First impressions: I was so excited to get back into this world, and it picks up almost immediately after we left off in Matched. I admit I had to take a minute to think back - now where were we? I think this is one of those series that is better read close together.
Lasting impressions: While I won't go so far as to say this was a disappointment, it did suffer a bit from middle book syndrome. We didn't learn a whole lot of new information about the Society, and a majority of the book revolves around Cassia trying to reunite with Ky.
Conflicting impressions: I was so invested in Cassia and Ky's relationship in the first book that having to spend so much time with them apart made the story lose a little magic. The chemistry that connected me to these characters was missing, so the book dragged for me.
Overall impressions: This was probably my most anticipated book of the year, so it's too bad that it turned out to be just okay for me. Good, not great. I loved Matched so much that it's not likely the sequel would have measured up, but this felt like an entirely different story.
Cassia spends most of the book trying to sneak her way to the Outer Provinces by pretending she's not a Citizen and joining work camps. Ky, meanwhile, is faced with the grim reality of being used as bait in an ongoing war with the people outside the Society. He makes a few friends and bolts with them into the surrounding canyons.
There is a bit of tension surrounding the blue pills and whether or not Cassia will survive and/or be reunited with Ky. She also tries to find out more about the Resistance and what kind of role she wants to play in it. Similarly, Ky must also determine whether being with Cassia is worth accepting a prominent position in the Resistance.
With just enough nuggets of new information to merit this sequel, there's still a lot left to discover in book three, out next year. I think it's worth a read for fans of the series, but would wait to read it until closer to the release of the conclusion book, so you can move straight into what will hopefully be the more exciting end of the story.
Rating: 3/5 stars