In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
Such high hopes for this book, and I don’t feel they were met. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a bad book by any means. I just feel that it’s not worth its hype, and definitely not the next Hunger Games like it was marketed. This sequel to Matched turns Cassia from a potentially strong female lead with agency and a tendency to act for herself into a passive woman following the instructions of her love interest and the authorities around her. This is a huge character change for Cassia. Instead of manipulating the people and technologies around her to find out information like Matched, Cassia drifts around in work camps until she happens upon someone who knows of Ky. Instead of preparing food and water for her escape like Ky Cassia relies wholly on the unnamed boy and her stock of useless blue pills. When she finds Ky Cassia follows him and his goals, having made no plan for survival or her future further than “I will find my boyfriend”. Even when they get to the Rising Cassia goes along with what the Others tell her to do, and when they decide to send her back as a spy there is little emotional reaction. Combine this with a snail-like pace of plot as the group travels through a barren wasteland and you get a book that suffers from middle-trilogy syndrome as well as the character issues. I am so sad that the promise of Matched wasn’t met, and I will probably sadly pass on the third book in this series.