Author: Pam Bachorz
Published Date: September 2009
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.
Oh my god. What in the world was that ending?!?! *SCREAMS* *FLIPS THROUGH THE BOOK FOR SECRET MESSAGES AND PAGES* WHERE IS THE ENDING?!
Lol, I’m sorry but I just had to rant about the ending…I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the ending leaves a huge gaping hole and just makes you drop your jaw because it transitions way too smoothly into it and doesn’t leave any tantalizing hints or emotions.
Candor is not only a dystopian society book, but a scary and horrifying revelation of what really happens when parents want their children to be perfect and mold them into the perfect child image. I really praise Bachorz for developing the characters really well, not into sobbing or happy characters, but what they really are …mindless robots. Also, there was one incident when Oscar’s father vide tapes Oscar, which is right on target with the "police" parents, how they look through your computer history or call you every time to see where you are. In Candor, the line between caring and policing is blurred as parents want their children to become perfect, while being emotionless. I love the premise of the novel and the plot because it is a science-fiction but it has a theme of what really constitutes perfect that affects every teens, as we all know, parents want to monitor the teenage life, worrying they’ll do all sorts of drugs and gang violence. Sometimes, the writing fell flat contrasting to the action of the book, but otherwise I really did love this unique idea of what it really means to be a “caring” parent.
The character development, or more like how much I liked the characters, wasn’t that great for me. I didn’t really look forward to the romance between Nia and Oscar. It just felt flat to me, nothing interesting or bittersweet about it. It was way too much of a “love at first sight” and I wanted to see more of teenage angst of love, which in turn would contrast them from the other emotionless teens. I also really didn’t like Nia at all in the beginning. Even though I know she’s supposed to be rebellious and a bit mean, but I felt like even in the relation she was way too controlling and was telling what Oscar should do. However, I did like Oscar, even though he was mean too. How he really cares for Nia and also his troubled past with his mom makes me sympathize him and root for him throughout the book.
The unique plot of molding the perfect child shows the horrifying and scary perspectives of being a “caring and loving” parent. This is not only a dystopian world where we really can't relate to (unless someone traveled in the future and told us this really happens), but has an underlying message in it.
I like the cover and it really is a good depction of the book, with the orange spray paint. I also think the model for this really does represent Oscar. Aesthetically, it isn’t that great though and wouldn’t be luring me to buy the book.
This book is a combination of both science fiction, but with a twist of emotions and a Message to parents (You are what you read. Lol). There are some times I wanted to strangle both Oscar and Nia to shake some kindness into them, but their mean personality really makes them different from the perfect
teens robots parents expect their children to be. I really hope there is a sequel because the ending was begging for one. If you want a quick read and not a big fan for science fiction, this book is for you.