Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz

Candor Book Cover)
Candor is a place in Florida that was built by Oscar's dad. Not only is it a luxurious and beautiful place to live, but everyone is perfect. Or at least according to Oscar's father who writes messages that subliminally fill everyone's minds at all times. Not only do the messages alter and affect behavior, they are an addictive drug that can't be lived without.

Oscar fights the messages and even runs a side business helping kids get out of Candor before they fall victim to the messages. But one day a girl comes and Oscar really likes her. Will he help her escape or keep her there forever so that he never has to say good-bye?

I easily read Candor
in a day, New Year's Day in fact, and thought it was very engaging. I even felt like I was fighting off the messages at times myself and felt exhausted from it. When I turned the last page, I thought I was going to move on.

But in some ways I haven't. My mind keeps revisiting this story and all the fascinating moral questions it raises. From the necessary but jarring ending I've worked backwards through the story to contemplate every step that led to it. And I find myself wishing I had a book group to discuss the book with.

The writing isn't amazing, but it certainly delivers. What stands out to me about Candor is the murkiness the reader feels, just as Oscar feels it. Oscar is never quite sure whether or not his actions and choices are his own or a result of the messages he is constantly devouring. He can never be sure that what's happening is genuine and he feels powerless over his circumstances even as the reader does as well.

How much is someone really responsible for their actions when they're constantly being force fed propaganda? And is that propaganda worth it if it means people are respectful of each other? These are just some of the questions I've been pondering since finishing Candor

I'm glad to note that Candor
has been shorlisted for a CYBILS award in the category of Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Rating: 4.5/5
Source of Book: Michelle sent it to me.
Publisher: Egmont USA

Oh and I'm an Amazon affiliate if you click on a link to go Amazon through my blog and make a purchase I receive a tiny percentage of the sale.



Sandy Nawrot said...

Sounds like a total mind game! I love these kinds of books but they do wear you out!

Anonymous said...

Love the premise, though I'm always anxious about these high-concept books, as some authors seem to get a great idea and then just coast in the areas of writing and characterization. Sounds really interesting, though, so I'm adding to my TBR list!

Beth F said...

I love books that make you think. I'll have to add this one the ole list.

Zia said...

I enjoyed this book also. Great review!

Amanda said...

What a strange book. I've seen this around before, but never thought much about it. Sounds interesting, now.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, it sounds like that book gave you a lot to think about. I love books that stay with me and challenge me to re-think my views. Great review!

Unknown said...

I've seen this about quite a few places and with every review I think it's winning me over into reading it at some point!

Krista said...

Hmmm, reminds me of both The Truman Show (movie) and a book I read in junior high about a town that lived under a giant canopy and what 2 teens (in love of course) and their teacher did to "break free". Sorry I can't remember the title of the book!

Amy said...

Sandy--it's a good one!

Jenny--I'm not going to call it a literary masterpiece but I was never distracted by the writing.

Candace--me too!

Zia--I'm glad I'm not alone. ;)

Amanda--it is kind of strange! But it was very good.

Kathy--me too, I love anything that makes me contemplate morality and things I haven't thought about before.

Darren--come on! You know you want to read it!

Krista--what's the book? I'm on a hunt to find it, LOL

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I bought this won during the holidays and can't wait to read it. I love the questions you kept from your reading. Reading your review makes me look forward to it even more!

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

This looks interesting! The description made me think of Brave New World and how society was perfect because everyone took a drug called SOMA.

Debbie's World of Books said...

The ending of this one really got me. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I also enjoyed Oscar's character. He was so flawed that for most of the book I was trying to figure out if he was really good or bad.

Unknown said...

I have love this book really , even thought I don;t agree with the ending.I totally fall in love with Oscar character they shouldn't had erase his mind. I just hope she makes an second part !

Unknown said...

I have love this book Candor!!! really even thought I don't really agree with the ending. I so fall in love with Oscar character. I hope Pam Bachorz makes a second part ! oh please !!

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