can have, and even the songs you listen to and the books you read. The belief behind it all is that people should have no control over their own lives, because when people have the right to choose, they choose poorly. Civilization must be controlled, because where freedom is, chaos follows and Society crumbles. Books like these should give us perspective on how blessed we truly are to live our own lives and love whom our hearts desire. We tend to take for granted the simplest of things in life, such as deciding what we want to eat for dinner, or which book to read next, or who we should marry, and if we want to have 4 kids or maybe not any. This novel for teens can speak to all ages, and remind us to cherish the life we have. I enjoyed this book, though it was slow at times, and I’m excited to see where Cassia’s decisions take her in the next book in the series, Crossed.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

Crystal Kingdom

Title: Crystal Kingdom
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: The Kanin Chronicles, book 3/3
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, YA
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: August 4th, 2015




Note: This post reviews the third book of The Kanin Chronicles. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Frostfire and Ice Kissed, before reading this review. 

Additional note: Crystal Kingdom, like the book before it, contains a descriptive love scene that I feel is pretty mature in its description and content. Strong language is also used occasionally throughout the book. I say this as a heads up for the actual “young adults” this book is aimed toward.Bryn Aven is on the run. Risking everything, she goes to Forening, seeking an audience with the Queen of the Trylle. After hearing her out, the queen grants Bryn amnesty, for the time being. Bryn is forced to find more evidence that it truly is Mina behind everything happening in Doldastam. Desperate to uncover Mina’s past, Bryn decides to go back to the beginning, before Mina even became queen. She goes to Iskyla, the queen’s hometown. There, she finds Mina’s sister, and learns the shocking truth about her past. Now Bryn knows her history, her family, and the reasons behind Mina’s actions. The queen is out for revenge.When Mina declares war on the Skojare, the other tribes see for themselves what she is truly like. They realize they cannot sit by and let her massacre the Skojare. And so, the Trylle and the Vittra join Bryn and her friends, ready to make a stand against Mina. But this is just the beginning. Bryn knows that Mina has to be confronted once and for all. And now Bryn is not alone, but has entire tribes on her side. It is time to go to war against Doldastam – her own city – and give Mina what she has coming.

In this exciting finish, Hocking wraps up a lot of the conflict between the tribes of the trolls, conflict between Bryn and her people, and even conflict in Bryn’s own heart. These books have earned a place on my shelves. I know I will come back and reread them at some point, experiencing this fantastic world of the trolls all over again.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  

Ice Kissed


Title: Ice Kissed
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: The Kanin Chronicles, book 2/3
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, YA
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

Note: This post reviews the second book of The Kanin Chronicles. You may like to read the first book in the series, Frostfire, before reading this review. 

Additional note: Ice Kissed contains a descriptive love scene that I feel is pretty mature in its content. Just a heads up for the actual “young adults” this book is geared toward.When Queen Linnea appears to Bryn in a lysa, a projection that allows one troll to enter another troll’s thoughts through a vision, she asks Bryn to come find her. Bryn learns that the queen ran away from her own palace because she felt unsafe. When Bryn returns the queen to Storvatten, she senses the danger for herself. She catches Linnea’s personal guard in the act of trying to assassinate King Mikko, proving the Queen’s suspicions to be valid. As Bryn continues to look into the situation, she realizes that conspiracy is happening in Storvatten, and it involves members of the royal family.Just when Bryn finally figures out who is behind much of the conspiracy in Storvatten, she tries to tell King Evert immediately. But before she can, she is apprehended by the last person she thought would get in her way. Because she knows too much, Bryn is arrested.
 
This action-packed sequel was a good follow-up for Frostfire. Check out the third and final book of this series, Crystal Kingdom.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: