Ally Condie

by (@shalapitcher)

Reached, Crewel: Two Fearless Heroines I’m Thankful For, A VH1 Celebrity Thanksgiving

Reached by Ally Condie and Crewel by Gennifer Albin

OK, sure, I’m thankful for my (growing) family, food on the table and all that this Thanksgiving, but it ain’t my job to talk about those things here at VH1 Celebrity, so I get to skip to the lighter stuff and tell you that this year, I’m thankful for the heroines. Specifically, the heroines of a number of young adult novels I’ve been digging into this fall, and who, despite being teens in alternate universes, still manage to inspire this crusty old lady with their ability to rise above dreary circumstances with nothing but their wits. There are a whole lot of them, but I’ll narrow it down to the protagonists of two books that came out in the past month: Cassia, the heroine of Reached, the conclusion to Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy; and Adelice, the girl at the center of Gennifer Albin’s Crewel.

After saying goodbye to Twilight, and looking at a long wait for the next Hunger Games movie, I think we’re pretty lucky that there’s been a steady flow of other fantastic girls like Bella and Katniss jumping out of their pages. Not that I’d lump them all together, though. Cassia is unlike any others you’ve met: She began Matched perfectly content with the dystopian Society that dictated everything in her life from what she ate every meal to whom she’d married. And at first, it wasn’t any sort of mortal danger that woke her up from that illusion, it was a poem. As we’ve followe Cassia’s journey out of society, into the wilderness to follow her exiled love Ky (in book 2, Crossed) and back to work under cover for the rebellion in Reached, we see her grow brave and confident. We also see her become an artist in her own right, writing poems in a world finally realizing that 100 carefully selected classics aren’t enough. And then, strangely enough for such an entertaining book, it is actually Cassia’s skills as a statistician (orĀ ”Sorter” as they’re called) that proves to be what turns her into a hero for thousands. A girl who saves the day with math and literature? Yes, I think we could use a few more of those. Read more…