At the time of the book launch, I was about a third of the way done with an ARC of Crossed I had borrowed from my blogger friend Emily of Emily’s Reading Room, so I knew a little about what had happened. Luckily, Ally didn’t want to spoil anyone since the book had just been released that day and didn’t really go into great detail about the plot.
One of the things I enjoyed about the launch party was Ally’s vision for the setting. She said that as she wrote Matched, Southern Utah came into her mind whenever she thought about the Outer Provinces. She hiked in the slot canyons with her family almost every weekend while she was growing up, so the setting is very personal to her. And, as I’ve read about the Carving in the book, a very vivid landscape comes to mind. In fact, it reminds me of the episode of Man vs. Wild where Bear Grylls finds himself stranded in Southern Utah, which is the closest I’ve ever come to seeing that terrain up close and personal.
She also talked about how Matched emphasized poetry and Crossed emphasizes art. One of the 100 paintings that Cassia is familiar with is the one entitled “Chasm of the Colorado” by Thomas Moran (an image of this painting is available at Novel Notice, one of the blog tour stops posted by Ally). Ally was introduced to this painting by her mother and she felt it would be a good painting for the Matched trilogy because it represented not only the Outer Provinces, but also the wildness and unknown of Cassia’s adventure to join the rebellion against the Society.
Actually, if you’ve been following Ally’s blog tour posts for Crossed, you’ll notice that she talked about many of the things she had already or continues to guest post about on the tour. It’s all very interesting and I recommend you check those posts out.
Ally also was the keynote speaker at the Teen Book Fest at the Provo City Library last weekend. I went with a few of my blogger buddies: Suey, Jenny, Emily, and Enna Isilee. The teen book fest also had authors Elana Johnson, Robison Wells, and Kristen Landon. Unfortunately, due to lots of homework, I was only able to stay for Ally’s keynote presentation and the signing afterward. If you’d like a great recap of the other authors’ presentations, check out Suey’s post.
Ally talked again mainly about what she did at the launch. When she saw me at the event, she told me that she felt bad that I had to listen to her talk about the same things again. I laughed and told her that I didn’t mind.
Ally is one of the most gracious, humble people I’ve ever met. Seriously, if you ever have the chance to meet her, I’m sure you’ll find she’s super sweet and sociable. All in all, it was a great couple of events and I’m glad I could go and spend some time with friends and talking to Ally.