By Ally Condie
‘You cannot change your journey if you are unwilling to move at all.’
Reached is the final book in the Matched trilogy which now combines the thoughts of, not only Cassia and Ky, but Xander: Cassia’s Match. Xander’s voice is a welcome addition; his viewpoint is required in this book when the three rebels and friends are separated and undertake their own personal journeys alongside their intertwined goals and desires.
The Society is falling and the Risings efforts to infiltrate and dominate are looking promising, until unexpected events cause death, fear and distrust. The central characters are separated and their efforts and objectives are in question. The reader is left wondering not only who Cassia will end up with, but will she end up with anyone at all?
The voices of the three protagonists are more grown up and reflect their struggles. I find Ky’s voice can sometimes feel like an echo of Cassia. Xander’s voice is much more individual. The pace is quicker than Crossed and contains frequent contemplations, mainly from Cassia about the arts and life:
‘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 to them, or turn them aside because they were not needed.’ Cassia.
The arts, except for the select 100 chosen by the Society, have not been enjoyed or understood by many. Cassia comes to realise how much it is needed especially as death all too frequently knocks at their doors:
‘Writing, painting, singing – it cannot stop everything. Cannot halt death in its tracks. But perhaps it can make the pause between death’s footsteps sound and look and feel beautiful’ and ‘the journey there between footsteps makes up our lives.’
I’m going to keep this short as I don’t want to give too much away. I think what sums up this book as well as the trilogy as a whole is a love triangle, a rebellion against a society for freedom of choice and a contemplative discussion on the importance of the arts within a society. It’s an enjoyable read, better than Crossed but not as good as Matched. It does what YA dystopian fiction should do: create an emotional response towards the lovers (the reader can choose who she wishes Cassia to be with depending on their own preferences) and make us think and question our society and our place within it.