Review Detail4.8 7
Oscar Banks knows something he should not know. His father, the founder of the painstakingly perfect town of Candor, is manipulating everyone through cleverly crafted subliminal messages. Presumably only parents know what is going on, and they will pay big money to get a plot in Candor if it means transforming a troubled child into a straight-A model student. Any problem can easily be rectified with the repetition of subliminal messaging such as - Never lie to your parents, Studying is your top priority, Candy is unhealthy or my personal favorite -Respectful space in every place!
The premise of Candor is that no matter how strong you may think you are, your subconscious is processing incoming messages, and when manipulated just the right way, it will obey. The worst part is that you have no idea you are being controlled. Forget having your own personality, hobbies, or tastes. Forget ever doing anything the least bit fun or adventurous. Makes you cringe to think about right? Well, just imagine finding out it was your control freak father who was masterminding this whole nightmare!
Youre probably thinking, Well, just stop listening to them or Get out of town and never come back, right? Lets just say, that those who have tried to stop listening have met with some very, very, unpleasant side effects. So, if youre Oscar Banks, what do you do? Well, you cant call the nearest news station or the police. Dear old Dad pays off everyone with his bribes. Besides, if he found out that it was you, you'd be given a power brainwash faster than you can say Always obey your parents! In order to survive, Oscar must maintain the perfect facade of a straight laced Candor prodigy. Unbeknownst to his father, Oscar also helps teenagers slip out of Candor without being caught or any worse for the wear, but his services aren't cheap. Its a profitable side business, and one that Oscar employs to fund his own eventual departure from Candor. That is until Nia, an artistic free spirit moves into town and turns his world upside down. Oscar can't bear the thought of Nia becoming just another brainwashed Candor automaton. But he must decide just how far he's will to risk his own safety in order to help Nia. It's only a matter of time before everyone gives in to the messages.
Candor is a brilliantly written, gripping novel. From page one, I was completely taken in by the believable teenage voice of Oscar, and Bachorz completely kept me on my toes with the plot line. I kept wondering will Oscar leave? and just when I thought I had it all figured out, some totally unexpected twist would occur, leaving me floored. The fact that Oscar was a bad boy masquerading as a secret goody-goody added a welcome dose of humor to the novel as well. As for Oscars dad, I truly despised him. Yet, Bachorz does such a great job explaining character motivations that I could understand why he was driven to create his idea of a perfect world", even though I would never condone it.
Bottom Line- Candor is an exciting debut novel and dystopian sci-fi success! The development of the relationship between Oscar, with his quiet rebellious nature and the dark, fiery Nia was beautifully crafted and fast paced. I loved how Oscar struggled with the messages, despite all his measures to counteract their influence. I could really imagine how difficult it would be to constantly try and stay strong against their influence and what it would be like to just give in now and again
Sometimes its nice to do what the messages say. Its like sinking into a warm bath, eyes shut, arms floating, and letting the water cover my face. I dont have to breathe until someone tells me to. (ARC, Page 51)
I have to add that the ending of Candor left me thirsting for a sequel, and I hope fans of Bachorz can look forward to another installment in the future!