Author: Pam Bachorz
In 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.
This was actually a very interesting book. I saw it at my school library and it was brand new, so I took it out… Let’s just say I’m a sucker for brand new, never-read novels.
I went out on a limb and read this book, and I’ve got to say it was excellent. Everyone in Candor is brainwashed. Subliminal messages keep kinds from doing bad things (smoking, drugs, vandalism, disobeying their parents, etc) and keeps the community organized and controlled. These are called ‘Messages’. Oscar is the son of the mastermind of everything, basically his father’s the creator of the town and its setup. Oscar knows about the messages though, how to make them, how to shut them out, and how to use them to his advantage. But he can’t let it be known that he’s the only one awake among the brainwashed citizens, or he could end up just like them, or maybe worse.
So my first thought, when I started reading this book, was “Hey, this is pretty interesting” since the plot starts going right from the first chapter. Though, I’ll admit, some parts were kind of slow at times, the novel kept picking itself up and running.
My second thought was “This book is actually pretty simple”. These days authors always think “the more sophisticated/complicated the language is, the more interesting it’ll be. However, this book had simple language, ensuring that I didn’t need to sit there and wonder what some of the words meant, and it had simple paragraphs, alike to newspapers, they were short but they kept the story moving. I thought that was pretty cool. It’s nice to read a book without a dictionary sitting beside you.
My last though, upon finishing the novel was “JHDKJDHASKHD IT’S JUST LIKE 1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL /rage.” The ending between the book (and I guess the overall idea) was almost identical. Less extreme and not as violent or dry cut, but this book definitely had its similarities. Personally, I liked 1984, the ideas at least. The writing was dry and boring, which was what turned me off from the book, but this one was simple and interesting, and, until the end, I didn’t even see the similarities, which shows how much better this one actually was.
Overall, I really liked this book. It’s scary what the people on top have the ability to do. Who knows, this kind of thing could be happening right now…
This novel, it gets you thinking. I liked that there is a fair amount of romance, and the author made you able to feel for the Oscar, even with the simple language and small paragraphs. If anything, I think those factors helped increase the quality of the novel. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s pretty darn close.
GoodReads Rating: 3.62/5
“Cookie!” The kid holds up a carrot with the feathery green still attached to the top.
The woman gives me a wide-eyed don’t say anything look and walks away fast.”
Sometimes I forget she likes me the same way I like her.
“I stayed there for an hour,” she says. “The sprinklers never turned off.”
A fresh swell of guilt fills my gut. I could have switched the sprinklers off, at least. Or told Mandi to do it.
“But then I peeked under my boot. It was all gone. Without me even knowing, it washed away.”