Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.
The wait is over.
One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion.
With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.
After a not that much impressed reading of Crossed, I bought Reached right after it was released and started reading it right away, in hopes that that amazing feeling I had with Matched could be revived. When I finished Reached I found myself somehow disappointed.
Reached goes into a whole new level in the Matched trilogy’s plot. The Rising takes over the power once people start getting sick with the Plague. They say they have the cure that Society doesn’t, that they can save everyone.
The story is told by Cassia’s, Ky’s and Xander’s point of view, and it is refreshing to see it through Xander’s eyes. I really liked the change of scenario from chapter to chapter, and the fact that we see each character’s ending. While we find out a lot of things about other characters in this book, I was disappointed that, again, there was little information about how the Society was formed. That was my problem with Crossed, and it was one of my problems with Reached.
To me, the whole Plague was introduced too fast in this book, and how the Rising took over was disappointing. I understand that we see it through the eyes of the characters and they were not expecting the Plague, but still, it felt flat, with huge plot holes. It’s the last book in a trilogy but I feel like Condie tried too hard and ended up with a book full of surprises that doesn’t fully connect with the previous two. I mean, there’s Cassia and Ky, their complicated relationship, and Xander… But I can’t quite put my finger on what made me feel like it was another story. I know, it’s confusing, I can’t make a lot of sense right now LOL
Author: Ally Condie
Country: United States
Genre(s): Young Adult, Dystopia, Speculative Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication date: November 13, 2012
My favorite quotes on this book are bellow.
Cassia, I’m in love with you and I want you. So, what will it take for you to feel the same? A whole new world?
Because that’s what we’re going to have.
Day after day, I push the rock that the Society has given me up the hill, over and over again. Inside me are the real things that give me strength—my thoughts, the small stones of my own choosing. They tumble in my mind, some polished from frequent turning, some new and rough, some that cut.
Perhaps this is what I learned in the canyons: What I am, what I’m not, what I’ll give, and what I won’t.
I wouldn’t care how small the world became as long as I had Cassia at the center of mine.
I don’t know what happens after we die. It doesn’t seem to me like there can be much past this. But I suppose I can conceive that what we make and do can last beyond us. Maybe in a different place, on another plane.
I don’t promise her anything. I’ve never been able to lie to Indie.
Indie raises her eyebrows at me. “Maybe they put him with us to equal things out,” she says. “Two smart, one stupid.”
I don’t hate Ky. I respect him. But that doesn’t mean I think he should be with Cassia.
In the Society, we don’t call out beyond our own bodies, the walls of our rooms. When we scream it is only in the world of our own dreams, and I have never been sure who hears.
“The Rising is for everyone.” The Pilot’s voice drops a little as he repeats the motto, becomes deeper with emotion. “But you are the ones who will begin it. You are the ones who will save them.”
“Can you believe it?”
“I have to believe it,” I say. Because if I don’t believe in the Rising and their cure, what hope is there for Cassia?
I’ve changed since I ran off to the Carving and left the decoys to die. I’ve changed because of everything I’ve seen since then, and because of Cassia. I can’t leave people behind again. I have to keep running in this damn cure even if it means I can’t get to Cassia as soon as I’d like.
Long ago people used to say what they wanted out loud and hope that someone would give it to them. They called it praying.
Cassia’s changed me. I’m a better person now because of her, but it’s also going to be harder than ever to get to her.
Some people think the stars must look closer from up here.
When you’re up here, you realize how distant they really are—how impossible to reach.
I shouldn’t have been surprised at the way she fell in love with Ky because it’s the way I wanted her to fall in love with me: completely.
And it strikes me that this is how writing anything is, really. A collaboration between you who give the words and they who take them and find meaning in them, or put music behind them, or turn them aside because they were not what was needed.
There are many of them in the world, I think, good men and women with their frail deeds. Wondering what might have been, how things might have danced, if we had only dared to be bright.
I have been one of them.
I don’t wonder if he still loves Cassia. I’m sure that he does.
Right then I knew we were feeling the same thing. I knew we loved Cassia, if not exactly the same way, then the same amount. And the amount was: completely. One hundred percent.
The Society said that numbers like that don’t exist but neither Ky nor I cared. I respected that about him, too. And I always admired the way he didn’t complain or get upset about anything even though life couldn’t have been easy for him in the Borough. Most people there saw him as a replacement for someone else.
I am not the only one writing.
I am not the only one creating.
The Society took so much from us, but we still hear rumors of music, hints of poetry; we still see intimations of art in the world around us. They never did keep us from all of it. We took it in, sometimes without knowing, and many still ache for a way to let it out.
I hope for love for you.
I hope for this more than anything else, maybe even more than my own happiness.
And in a way, perhaps that means I love Xander best of all.
“People didn’t die in the Society,” he says.
“They did,” I say. “They were just better at hiding it.” And I understand why the virologist is afraid. I think about running away too, but only for a second.
I believe in Cassia. Indie believes in the Rising and the Pilot. We’ve both found something to pull us through.
In a story, you can turn to the front and begin again and everyone lives once more.
That doesn’t work in real life. And I love my real people the most. Bram. My mother. My father. Ky. Xander.
Can I trust anyone?
You cannot change your journey if you are unwilling to move at all.
I’ve already failed them. But I can’t fail these hundred.
In Ky’s eyes is such complete love and hunger that it goes through me like the sharp, high note of a bird in the canyon, echoing all the way through my body. I am seen and known, if not yet touched.
The moment sings between us and then everything turns to motion.
I never asked Xander for his story because I thought I already knew it. Looking at him now, I realize that I didn’t know it all then, and I certainly don’t know it all now. He has traveled through canyons of his own and come through changed.
I think how this is always the way he is, giving me something even when most would think there was nothing left to do but let go.
Xander’s not blind. Just believing. It’s so damn painful to see.
I’m going to walk through this to reach you.
Will you wait in stars for me?
And no matter what, she’ll remember me. No one, not Society or Rising or anyone else, can take that from her. Too much has happened. And too much time has passed.
She’ll know that I was here. And that I loved her.
Some things cannot be shared. I could tell him everything that happened in the Carving and he still won’t have been there with me.
And it’s the same for him. He could tell me all about the Plague and the mutation that followed and what he saw, but I still wasn’t there.
Even when I hated you, I liked your voice.
You’re not even still. You have to keep going.
Ky and I took the journey in our own order. We began with the Hill, together. We crossed a desert to get to the Carving and streams and rivers inside the canyons and again when we came out. There has been no sea, no ocean, but there has been a great expanse for both of us to navigate without the other. I think that counts.
Xander will do anything for those he loves, whatever the cost. But, looking at Xander now, I think the cost has become too high.
I know that a virus doesn’t think or feel, but it still seems as if this one likes to take down those who were the most alive.
When things like this happen—when what was meant to help results in harm, when a salve brings pain instead of healing—it is clear how wrong even choices intended to be right can become.
I do not know how I can feel this much pain and survive, and at the same time know how much I have to live.
It’s just one person. Of course, one person can be the world.
If you sing and speak of blooms and petals that come back after a long time of being winter-still, you don’t have to think about things that don’t.
I draw in a ragged breath, the kind you take when the pain is too deep to cry, when you can’t cry because all you are is pain, and if you let some of it out, you might cease to exist.
I cannot think of falling without thinking of flying.
I could do it, I think, if I found a way to make wings.
So many questions, and I may never have the answers.
Time. It’s what we’ve always wanted, what we rarely have.
I close my eyes and remember her standing as beautiful as snow when she came out of the canyons. I remember holding the green silk against her cheek on the Hill. I remember her skin and sand in the canyons, and her face looking down on me in the mountains, bringing me back.
“I love you,” she whispers.
“I love you,” I say back.
I choose her again, and again, and again.
For so long, we cared about who saw us. Who might be watching, who might be hurt. But now, we are only dancing.
“‘It’s all right to wonder,’” I say. Besides the words on the microcard, that was the last thing Grandfather said to me before he died. He gave me the poems. And he told me that it was all right to wonder. So it’s fine that I don’t know which poem he meant for me to follow. Perhaps that’s even what he intended. It’s all right that I can’t figure everything out right here, right now.
There is something extraordinary about the first time falling.
But it feels even better to find myself standing on solid ground, with someone holding on to me, pulling me back, and know that I’m doing the same for her.
I remember what Anna called the three of us.
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.
For we are all walking each other to our deaths, and the journey there between footsteps makes up our lives.
We hold the choices of our fathers and mothers in our hands and when we cling on or let them slip between our fingers, those choices become our own.
There is satisfaction in knowing that something good and right and true was part of you. That you had the blessing, gift, good fortune, perfect luck, to know someone like this, to pass through fire and water and stone and sky together and emerge, all of you, strong enough to hold on, strong enough to let go.
There is ebb and flow. Leaving and coming. Flight and fall. Sing and silent. Reaching and reached.