Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Recommendation: Candor

Pam Bachorz
Pages: 272
Ages: 14+

Oscar Banks is perfect. Straight A's, community service advocate, all-around model citizen. Just like every other high schooler in Candor.  Which is why a slot in the model community is in such demand by parents of troubled teens. 

What people don't know is that in Candor, you are what you hear.

Candor is definitely one of my favorite recent reads. In the vein of Megan McCafferty's Bumped, it's one of those books that gets under your skin. Primarily, I was drawn in by the premise: a planned community where teens are brainwashed by the town founder through subliminal messaging.  The founder's son, meanwhile, spends his days and nights trying to fight the brainwashing with messages of his own ... while making somewhat shady business deals on the side. I will say that I would have loved to see the concept and the relationships developed quite a bit further. I know there's no sequel, but I would have liked one! I felt like the book ended just when I wanted more. 

Candor was a fast-paced read. Nearly impossible to put down (I technically did, but only because I had to get off an airplane)! The characters were well-layered, and I found it fascinating to watch them struggle to bend the 'Messages' to their own free will. 

Sometimes it was difficult to like the characters: Oscar - arrogant, underhanded, and selfish. Nia (love interest) - somewhat standard quirky-artist type, rebellious, promiscuous ... and then of course the brainwashed masses of Candor High. But the fact that they were difficult to like made them all the more real, and re-emphasized the extent to which they were products of their own environment. 

Books like Candor:

Similar mind-games themes: Maze Runner by James Dashner, Insignia by S.J. Kincaid, Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore, Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Similar voice: Feed by MT Anderson, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Want more book suggestions? See my other Book Recommendations.

But you don't have to take my word for it
Need some more convincing? Check out reviews of Candor from Don't Take my Books Away, Lucid Conspiracy, and Eating YA Books

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