There’s some spoilers ahead. Click and read at your own risk.
I feel a little let down by Reached. It was good, yes, but it wasn’t great. It wrapped the series up nicely, but I felt like the sacrifices made weren’t worth it in the end. And that’s why I’m disappointed.
Reached takes a different turn than the previous two books do. Matched was about love. Crossed was about being able to find your way when you aren’t sure where you’re going (if that makes sense). Reached is about coming to terms with the world and finding your place in it.
Yes, there is the plague and the cure and everything that goes with it. And that is what a large portion of Reached is devoted to. But there’s also Xander, Ky, and Cassia finding where they belong in this new world. And this is where I felt disappointed. All three characters narrate this novel. I would think they would all have to make sacrifices, but they don’t. At least, not equal ones.
There is some death. That’s what happens when there’s an outbreak of a deadly plague. Sacrifice can come that way. But there’s also the sacrifice of yourself. And this is where I started to not like this book as much. Cassia loses her father; Ky doesn’t know where his aunt and uncle are. Xander gives himself though. He gives everything he can, for Cassia, for Ky, for the Rising…and yet he doesn’t get things in return. Sure, he ends up happy, but for a large portion of this book, he gives himself so others can be happy and Cassia only notices when it is too late.
I think that is why I didn’t fall in love with this book. Condie created a love triangle that was believable and amazing, but in the end, she let one of the characters slip through the cracks for the sake of the other two. I knew from the beginning one would be hurt, that’s a given, but Xander did not deserve the fate he was given. He did not deserve to sacrifice himself for the sake of the other two.
Aside from this, Reached is a good novel. It deals with some big ideas in a great way and handles the Society and Rising well. The plot-driven tone of this novel was needed in order to end it in any way. The ending is left a little open, but there’s hope left in that opening.
Reached was a good novel, but it came at the cost of the characters. That’s why it was disappointing. It was good, not great. The series as a whole is good, but doesn’t quite stand up to some of the other dystopian series released as of late. I’m sure this series is for someone, but in the end, it left me wanting something more.