Reached, Book 3 in the Matched series picks up with Xander and Cassia imbedded with their new roles in the Society. Both are in the rising although neither knows for sure about each others involvement. Cassia is trying to see Ky but their new roles make it almost impossible. Cassia is now a known trader with the Archivists, her poems make good trades for information. Xander witnesses the beginning of the rebellion in the form of a virus. The pilot unleashes a virus and the plan is for them to arrive heroically with the cure. This seems to work until the virus mutates and a new strain threatens to kill. All three of them escape to the outer provinces before Ky falls still. The virus makes the victim appear still. Xander must work fast to help find a cure to save Ky. The book brings up interesting discussion points about what is more important, safety and order or freedom. We learn much more about what the different colored pills are supposed to do and how Cassia starts to remember things about her grandfather and the “Red Garden Day.” The most interesting aspect of this series is the idea of information overload and limited all art and study to the top 100 things. The top 100 songs, science lessons and poems. My favorite part of the story is when the people begin making new art and they create a gallery inside the huge white barricades that the society moved to the beach also when Cassia begins writing poetry of her own. Again with other YA series being written, Ally Condie did not remind us of what happened in the previous book as much as I would have liked. It has been at least a year since I read Crossed. There were so many important details that I forgot about and keeping some of the characters straight was a little confusing at first. I did enjoy the whole series, although my favorite book was clearly the first, Matched.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Discuss this poem written by Cassia, “Climbing into the dark for you, Will you wait in stars for me?”
Talk about what would happen if technology failed us.
What do you have that you could trade to an archivist? What would you want in return?
Discuss this quote by the pilot, “This rebellion is different than others throughout history. It will begin and end with saving your blood, not spilling it.”
Discuss the moment when Cassia writes these words on the paper on the tree. “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Discuss when Lenya says to Xander. “You all called us Anomalies. Not good enough to live among you. Not good enough to marry you. And now you need us to save you.”
Why do you think gravity was left out of the hundred science lessons?
What would be on your hundred song playlist?
Are there any aspects of the Society that you do like? Discuss.
Discuss the idea of Ky’s mother painting on rocks with water, “the important thing was to create, not capture.” (page 404)
Discuss this passage from page 320. “So we’re never really safe, I (Xander) say, “Oh no, my boy,” Okar says, almost gently. “That might be the Society’s greatest triumph–that so many of us ever believed that we were.”
Discuss the quote, “It’s all right to wonder.”
Discuss “The Pilot. The Poet. The Physic. They are in all of us. I believe this. That every person might have a way to fly, a line of poetry to put down for others to see, a hand to heal.”