Candor by Pam Bachorz
Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.
First Impressions: Veeeery interesting. There's a reason why I featured it in a WoW post, after all.
Candor is the seemingly perfect utopian town. Families are on a list for ages, to to be able to get a house there. With the Messages, everyone can become perfect. A former gangster can be turned into a staight-A student. Yaay brainwashing. Let's lose ourselves and our differences that make us special, all to become 'perfect' little clones.
The concept of Candor is so interesting. I guess it's not the first brainwashing novel ever, but for me it is. It's mind blowing and different. And, as Lauren said in her review, very saddening. To read about all these poor teens, who could very well be you or me, have their desires and wants erased and replaced with Messages... Heart breaking.
That idea is so powerful. Sadly, I found that Candor didn't delve into it and the science behind the Messages as much as I'd like. I mean, it's done well, but I'd have loved to found out still more. The reasons for Candor, Oscar's past, are explained nicely, but I wish there was more meat on the Messages themselves.
The writing is short, precise. It's not superfluous or needlessly long-winded. It's military, and probably how a boy would think. I'm assuming. The clear writing makes the novel read quickly and makes it easy.
Oscar is an interesting character, as is Nia. Their 'love' happens awfully quickly though. I'm not really sure that it is love, but it's true that Oscar believes that he loves Nia, and so will do anything for her. This, perhaps, is his problem.
I loved the ending. It's surprising and different. It's -spoiler- like the ending of Genesis to me. A huge twist that left me shocked. When I finished Candor, I had to sit for a couple minutes to process it all.
Final Impressions: A really fascinating look into what society would be like if we were all brainwashed. However, I wish some things were more delved into. Candor is a unique and different novel to interest both girls and boys.
Add to Shelf: Yes. And actually, Candor just came out on the 22nd, so I'd suggest checking it out!
Note This! Nia is an artist, and so was Oscar's mom. But Oscar's dad has made it so art isn't appreciated in Candor. Art pretty much is illegal- grafiti is a huge no-no. Can you imagine a world without art?