Cover Chat: Ally Condie's Reached

There’s something incredibly satisfying about coming to the end of a trilogy; sad, but deliciously satisfying. This is why I’m glad that Ally Condie doesn’t plan to take her fantastic YA series beyond the final book that will hit shelves next November. Readers will get definitive answers to the numerous problems that the books’ main character, Cassia, faces.

Cassia is in the rare class of heroines that follow in the fearless footsteps of Katnis Everdeen (Hunger Games series, holla!), like Divergents Beatrice Prior and Across the Universes Amy. Similarly, Cassia is someone who you do not want working against you — as the government of her dystopian society soon discovers ...

Cassia’s tale started in December 2010 with Matched. In her society, the government decides everything about citizens’ lives, including marriages. But when two faces flash on Cassia’s matching screen — her best friend, Xander, and the class loner, Ky — what unfolds is an adventure the likes of which readers will not soon forget. In the series second, 2011’s November novel Crossed, Cassia and Ky have both been exiled to the outer provinces, but they can’t fight the tide of revolution that is sweeping them (and their repressive society) toward an unexpected discovery. Add this to some surprising revelations about Xander, and Cassia is really in a confusing place. Which is why readers, myself included, cannot wait for the trilogy’s final tale, the upcoming novel Reached.

Since 2010, this series has been on my go-to list of must-read recommendations. (And if you haven’t had a chance to pick up the first two stories, get thee to a bookstore, pronto.) Even with a year between the publications of these three books I am completely invested in the outcome; not to mention, totally excited to see which guy Cassia ultimately picks. And although we have many more months to wait (Why do you tease us so, Dutton?) the cover art for Reached has just been revealed and I am more than happy to feast on the glorious image.

It’s clear to see that Cassia is now ready to take on anyone who tries to stand in her way. (Readers will remember that in the cover art for Matched Cassia was stuck inside of a green bubble, and on Crossed she had just smashed through her blue bubble.) I totally approve of the Cassia-only covers because I think that it really sends a great message to readers. If you only read the blurb for Matched, this may have seemed like a series about a girl caught between two boys, but it’s really much more than that. The books are the story of a girl who refuses to go with the flow when the flow feels wrong, and instead stands up for what she thinks is right: freedom of information, choice and opinion. This is a story about the importance of standing tall, and doing what needs to be done. Like how I keep referencing standing? Could it be because I’m totally a fan of the fact that she’s standing? (It is!)

Additionally, I think that it’s worth noticing that with the covers' progression, not only is Cassia’s presence getting bigger — a literal change as she begins to figuratively take up more space in her world — but her presence has also evolved as well. On book one's cover, Cassia's hair it’s down and loose, book two the ends are curled and by book three she has a full on adult hairstyle. It’s a lovely graphic metaphor for the way that Cassia has matured from teen, to fully independent woman. Frankly, I think that she looks positively regal within the fragments of her shattered red orb.

In the interview with EW where Condie first revealed the cover, she also shared that while this may be the end of the road for her three leading characters, this is not the last we will hear from the author. She’s already working on her next story, so hopefully we can expect more full-throttle adventures from this talented new author down the line. But really, we all know exactly what it is I want from her next, and I think you’ll all agree, Reached looks like brilliant series closer.

So I want to know, what do you think of the latest Matched cover? Tell me in the comments below. And for more genre coverage be sure to check out RT's Everything Young Adult Page!