Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz

Oscar Banks is studying on a typical night, when he hears something atypical outside. Fighting the messages that tell him "Academics are the key to success", he is able to walk to the window and see a girl, with long hair, skateboarding. Oscar can't remember the last time he saw a skateboard, and he thinks this is a girl he could help. To his dad, and most of the people of Candor Oscar Banks is the model student, only son of the town's founder. To new kids, he may be their only help for escape.

Welcome to Candor, the town that seems perfect. Families are clamoring to move there, especially those with troubled teens. Thanks to messages hidden in music, there are no troubled teens in Candor. All it takes is a few days (for the weak) or a few weeks (for the stronger) and your child too will be thinking differently. Oscar, after seeing what his dad had planned to do, found a way to fight these messages. For a price, he helps teens escape the town, and this new girl might be a potential client.

Nia, the girl, proves to be a challenge. Holding on to her independent thoughts, Oscar starts to fall for her, disturbing his golden boy Oscar act. Can Oscar convince Nia that he just wants to help her, or will helping Nia be the end of good Oscar?

Fast paced and hard to put down, Candor is a great Science Fiction read. Candor, the town, felt like it could be any town. The controlling messages were things people do want (good grades, to lose weight to name a few) but the cost of getting these things is very high. Author Pam Bachorz based the town Candor on a subdivision in Florida (check out her website for pictures, after you read the book for full on creepiness), and that makes Candor (the book) feel very real. Fans of M.T. Anderson's Feed will find a lot to like here, as well as anyone who has ever wondered about mind control.

I'll See you @ the library!
Katie (Now reading Hothouse by Chris Lynch)