Ally Condie’s Crossed is written in two voices. The chapters flip back and forth between Ky and Cassia doing the talking. Ky has been banished to the Outer Provinces to act as a decoy. His main purpose is to act as a target for the faceless enemy. Cassia is also outside of Central doing a series of trainings before she beings her final post. In a moment where the Society kidnaps Abberations from Cassia’s work camp, she makes her escape, pretending to be one of the Abberations. Her only thought is of finding Ky. They hide from the society in a series of canyons known as The Carving. Ky knows them well because his father used to trade with the farmers who lived in the canyons. We learn much more about Ky’s past, his family and the community where he lived. We also learn that Xander has a secret that could change the way Cassia feels about him. There are many more questions that arise in this book. Who are the farmers and what happened to them? Why does The Society have a hidden chamber in the canyon? Who is this enemy that keeps firing on the Outer Provinces? But mostly, who is the real bad guy? I found this book a little harder to follow. The back and forth of the characters could be a little confusing and you have to pay close attention to the details while you are reading. The love triangle is still going strong. Cassia still loves them both and is no closer to choosing between them. I am looking forward to seeing this story wrapped up in the third book and hope it will be a satisfying ending.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
How does Cassia’s talent for sorting help her survive?
Talk about her relationship with Xander. Why do you think he is helping her to escape to find Ky?
Talk about how her feelings differ about Ky and Xander.
Which would you choose? To go across the plains, stay in the Carving, or join the Rising?
Who do you think is the real enemy?
Discuss “the pilot.” Who out of the group would make a great pilot? Share the story of Sisyphus.
Discuss this passage. “People run deep and complicated like rivers, hold their shape and are carved upon like stone.”
What do you think will happen in book 3?