Satisfying, solid resolution of twisting dystopian romance.

What parents need to know

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

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. 


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.


There are a few brief kisses.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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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.

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. 

Families can talk 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

Author:Ally Condie
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Misfits and underdogs, Science and nature
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dutton Books
Publication date:November 13, 2012
Number of pages:528
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byabbacus February 20, 2013

Really good!

I think this is the best book of the series. I didn't really like, and wasn't really that into Matched or Crossed, but I liked this book. The author did a very good job in finishing off the trilogy with a solid conclusion. The best part of this book was definitely the ending, especially the last 50 or so pages. Good read for young teens and up!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bybella335940 December 12, 2012


the book was lame! i expected an awesome conclusion and amazayn romance but all i got were two kisses and a plain and unoriginal ending. Stick to twilight or HG there much better! or try Divergent by Veronica Roth!
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 January 12, 2014

It's Aright...

The last installment in the Matched Trilogy is okay. It was around the same level as Crossed, which was okay, but not as good as Matched, the best out of them all. There seems to be more focus on the cure and the Plague as opposed to the overall rebellion against the Society, which disappointed me. Nevertheless, though, the conclusion was satisfying enough. Violence: Many characters are infected by the plague and end up very sick or dying. Sex: Some romance between Ky and Cassia and Xander and another girl, Lei. A little kissing takes place, but it's not graphic. Language: "D*mn" is used at least once.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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