For What It's Worth

Saturday, January 2, 2010

REVIEW: Candor by Pam Bachorz

CandorIn the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town's founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.
But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar's built a business sabotaging his father's scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they're turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?
Then he meets Nia, the girl he can't stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more. YA Fiction

I imagine that there are quite a few parents out there who would love to move to a place like Candor to control their wild teens. Subliminal messages are constantly piped throughout the town to keep the kids in line, "the great are never late", "healthy bodies make strong minds".
This book has such a great concept and a "That couldn't really happen...could it?" quality to it, that I couldn't wait to read it. However it fell short for me.
It's hard to say why because I did like the plot and the characters. The story is told through Oscar's point of view and maybe that was the problem. He tells you everything that has happened to him and how he feels but I didn't feel like I was experiencing it. I didn't get lost in that world.
I really liked Nia and what Oscar was willing to do to save her. He would sacrifice his own safety and happiness for her, but their relationship came a little too late in the book.
Having said all that, the last third of the book pulled me in and made it a worthwhile read despite its flaws.It delivered on the promise of just how bad it could get for you if you resisted the Messages in Candor.
Fantastic ending! It had a conclusion but left a slight window open for a follow up which I hope happens, because I think if she could delve a a little deeper and expand on this world, it would make for a great series.
Loved: the concept, the characters, the ending
Nitpick: I would have liked to experience more of Oscar's adventures rather than be told what happened.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4. It has some flaws but still worth reading.

Authors website: pam bachorz
Buy the book: Candor

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