Cassia thought once she found The Rising that she’d be able to be with Ky, but Cassia is back in The Society and working undercover for The Rising. When a mysterious plague starts affecting large numbers of The Society’s population, chaos ensues.
I really wanted to like this book. I did. I think Condie did a great job creating a realistic world with interesting problems in her Matched Trilogy. And I liked finally hearing from Xander’s voice in book three, but overall… I didn’t like Reached.
Warning: Spoilers about the Cassia, Xander, Ky love triangle. I tried to write this review without the spoilers, but I just couldn’t.
Condie did a pretty good job over the course of the whole series not making the love triangle between Cassia, Xander, and Ky too sordid and dysfunctional. I also appreciate that Cassia was pretty consistent about her feelings for Ky throughout the whole series; she wasn’t a hyper emo teen. But in the last few pages of the final book, Cassia did suddenly become weird about her feelings for Xander and what might have been between them. It just didn’t seem to fit her character and the way Condie had written the relationship up to that point.
I was hoping Cassia would choose Xander over Ky. I think Xander was a better, more likable person than Ky was. I also think Xander was a better match for Cassia too. I didn’t like how Ky was deceitful with Cassia in book two (and in book two readers also find out that Ky was responsible for setting up Cassia’s confusing double match and he never tells Cassia this in book two or three*). Ky’s feelings for Indie also made me like him less. His feelings for her were gray, and he always told Indie that he loved Cassia, but there was enough there to make me unhappy about the whole thing (especially his coma induced vision and conversation with her). I don’t understand why Condie wanted Cassia and Ky together with the way she wrote all three characters. It was like she didn’t think Cassia deserved the better boy. She also perfectly opened up the storyline to put Xander and Cassia together, which added to the confusion of why she did what did.
My overall problem with Reached, was that I didn’t like the main characters very much, with the exception of Xander. That said, even in the end, I don’t think Condie wrote Xander’s character consistently with who he had been throughout the whole series. I get that he felt deceived by everyone and had been through a lot, but it just seemed like there was a 180 reversal of who he was and who Ky was. It was like Xander became Ky and Ky became Xander. Thus, I found myself asking if Condie really wanted Cassia to be with Xander’s character in her subconscious? LOL. Yes, I really did just suggest that.
I thought the resolution of the The Society and The Rising was done well. It will be interesting to see if Condie writes more about this world, unfortunately if she does, I don’t know if I’ll be tempted enough to read about it.
*What was with Cassia’s remembrance of the sorting she performed on the ‘Red Garden Day.’ This seemed to contradict what Ky said in book two about being responsible for his match with Cassia. If it was meant to work together with the sorting Cassia did, it never came full circle and left me confused and thinking Condie had created a contradiction.
Conclusion: If you really dislike the first book in a series, it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t read the rest of the books in the series.
- Sex: some kissing and daydreaming about kissing
- Violence: a plague sweeps through The Society incapacitating and killing lots of people, sometimes in a gruesome way
- Language: a couple mild swear words