One of Condie’s neighbors is an immunologist, and she talked to him quite a bit about the virus and how it behaves, including mutations and treatments.
Because of their talents and abilities, Xander, Ky and Cassia are asked to help find a cure for the mutated virus, but time is short and knowing whom to trust is difficult.
“It made me think a lot of life and death and how things can go south really, really quickly,” Condie said of “Reached.”
Cassia continues to grow and learn more about making her own choices.
“What I like about (Cassia) is she comes into all this new awareness, but it doesn’t cripple her,” Condie said. “It’s hard, but it doesn’t take her down entirely.”
“Reached” ended up about 150 pages longer than “Matched” or “Crossed,” and the story builds and moves from Society to its outlying areas and back again.
It’s an exciting and satisfying ending to the trilogy as the unpredictable happens as Society’s façade cracks, the Rising realizes things aren’t going to be as simple as planned and Cassia, Ky and Xander do their best with the information they have. And they do have a run-in with the mysterious Pilot.
“Everyone has their final chapter,” Condie said of the ending with the three main characters. “I felt like we knew where they each were physically and emotionally.”
While the three main characters are working with the Rising and trying to figure out the best path for their own lives, their families aren’t necessarily far from their mind.
“Each character cares about their families,” Condie said. “These three characters don’t walk away from their families.”
Condie's own family has experienced a busy year during 2012. In addition to finishing up the Matched trilogy, Condie and her husband adopted a baby girl from China and brought her home in February.
“They felt like it was the Christmas that was never going to come,” Condie said of her three boys, the oldest of which is 9. “They love her.”
Instead of writing in a corner in the basement, she has a finished home office now and has hired a baby sitter a few hours a week so she can write and meet her deadlines.
“It’s kind of hard to balance work and family,” said Condie, a former high school English teacher. “Some days are better than others.”
For now, she is playing around with a few ideas.
“I’m just trying out different things,” Condie said.
For now, she will be crossing the country on a book tour for the release of “Reached” that starts in Salt Lake City. Her mother will come up from Cedar City to watch her children while she’s away.
She will be at Rowland Hall, Lincoln Street Campus, 843 Lincoln St., Salt Lake City at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The launch party will have an oversized "Reached" bubble for photos.
If you go ...
What: "Reached" launch party and Ally Condie book signing
When: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Rowland Hall, Lincoln Street Campus, 843 Lincoln St., Salt Lake City
Note: Book-signing tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis
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