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Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3) by Ally…

Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3) (edition 2012)

by Ally Condie

Series: Matched (3)

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1,467885,089 (3.56)32
Title:Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3)
Authors:Ally Condie
Info:Dutton Juvenile (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, dystopia, young adult, science fiction, romance, series

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Reached by Ally Condie



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In a world where no one can decide who the hero of the story is supposed to be, three characters in a sorta-kinda love triangle trade places narrating their equally boring tales. Then the Rising acts, taking over the corrupt Society with absolutely no mentioned bloodshed or resistance whatsoever, as if the entire evil dystopian society is run by invisible people the reader never sees...oh, wait.

-cough- The separated heroes are brought together by the power of love by the Pilot, the mythical leader of the Rising, who passes on his or her title every generation. In bringing these three young individuals together, he...accuses them of conspiring against the Rising with absolutely no concrete evidence and takes them to a distant village where the three attempt to prove their worth--Cassia, the protagonist, by using her Society-given sorting skills, Xander, the forsaken lover, by using his Society-given medical skills, and Ky, Cassia's designated boyfriend, by falling ill and becoming a guinea pig for medical experimentation.

Anyway, all three characters work valiantly to (ironically) save the world from a Plague (which may or may not have been purposefully spurred on by the Rising) in this distant little village until Cassia uncovers an amazingly convenient coincidence at an incredibly crucial moment. After she helps Xander make the cure using this amazing coincidence, its given it out to all the important characters while countless unnamed people are kicked to the curb. And then the world is saved! Mostly. A whole bunch of people die horrible deaths, and then they hold an election between the Rising, the Society, and a group of outcasts to decide whose system they should follow (because apparently the first two haven't screwed up enough already).

Which one wins? I'd tell you, but we don't find out.

The end.

My Take

The first two books in this trilogy bored me to tears. This one gave me a headache. It was such a jumbled mess of plot points that I'm not even sure what happened. There were redeeming things (little things) that I liked: closing minor plot points from the previous two books, sneaking in clever connections between characters. Condie didn't completely blow Reached, but she got pretty close. I felt that everything and nothing happened in this book.

Her protagonists--her three protagonists, because Condie seems to believe the number of the book in the sequence denotes how many POVs it must have (Matched = 1, Crossed = 2, Reached = 3)--seem almost inconsequential in this book. They're tagalongs to people who actually make things happen. What little they do comes conveniently at the most important turning points, as if they're free to sit back and relax until they're "needed" to maintain their "hero" status.

A lot of things in this book disappointed me. A lot. The Pilot was a big one. I've seen corrupt rebellion leaders (Hunger Games, anybody?), but I don't think I've ever seen such a useless one. He comes out of nowhere, does nothing of import on screen, goes running for help because he almost loses control of his own rebellion...Man, they spent the whole second book talking about how amazing and inspiring the Pilot was supposed to be. What a let down. He seemed to be nothing more than a fancy (literal) pilot who flew the main cast where they needed to (conveniently) be.

(To be fair, I got the feeling by the end that this was Condie's point. Some kind of you are the Pilot if you want to be, and you have the power to be, so don't rely on others thing; however, featuring the Pilot so prominently in the actual plot soured a good chunk of the story; he annoyed me, and I found myself wishing I didn't "have to" read about him).

Then there was Xander. I spent two books thinking this guy was a great character. Then Condie had to go and add his POV to the mix. I hated him by his third chapter. Instead of an independent rebel who was strong enough to maintain his relationship with the girl he loved even though she loved another, I discovered he was a blindly obedient fool who spends the entire novel looking for someone to give him instructions, only to be left bereft of any direction at all in the end. He ends up choosing to retire to the mountains and become an entirely insignificant figure in the grand scheme of things--despite the fact that he was the one who made the cure for the Plague.

Oh, I forgot. Cassia was the one who found the flower that contains the cure. She gets all the credit. Right...

Point is, there were far too many convenient happenings in this plot. The lead Plague doctor has a heart attack at the exact wrong moment. A new character happens to be a character mentioned in the last book with a different name (and one of the protagonists just happens to befriend her).

In short, I found the plot completely unbelievable.

Again, there were redeeming moments, but they were far and few between.

And we still didn't find out who the Enemy was. $^%!



I've dissected my major issues with Condie's writing before, and, as can be expected by adding another POV, those issues became exponentially more apparent. The lack of distinct character voices often made it hard to tell whose POV a chapter was in, and I found myself glancing at the page headers (which contained the POV character names, conveniently) a lot, especially after all the main characters were gathered in once place.

A new issue, I think, is the poetry. Condie spends a lot of time in the first two books building up how important poetry/writing/creativity are in a society where they are not allowed, but in Reached, she takes it overboard. There's too much poetry, both inserted directly into the story and in Condie's narration. I've heard people praise Condie's writing style for being "beautiful," and it is. The problem is that much of that "beautiful prose" isn't important. It's all philosophical introspection stuck in between important plot details like tissue paper filling the gaps in a box. If I stripped it all away, there wouldn't be much of a story left. And that bothers me. There's little integration between the poetic prose and the plot.

Condie's writing could have been much stronger if more of the plot was revealed within that beautiful prose, not stuck around it like afterthoughts. The length of the book (as it stands plot-wise) could have been chopped in half without losing a single key detail.

And that's all I'm going to say about it because I think that says it all. I could rant on some more about specific aspects that I did and didn't like, but I'm just so tired of thinking about this series that I'll leave those up to you guys to find out (or, rather, avoid, if you choose to forgo reading the trilogy).


Is it Worth Reading?


(I wouldn't recommend it, but you can brave it if you'd like...not my decision.)



( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Really good. Not probably the ending I was hoping for, but it still makes sense and surprisingly satisfying. When the author is really talented, the story doesn't matter as much as the words used anymore... neither does the ending as much as the way the author chose to end it... ( )
  smiley0905 | Sep 3, 2015 |
Love elements of the first re-emerged in this conclusion, yet also that the story ended at a believable point. ( )
  LolaKarns | Jul 6, 2015 |
Love elements of the first re-emerged in this conclusion, yet also that the story ended at a believable point. ( )
  LolaKarns | Jul 6, 2015 |
I had high hopes for this one... I wanted it to wrap up all the loose ends that the other books left hanging, and it did. Condie is a wonderfully descriptive writer, and I found myself wanting to move slowly through this book because I wasn't ready for it to end. I loved the way it connected all the dots. Even though the love triangle (square--pentagon??) didn't end exactly how I had hoped, I could see how she chose to wrap things us was for the best. I loved the red garden day memory with Cassia's Grandfather, and how the "answer" came from her mother. Chapter 44 -- Wow. I won't say more, but wow! Such a powerful writing technique. Very unique. You'll have to read it for yourself and see.

This was definitely my favorite of the series. It seemed much more "meaty" than the others, and I loved the new characters like Anna and Oker. I felt like it was finally "bigger" than the relationship dilemma, and I loved all the little plot twists -- like just who was emptying Ky's medicine bag!

Would I recommend this to my BFF? Yes!
Would I recommend it to my teenage daughter? Absolutely! I'm trying to get her to read the whole series!

5 of 5 stars. ( )
  lauraodom | Apr 16, 2015 |
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for Calvin, who has never been afraid to dream of places Other.
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A man pushed a rock up the hill.
Every morning, the sun comes up and turns the earth red, and I think: This could be the day when everything changes.
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"In search of a better life, Cassia joins a widespread rebellion against Society, where she is tasked with finding a cure to the threat of survival and must choose between Xander and Ky"--

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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