Reached

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Reached Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Satisfying, solid resolution of twisting dystopian romance.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

There's good stuff in Reached for both poets and scientists. As in the earlier books, works of art underpin key plot points and drive the characters' growth. Ally Condie lists the painting and poems referenced in the story in an author's note, a wonderful prompt for kids who are hungry for more. She also gives a primer on the biology of viruses, describing -- with fictional liberties, of course -- how immunizations work, how viruses change, and how scientists struggle to stay a step ahead. 

Positive Messages

The difference between right and wrong is rarely black and white. The characters learn to be comfortable with ambiguity. They find their faith and beliefs constantly challenged, and they learn to balance trust with skepticism. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Confronted with difficult choices, the three young protagonists often act for the greater good and put their personal desires aside. Cassia proves smart and resourceful, and Xander makes tremendous sacrifices to try to help the sick. Ky sometimes seems to have tunnel vision, desperate to run away with Cassia beyond the reach of the Society or the Rising, but he, too, grows to take a wider view. 

Violence

Some deaths from the Plague are a little grisly. A character is accused of killing someone and faces execution. Several characters die, but the deaths occur offscreen. And there's a fleeting, hinted threat of sexual violence against a secondary character.

Sex

There are a few brief kisses.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the plot of Reached centers on efforts to control a mutating virus. Victims become "still," in a coma-like state, and many die, sometimes in a rather grisly fashion. But the focus is on moral and philosophical questions: the chance of doing wrong even when you're trying to do right, the quandary of whether the end justifies the means, and the risks and rewards of love and faith.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byElarinya L. August 28, 2016

A refreshing look at rebellion

I really enjoyed the last book in the series. Here we see a different take on rebellion than the more violent upheaval of the Hunger Games. One of the best part... Continue reading
Adult Written byP. Brown April 9, 2015

Reached Review

If you would like to read this book, "Reached" You should definitely read the first two books before this one, Matched and Crossed,
Kid, 11 years old October 21, 2019

I LOVED this book (Spoilers in this review)

It does have kissing. But for kids who are mature, and like romance it is a great book (and I have read a LOT of books). Cassia does break Xander's heart i... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old January 31, 2018

Reached

This book is a good conclusion to the three book series. It had lots of action so it kept me interested, unlike the second book. I like that it was told from th... Continue reading

What's the story?

In REACHED, the final book in the Matched trilogy, the Rising against the controlling Society begins with a spreading Plague. By providing a cure, the Rising starts to win over the people. But the three protagonists -- Cassia; her friend and Society-approved Match, Xander; and her love, Ky -- struggle to reconcile their personal hopes with the drama playing out around them. Who really brought the Plague, and why? Can the Rising and its leader, the Pilot, be trusted? Their alliances -- to their families, the Rising, and to each other -- are tested. As the Plague mutates and spreads, Ky goes still; Xander searches for a new cure; and Cassia helps unleash latent creative voices and puts her sorting skills to work helping Xander.

Is it any good?

The pace picks up here, with threads of a medical thriller entwined in the engaging tale of rebellion, love, and longing. But it's the quieter thoughts that stick: Cassia's meditation on the purpose of creating, the ways the symbolic power of a poem can shift and change, the choices and challenges that complicate the desire to do good, and what makes a life well lived.
 
Matched was told from Cassia's perspective, and the second book, Crossed, shifted between Cassia and Ky. Reached adds a third narrative voice: that of Xander, whose absence was keenly felt in the middle book. At first he sounds confident but naive; his evolution from earnest soldier into a bruised but wiser young man is one of the more interesting narrative threads. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the Matched trilogy compares with other popular series featuring love triangles, such as The Hunger Games and Twilight. Why is this structure so popular in teen fiction?

  • How do you interpret the symbolic meaning of the poems quoted in Reached, which shift and change depending on the perspective of the narrator and the circumstances?

  • Do you think creative expression is as important as Cassia does?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love Romantic fantasies and dystopian novels

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