We've "Reached" the End

March 4, 2013 Coming of Age, Dystopian, Young Adult Fiction 21

Hello Dear Bookworms,

I’ve been a bit grouchy with Ally Condie’s Matched series so far, so it is with great pleasure that I announce: I liked Reached! How is this even possible?! Read on my friends, read on.


When we last left the gang, Cassia, Ky, Indie, and Xander has all joined The Rising. Ky and Indie are sent to flight school while Cassia and Xander have been assigned to serve The Rising from within The Society. Now they’re double agents.

You know how The Rising decides to take over The Society? Biological warfare. A plague “mysteriously” breaks out that renders people comatose. If they’re left untreated, they die. Now, I’m not giving Condie a free pass here. The “plague” sounded an AWFUL lot like being petrified by the basilisk in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. The Rising plans to take over things by riding in on their white horse of a vaccine and cure. (Which, thankfully, is not made of mandrake root…) I realize The Society eliminated most pre-society history, but seriously. Why do people never learn? Viruses mutate! If you release a virus on a large population, you should expect it to mutate. For heaven’s sake, they have to make new flu vaccines every year! Ugh. People. No matter how much science they get, they still do dumb things.

So. Now there’s a plague. Cassia and Ky are separated. Indie is still kind of a sociopath. Xander is busy being a doctor and trying to do the right thing. I’m just so thankful that Cassia and Ky were separated because Cassia finally becomes her own person! She stops being the “OMG I LOVE KY” single minded teen-bot and starts writing poetry and organizing an art gallery and thinking thoughts. Thank heavens, because she was a few pages away from being thrown into the uninspiring heroine category with Ana Steele and Bella Swan.

How is it that I don’t even want to get all spoiler-y on you when I’ve been so mean to the rest of this series? Really, I didn’t HATE the other two books, they were just formulaic and seemed to “borrow” a bit too liberally from everything that had gone before. But then. THEN! Condie like, recognizes that and ADDRESSES it in one of Cassia’s “A-Ha” moments. She comes out and says something to the effect of “there is nothing original and someone has already done it better, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create.” Self awareness.


This flower SAVES THE WORLD. Well. Mostly anyway.

Remember the people who lived outside The Society? The farmers who were chilling in the Carving? The Rising has is flabbergasted by the mutation of the plague and is on the cusp of killing off the very people they tried to “liberate.” As a last ditch effort, the illustrious Pilot sends Ky, Cassia, and Xander out into an agrarian village to try and work on a cure for the mutated plague. Now, I love the idea that the antidote to the plague was a flower, but… I’m a big fan of Western medicine. Like, if you’ve got, oh I don’t know, LEPROSY, I think you should get thee to a doctor and get some antibiotics. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go digging up flower bulbs to try and cure ailments that have clear effective established treatments. However. When regular medicine isn’t working? Maybe trying some herbal remedies wouldn’t hurt.

I don’t know if it was the plague (because, HELLO The Stand) or the fact that the characters seemed to mature emotionally or the idea that a FLOWER saved humanity. Probably the flower part. Katie loves flowers.  But. The Matched series was saved by Reached. I feel a whole lot less hostile now, which is always a good thing. What do you think, Bookworms? Anybody else finish the series?

21 Responses to “We've "Reached" the End”

    • Words for Worms

      Ha! Tastes are funny that way. What bothered you the most? I simply must know. Was it that the plague petrified people a la HP? I almost threw my kindle when they did that…

      • rhapsodyinbooks

        This was my summing up from my review: his book bored me hugely. The plot is predictable; Xander speaks like a robot; Cassia and Ky have as much chemistry as inert gas; and the recurring riff on “who is the Pilot” made me feel like I was trapped in a “Where’s Waldo?” book. *He’s* the pilot! No! *She’s* the pilot! Wait! *You’re* the pilot! No, we’re ALL the pilot! Sheesh. A “Plague” on all your houses! Get me outta here!

  1. ashley

    I’m glad Reached redeemed the series for you. I agree with you about the first two books being almost carbon copies of other books. I enjoyed the series ( not fantastic) but I did enjoy Reached. I think I asked you before if you read the Uglies series. That series reminded me of Matched. ( hated Uglies until the last book)

    • Words for Worms

      Definitely quick reads. And, I mean, as much crap as I’ve given them, if I really couldn’t stand them I wouldn’t have finished the series, you know?

      • Ashley F

        Totally. Sometimes I’ll stick with it out of sheer stubbornness but not if I literally want to bang my head against the wall. Updates to follow!!

  2. Michelle Proulx

    I’m on Reached right now — about three quarters of the way through. I quite enjoyed Matched, but I HATED the second book. They literally accomplish nothing for the entire book except run around in the Carving and not die. I’m so-so about Reached at the moment. I like that they’re actually doing things … I like that Xander’s finally coming into his own and being awesome … I loved the idea of the Gallery, even though they seem to be destroying it to build their wall back up. Your post was kind of a spoiler with the flower = cure thing, but I assumed they’d find some natural remedy in the village anyway, so it’s not really much of a spoiler after all, lol.

    • Words for Worms

      DNF’s are not a sign of failure! They’re a sign of having better things to do and/or read than something you’re not enjoying. Really, DNF’s should be considered a sign of a healthy fulfilled life! (See what I did there? I’m totally trying to convince myself of these facts. Major DNF guilt.)

  3. A

    I agree, I wasnt a fan of Matched and only liked Crossed, but I liked Reached a lot and I think the characters came a long way and Condie really redeemed herself! Great review 🙂

    • Words for Worms

      Thank you, my dear. I so love it when people agree with me! I mean, everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course. I’m just predisposed to think that my opinion is “right,” Yours is too! Yay for us!

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