Here we go!
Ally Condie wraps up the MATCHED Trilogy using three POVs: Cassia, Ky (we've heard from both of them before) and Xander. The Society is struggling, the Rising is on the move, things are not going quite as planned for anyone, and, oh: there is a plague. Big giant plague, which I think we can all agree is never a good thing.
Cassia, Ky, and Xander all have important parts to play in helping pull this new and unstable civilization back from the brink of collapse. How each of them view the Society, the Rising, the Pilot, the plague, and their misgivings about the future is interesting to see, since they are three very different people. All the questions we had are answered, and there are a few nifty plot twists.
I realize this isn't much of a plot summary, but I'm terrible at those kind of reviews. I just want to talk about ALL THE FEELINGS. (As evidenced by the gifs...this is how I operate in life also. Even I find it hard to be around myself sometimes!)
Although the storyline is often grim, it's also beautiful. Condie's writing reminds me of Robert Frost's poetry. It's spare, almost simple, yet somehow so evocative. Images stick with you. There's nothing flowery or showy about the way she writes, but it just tears me up.
If you let hope inside, it takes you over. It feeds on your insides and uses your bones to climb and grow. Eventually it becomes the thing that is your bones, that holds you together. Holds you up until you don't know how to live without it anymore. To pull it out of you would kill you entirely.
I just dig her writing style.
Something else I liked: the resolution to the Cassia/Ky/Xander thing.
Hear me out, love triangle haters! Because I, too, usually want to start slapping people when I read a love triangle. But this one was wonderfully written. There was a point in her life when Cassia could have made a completely different choice than what she did. Xander and Ky both have wonderful qualities that would make either of them good partners for Cassia.
But here's the kicker: Once she decided, SHE WAS DONE. No "oh, maybe I wanna make out with you over here, you're so hawt, no wait, what about you again...." nonsense like in some books.
No. Condie does not play those games. I think the message here is: Life offers you alternate paths, different ways to proceed into your future, and any choice you make automatically shuts the door for other choices. Pick a path and keep moving forward. I found it refreshing to see such a mature attitude toward life from fictional teenagers.
And on the subject of moving forward: Xander. Oh, I loved the path his character takes in this book. I love seeing real, hard-earned growth. Another true-to-life fact woven into the plot of this book: you can't undo the pains and losses life hands you, but you can learn from them and grow. Any world is imperfect, but there is beauty and love to be found anywhere if you are brave enough to look for it and create it. I'm so happy to have met Cassia, Ky, and Xander and shared their journey.
Anyone else read this?? What did you think?
**I'M GIVING AWAY A COPY OF "SHADOW AND BONE" by LEIGH BARDUGO**