Disappointment and aggravation

27 Jun

I finished two books this year that were both second installments of trilogies: Crossed by Ally Condie and A Million Suns by Beth Revis*. The first books in each series (Matched and Across the Universe, respectively) had the same effect on me. I didn’t want to put either down and I was excited and anxious as the release dates for the sequels drew nearer. Crossed came out first, in November of 2011. I asked for the day off work so I could download and read it without interruption. Like most books, I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it in a single day, but I figured I would get a good chunk read.

How wrong I was.

Matched was told entirely by Cassia’s point of view but Crossed took on a different format. Chapters alternated between Cassia and Ky’s points of view. Each chapter was marked by who was speaking, as books with alternating storytellers often do, but other than that, there was nothing to distinguish who was speaking. I found myself often flipping back several pages to find whose chapter it was that I was reading. The characters didn’t have their own voices. It all sounded like Cassia’s from Matched.

Then there was the action – or lack thereof. The mystery and intrigue that Matched had (who put Ky’s name in the system? Why did Grandpa have forbidden poetry? etc.) were missing largely for Crossed. Cassia and Ky are in search of each other, far from the Society where they first met. About half the book is taken up by this search, which is a lot of walking in deserts and hiding from Society spy planes. Once they find each other, the search continues for the Rising. It wasn’t until about 75 pages from the end that I started to feel that grip of intrigue pull me into the story. Something interesting was finally happening.

Despite taking the release day off to read it, I didn’t finish the book for three months. I didn’t feel the pull to not put it down. Instead, I felt the dredge of picking it up again. I had very little interest in it to keep me going. What would have taken me about a week to read took me months instead and that says a lot about the content.

But there’s still one more book in the trilogy, set to come out this November. And even though I was disappointed in Crossed, I am still curious to see what happens to Ky and Cassia and, therefore, will still download a copy of Reached. I just won’t bother taking a day off work so I can read it.

*Stay tuned for a review of A Million Suns.


Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Literature, Rants


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4 responses to “Disappointment and aggravation

  1. Ti

    June 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Ah… the second book syndrome. The second book is rarely as good as the first. But, we read ’em anyway because we need to know what happens 🙂 I felt the same way with the whole Hunger Games thing. I didn’t LOVE the first book, but I appreciated it for what it was and each book after that was a little bit weaker than the one before it.

    • unknown

      June 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      See, I think I enjoyed Catching Fire more than most people. But, like movie sequels, the expectations are so high for the next installment, that disappointment is inevitable. I didn’t feel that way about Million Suns, though, which I will be blogging about tomorrow. I didn’t see a review of that on your blog so I’m guessing it really wasn’t a priority for you to see what happened with Amy and Elder…If you ever read it, though, I’d love to know what you think!

  2. Dan

    June 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Have you heard of the new book that won the Pulitzer? Tinkers by Paul Harding. The people who read it and loved it all read it twice, they thought it was so good. Maybe that should be your next “day off” book!

    • unknown

      June 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      I’ve heard of it, but didn’t realize it won the Pulitzer. I’ll check it out. Thanks!


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