Review Detail

4.8 7
Young Adult Fiction 6043
Listen To The Messages
Overall rating
Writing Style
In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town's founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.

But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliantperfectthrough subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar' s built a business sabotaging his father's scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they're turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?

Then he meets Nia, the girl he can't stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

Candor was a cover to cover, one sitting read for me. The story is told through Oscars point-of-view in a riveting present tense voice. The mood is perfect - both creepy and controlled - exactly like the town of Candor.

I described this story to someone as tight. Every page packs an emotional punch that requires a response. Pam Bachorz displays some impressive skills when it comes to storytelling, both from a creative and a mechanical perspective.

Oscar appears to be in command of every situation, much like his father. The difference is the haunting vulnerability that lies beneath Oscar's polished surface. It pulled at my sympathy, and as I learned his secrets my heart broke for him.

The way the teens and others in the town buy into the Messages is convincing as well as humorous, especially when the occasional glimpse of who the teens might have been without "outside influence" breaks through. And sometimes the messages don't seem so wrong:

The great are never late.
Studying is your greatest priority.
Respectful space in every place.

Candor explores the basic right of humans - in this case, teens - to make their own choices about the right way to live. Is what looks right always right - for everyone? Even after I finished Candor it stayed in my head. Maybe it has a Message of its own...

Don't miss this one! Highest of High Recommendations!

Five of Five Stars
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