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i was born amidst salt and smoke to wake dragons out of stone.

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Crossed - Ally Condie There are three things you should know before you begin reading this review:1. I am not supposed to have this book. Crossed, along with Legend and Wintergirls, were supposed to be Christmas presents from my parents, but they left them lying, unwrapped, on my bed. :|2. I just finished this book, so the review will be a bit of a jumble.3. I have a box of Gushers! How awesome is that? :DI've got to say, I actually liked this book better than the first. And that surprises me, because usually I'm one of those people who loves the first book and then the rest gradually go downhill, getting worse and worse, until the series ends not with a bang but a whimper (you can apply this same concept to Glee). However, I actually found myself a.) enjoying Crossed more than I'd enjoyed Matched and b.) staying up until 4:00 a.m. reading it, which I don't often do unless I'm really invested in the characters or there are a lot of things exploding.I was pretty neutral on a lot of the characters in the first book, not because I didn't like them but I guess because I didn't know them very well yet. Now, though, I have formed a pretty firm opinion on everyone except one of the new characters, Indie (who I rotate between loving and hating and don't trust at all).I've gotta admit, there were some legitimate tears when Vick died. I knew he was a goner from the moment he appeared in the book because I immediately liked him, and characters I like always die.Really it's okay to stop killing off characters I like any time you want, authors.I also guess I've picked a side in the love triangle, because apparently that's a requirement when it comes to those things (except in THG when I Took a Third Option and shipped Katniss/Johanna). You'd think that, after reading half a book from Ky's point of view, anyone with half a brain would be hoping that he and Cassia would end up together, but since I like to torture myself by choosing the side of the triangle who doesn't have a chance, I must plant myself firmly on Xander's side of the fence. *Obligatory complaining about how he wasn't in this book nearly enough* *Because he really wasn't* *And he'd better narrate in the next one or there will be things thrown and I will be outside Ally Condie's window with a big ANGRY sign*(Yes that's the same sign I'll be using outside Cassandra Clare's window if Clockwork Princess doesn't go the way I want, too. This stuff is serious business to me, you guys.)The plot...well, there was a lot of book and not actually that much plot progression, but I didn't mind that much. I do wish we would have learned a little bit more, because a lot of the questions (pretty much all of them, really) presented in the first book still remain unanswered, and now we have even more questions. It's a little bit frustrating, and part of the reason I didn't give this book five stars; I'm going to be a bit (lol or a lot) upset if the third book doesn't answer all these questions Condie has given us over the past two books. I was growing a bit tired of hearing Indie and Ky talking about ~*~Xander's Secret~*~ (tm) SHING *SPARKLE SPARKLE*. I can understand not hearing it from Indie, because like I said I don't trust a word coming out of her mouth so I wouldn't have believed her even if she'd said it right at the beginning, but I guess I was getting annoyed with not hearing it from Ky, at least in his narration, because it was crossing too far into Unreliable Narrator territory for me.Then when they finally did say what it was, I was likebut I quickly recovered when I went on and saw that it wasn't as huge as I'd initially thought, although it was still not something I guessed when I read the first book.(I honestly thought it was going to be that he was trying to kill Cassia.)(Because he gave her all those poisoned tablets.)(He's not trying to kill her, is he?)(Fuck.)So anyway yeah really enjoyed this one, much to my pleasure and surprise. I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the third book, hoping we'll finally get some answers and a satisfying ending.This Message Has Been Brought to You by Those Angels in the Wall Paintings