Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Pilot, The Poet, The Physic

Throughout their journey, Cassia and Ky have been lost, found, and lost again. Now, Ky is a pilot who brings in cargo for The Pilot in charge of the Rising. Each day he desperately tries to get closer to Cassia, but it seems, for now, they are lost. Cassia is part of the Rising, but hidden within the Society's hold. She continues to trade artifacts (old poems, pills) for information regarding this new wave of change, while still staying in her sorting role. But she also longs to be reunited with her family, and with Ky. Xander is a medic for the Officials in the Society. Each day he gives newborns the cure for the plague and the red tablets, without the other medics knowing this is his plan. He vows to save those who are sick, although a part of him always thinks of Cassia. Would she have picked him if she had stayed?

The three are introduced to The Pilot leading the Rising, and a new wave of government can begin. However, people are getting sick. There is a new plague that no one knows how to cure. Hundreds are going still each day, and a number of those are dying. Just when hope seems lost, The Pilot recruits the three to help establish a cure in a village outside the Society's walls. The Pilot vows to return when they have a cure, so they may administer it to other villages. Is it possible that a cure can come from here? If it does, how many is The Rising willing to lose to prove they are the government to be trusted?

Reached by Ally Condie is the final in the Matched trilogy. Although Crossed was a little let down, Reached pulled the series back up and made me want to stand up and cheer. Condie's writing is so increidble that I found myself book marking multiple pages. The writing stuck with me, and it seemed so effortless. Truly remarkable how Condie has written three books, all of which have the same writing affect.
I liked Reached much more than Crossed(the second in the trilogy) because I felt there was more to it. We did a lot of traveling, lots of things were changing, but it just felt so long. I think it helped that Condie added Xander's point of view to this book. Giving Ky a voice was great, but I always loved Xander because you knew from the beginning there was something different about him. There is something he is hiding. In my opinion, Xander is the strongest of the three. He knows he has pretty much lost the fight for Cassia's heart, but there is a part of him that holds out hope. But, he is driven to other things. Watching him cure people, and seeing his effort makes readers realize he is more than a love sick puppy. He cares for Cassia, but he also cares for Ky. He doesn't hold jealousy, but rather sadness and longing for something more. And honestly, I would have chosen him. :)

Reached shows how one form of corrupt government can be taken over, but perhaps this new wave may not be the answer either. The emphasis on the disease and how much information The Pilot is withholding begins to confuse readers as well. Who can we trust? What are the secrets being kept, and which way should we go?
I labeled the book as "mature audience" simply because younger students may not grasp the concept of the government control; which is the same case with books like, The Hunger Games. The purpose that drives the book is not knowing who can be trusted. The three characters trust each other, and now must reach their own discovery on who is their "Pilot" and who should be followed. I feel this is a real complicated issue, and at times it does make you reconsider how much trust you hold in your government. What are they really keeping from you?
Although it took me a while to get through, lack of time on my part, it was well worth it and a definite great ending to the trilogy. Although we have not "reached" an outcome for the continuing government at the end of the novel, we can assume things will be better. Because they have to.

There is something extraordinary about the first time falling. But it feels even better to find myself standing on solid ground, with someone holding on to me, pulling me back, and know that I'm doing the same for her. ~Condie